Helen Beatrix Potter

Simpkin at the Tailor’s Bedside


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Helen Beatrix Potter 1866–1943
Ink, watercolour and gouache on paper
Support: 111 × 92 mm
Presented by Capt. K.W.G. Duke RN 1946

Catalogue entry

A01106 [from] TWENTY TWO ILLUSTRATIONS FOR ‘THE TAILOR OF GLOUCESTER’ c. 1902 [A01089-A01110; complete]

Pen and watercolour, each 4 3/8×3 5/8 (11×9); Nos.16 and 17 are horizontal.
Presented by the artist's executor, Captain K.W.G. Duke, R.N., 1946.
Lit: Margaret Lane, The Tale of Beatrix Potter, 1946, pp.63–4.

The illustrations for The Tailor of Gloucester, her second and favourite book, were drawn in Gloucester and the country round about, the story being based on an actual Gloucestershire story that she heard while staying with a cousin near Stroud. The fabrics in the watercolours are said to have been taken from fabrics in the V. & A.

The book was first privately printed, in a limited edition of 400 copies, in 1902; Frederick Warne & Co. published their first edition in 1903. D. Billington, Managing Director of Frederick Warne & Co., stated: ‘Regarding the 22 original illustrations held in your Gallery, these are the same drawings from which we originally made the blocks in our 1903 first edition. Only two of these were used in the 1902 edition and these appear on pages 40 and 43 of the present (1958) edition’ (letter of 28 January 1959). In addition the ninth illustration was used only in the 1902 edition. There are seven further plates in the Warne edition, the drawings for which are not at the Tate Gallery.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II

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