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Tiggy-winkle out a bargain as rare Beatrix Potter books go under the hammer

Up for grabs - a collection of rare Potters Photo: Keys Fine Art Auctioneers

Harry Potter may have dominated the book charts for the last 20 years - but Beatrix Potter got there first!

A collection of 60 Beatrix Potter first editions, including the much-loved author's first book The Tale Of Peter Rabbit published in 1902, is to be sold at auction in Norfolk.

This copy of Peter Rabbit is expected to fetch hundreds of pounds Credit: Keys Fine Art Auctioneers

Other titles going under the hammer include The Tale Of Squirrel Nutkin, The Tale Of Jemima Puddle-Duck and The Tale Of Mr Jeremy Fisher.

Beatrix Potter, born in London in 1866, used to draw pictures of her first pet rabbit Benjamin Bouncer. She had a lifelong love of the Lake District and invested the money she made from her books in buying several farms there.

When she died in 1943, she left 15 farms and more than 4,000 acres of land to the National Trust, an organisation she had supported staunchly during later life.

Robert Henshilwood, head of books at Keys, described the first editions as a "remarkable collection", adding: "Many people will remember reading these books as children, and it is that familiarity which makes them so collectable.

"We are expecting huge interest from dealers and collectors from throughout the United Kingdom and beyond."

– Robert Henshilwood

They are among 1,400 lots that will be auctioned at the Book and Ephemera Sale at Keys on Thursday and Friday.

Not to be pooh-poohed: A chance to buy this too Credit: Keys Fine Art Auctioneers

A first edition of AA Milne's The House At Pooh Corner from 1928, with a pre-sale estimate of around £600 will also be auctioned.