Peter Rabbit is one of Beatrix Potter’s most famous and enduring characters. The naughty rabbit first appeared in the 1902 book The Tale of Peter Rabbit and appeared in several more books between 1904 and 1912. In 1903 Peter Rabbit became the first soft toy to be patented and therefore the first ever licensed character.
Beatrix Potter was born in 1866 and died in 1943. Peter Rabbit was said to be named after Potter’s own childhood pet rabbit who she called Peter Piper. The book has sold about 40 million copies and the series about 150 million copies worldwide and translated into 35 languages.
Walt Disney wanted to make a film of the book back in 1936 but Beatrix Potter refused to give him the rights. Since then there has been numerous films, stage plays and cartoons depicting the characters. The books and characters are still loved all around the world to this day.
The Royal Mint issued Beatrix Potter character fifty-pence pieces in 2016 and 2017, depicting several characters such as Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, Jemima Puddle-Duck and Squirrel Nutkin. There is also a 2016 fifty pence that celebrates the 150th year of the birth of Beatrix Potter.
The series was a stunning success and so in 2017 the Royal Mint offered a very special limited edition gift set: an exclusive edition of the book The Tale of Peter Rabbit with a 22-carat gold 50p proof coin.
The coin weighs 15.5g and features Peter Rabbit on the reverse as designed by Emma Noble. The obverse is Jody Clark’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The edition mintage is limited to 450 maximum. It is packaged in a box illustrated with characters from the Beatrix Potter books.
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