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.

This Grandfather clock is still on display in Hill Top's kitchen

December 2018

This longcase clock features in the 'The Tailor of Gloucester' - a story set at Christmas time, hence it being chosen as December's item! The clock can still be seen in the kitchen at Hill Top and is in perfect working order.

Double candle holder from Beatrix Potter's collection

November 2018

As the nights are really drawing in, this double hanging candle holder will come in useful. Beatrix collected items like this that would traditionally be used in a Lakeland farm house.

Figurine of an owl which sits in the New Room at Hill Top

October 2018

With Halloween on the horizon, we thought this owl would be perfect for our October entry. He's hollow and his head is lidded, and you can spook - sorry - spot him upstairs in the New Room at Hill Top.

Miniature oranges found in Hill Top's dolls house

September 2018

These miniature oranges on a plate are from Beatrix's dolls house, which can be found in the Treasure Room at Hill Top. They were used in her illustrations for 'The Tale of Two Bad Mice'. If you peek into the dolls house you might also recognise the baby's cradle, the birdcage, the metal fireplace or a tiny set of spoons. The tale was originally published in September.

A certificate from Penrith Agricultural Society show awarded to Beatrix for her herdwick sheep

August 2018

August is the month for agricultural shows here in the Lake District, so we thought it fitting to feature one of the many certificates Beatrix won for her Herdwick sheep. Beatrix was influential in preserving this hardy breed (the survival of which was under threat at the time) and as such she was the first woman to be elected as President of the Herdwick Sheep Breeders’ Association in 1943.

Steiff Peter Rabbit soft toy

July 2018

This early Steiff Peter Rabbit was originally marketed as 'Farmer Rabbit'. When Steiff acquired the license they were able to re-brand him as Peter because of his blue jacket. There are three of these dolls in our care as part of the Beatrix Potter collection and they're well travelled, having been on loan to various exhibitions over the years.

This spotted handkerchief appears in The Tale of Peter Rabbit

June 2018

This red and white spotted handkerchief was used by Beatrix for her illustrations of the character Peter Rabbit in The Tale of Benjamin Bunny. As we enjoy this hot summer, our sympathies are with those suffering from hay fever, who may be in need of one of these!

King Edward Vii coronation teapot

May 2018

May’s object fits with the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. This wonderful teapot celebrates the coronation of Edward VII, and the lettering reads; Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, Accession Jan 1901, Coronation June 1902. One side of teapot features the faces of the King and Queen surrounded by moulded floral wreaths, whilst the other side spots the royal coat of arms. The lid is in the shape of a large pink crown.

Blue and white porcelain cup

April 2018

This dainty blue and white porcelain cup was made by Beatrix's father Rupert, signed 'RP 11/72'. An unusual little cup, it has three feet and a dragon head handle, decorated in blue with sprigs of flowers and a butterfly - a nod to spring, which is still slowly arriving here in the Lake District.

A pair of Grimwade children's egg cups from the Beatrix Potter collection

March 2018

With Easter weekend on the horizon we thought it fitting to have this pair of dainty Grimwade children's ware egg cups, featuring Jemima Puddle-Duck and Squirrel Nutkin, as our March items. Traditionally 'paste-eggs' were made at Easter by boiling an egg in a naturally coloured substance (beetroot for example) to create a decorative egg, which would then be eaten.

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.