The 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter will be commemorated on July 28 with a total of 10 stamps illustrating many of the timeless characters she created.

A set of six portray the leading characters in six of her most popular books, while a four-stamp miniature sheet features scenes from The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

Both a storyteller and an artist, Potter (1866-1943) made her name with a series of children’s tales featuring anthropomorphic animals, starting with The Tale of Peter Rabbit, published in 1902.

The small-format books illustrated with her own watercolour paintings, published by Frederick Warne & Co, were an immediate success. More than 20 further tales followed over the next two decades, before the London-born author switched her attention increasingly to farming and countryside conservation in Cumbria.

The sheet stamps (which come in se-tenant pairs) were designed by Charlie Smith Design and the miniature sheet (with its se-tenant block of four) by Magpie Studio, all based on Potter’s original illustrations. The issue is printed in litho by International Security Printers.

1st class THE TALE OF PETER RABBIT

Published in 1902, Beatrix Potter’s first book told the story of a mischievous young rabbit who is pursued around a garden by Mr McGregor after eating his vegetables.

1st class THE TALE OF MRS TIGGY-WINKLE

Published in 1905, this is the story of a hedgehog living in a cottage in the Lake District, who works as the washerwoman for all the local animals, and for a little girl named Lucie.

£1.33 THE TALE OF SQUIRREL NUTKIN

Published in 1903, this tale concerns an impertinent red squirrel who taunts an owl once too often and and narrowly escapes with his life.

£1.33 THE TALE OF JEMIMA PUDDLE-DUCK

Published in 1908, this is the story of a farmyard duck who looks for a private place to nest but has to be rescued from a devious fox by a friendly sheepdog.

£1.52 THE TALE OF TOM KITTEN

Published in 1907, this book relates a story about a naughty kitten and his sisters who upset their mother by losing their clothes, and then by misbehaving when they are sent upstairs while she hosts a tea party.

£1.52 THE TALE OF BENJAMIN BUNNY

Published in 1904, this sequel to the Peter Rabbit story sees Peter venturing back into Mr McGregor’s garden with his cousin, this time having to be rescued from a cat.

 

MINIATURE SHEET

1st class PETER RABBIT WITH HIS MOTHER

'You may go into the fields or down the lane, but don't go into Mr McGregor's garden. Your father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs McGregor. Now run along, and don't get into mischief.'

1st class PETER RABBIT ENTERING THE GARDEN

‘Peter, who was very naughty, ran straight away to Mr McGregor's garden, and squeezed under the gate.’

£1.33 PETER RABBIT FEELING SICK

‘First he ate some lettuces and some French beans, and then he ate some radishes. And then, feeling rather sick, he went to look for some parsley’

£1.33 PETER RABBIT ESCAPING FROM MR McGREGOR

‘Mr McGregor caught sight of him at the corner, but Peter did not care. He slipped underneath the gate, and was safe at last in the wood outside the garden.’

 

OTHER PRODUCTS

The presentation pack is written by Emma Laws, the Warne Curator of Children’s Literature at the Victoria & Albert Museum, and offers a biography of Beatrix Potter and background information about the origins of her stories.

Besides the usual stamp cards and covers there is a choice of coin covers which come with the Royal Mint’s commemorative 50p coin.

 

PRICES

Set of 6 stamps   £6.98

Miniature sheet   £3.94

Presentation pack   £11.45

Stamp cards   £4.95

First day cover (stamps)   £8.80

First day cover (mini-sheet)   £5.15

Coin cover    £17.50

 

VERDICT

COMMEMORATIVE WORTH   4/5

Beatrix Potter is one of Britain’s most successful children’s storytellers, with worldwide popularity

QUALITY OF DESIGN   4/5

The illustrations are those of Potter herself, capturing the charm of the original books

WOW FACTOR   3/5

There’s a huge contrast in style between these stamps and May’s Animail issue. Which set will be used more in the mail?