Objects from our Beatrix Potter collection

The large and varied collection at Hill Top and the Gallery give us a glimpse inside Beatrix Potter's magpie mind. There are some objects over 400 years old, such as antique furniture and original paintings but there are also many more modern items from across the world, all brought to this corner of the Lakes by Beatrix Potter. Each month we’ll be adding a new object on to this list to show you the kinds of things we’re looking after.

A plaster of Paris bookend featuring the figure of Benjamin Bunny

February 2018

With World Book Day fast approaching our item for this month is this sweet plaster of Paris bookend featuring the iconic figure of Benjamin Bunny, cousin to Peter Rabbit. The figure was modelled by M.M. Jones for Beatrix’s publisher Frederick Warne.

Bronze frog, part of the Beatrix Potter collection at Hill Top

January 2018 

As the house reawakens for the start of a new season, who better to feature in the first update of 2018 than the star of 'Putting Hill Top to bed' - Beatrix's bronze frog (link to the video in title). He is often the first thing visitors see as they step into Hill Top - see if you can spot him during your visit.

Paper Christmas decoration, red bell opening in concertina-fashion


What better object to feature for December than a Christmas decoration? Thanks to careful storage it’s still in impeccable condition, and the bright red paper of this concertina-fashioned bell makes it appear much younger than it truly is.

Pottery tile detailing a family of rabbits painted by Beatrix Potter


Painted by Beatrix when she was just 14-years-old, this beautiful pottery tile was fitted as a teapot stand and features a family of rabbits painted in blue underglaze on white. It showcases Beatrix’s extraordinary ability to capture the anatomical detail - even at an early age - which would lead to the creation of such lifelike characters in her tales. It is signed on reverse 'February 1881. H.B. Potter.'

Staffordshire jug dating to c1820 which belonged to Beatrix Potter


October is harvesting time and this pretty Staffordshire jug details a poem expressing the joys of living and working on a farm. It dates back to 1820 and expresses a similar sentiment to the one we know Beatrix herself carried.

Writing slope that belonged to Beatrix Potter


As children go back to school this month we've picked out this wooden and leather writing slope from the collection. This is where Beatrix would have written her letters and correspondence to fans and publishers across the world.

Ivory and paper fan from the Beatrix Potter collection


This beautiful paper fan from the collection has a vellum backing with sticks of ivory. We can imagine Beatrix admiring the romantic painting on it but not really using the fan a lot herself...has it ever been hot enough in the Lake District for a fan?!

A black tin watercolour paint box. Paints belonged to Beatrix's mother


Currently in Japan as part of our large loan, this delicate tin paint box has Beatrix's mothers name on the inside but was used by the author and illustrator herself. We think this would have got a lot of use on her summer holidays spent in the Lake District as she was bursting with ideas and inspiration.

A framed collection of butterflies by Bertram Potter


This summery collection of butterflies was put together by Bertram, Beatrix's brother. You can see a whole cabinet full of things they collected as children, from beetles to cannonballs, on display in the Beatrix Potter Gallery.

Rush woven wide-brimmed hat with remains of floral decoration that belonged to Beatrix Potter


This rush woven wide-brimmed hat with the remains of a delicate floral decoration belonged to Beatrix. We're sure she would have popped this on when the weather began to feel spring like!

Two fragile painted eggs packed in a box for transportation


These eggs were decorated by Beatrix as part of the northern Easter tradition of 'Pace-Egging'. Here they are packed in a nest of acid free tissue paper for transportation to the Beatrix Potter Gallery, where you can see them on display as part of this year's exhibition.