First Edition Paddington Presentation Copy Included in Bellmans' December Book Auction

27 November 2022

This year, more than ever, Paddington Bear touched people's hearts when he featured prominently in a charming scene made for television as part of the celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee.

Paddington was created by children's author Michael Bond (1926-2017) when he wrote the first in a series of books, A Bear Called Paddington, in 1958. More than 35 million Paddington books have been sold around the world, and the last Paddington book was published in 2018.

Following his first appearance in book form here in A Bear Called Paddington, Paddington went on to appear in a stop-motion animated television series in the 1970s and two hugely-successful feature films. Over the years, Paddington has entered the nation's psyche and endeared himself to several generations of the young and the not-so-young alike.

The front turn-in states: "Please look after this bear. Thank you. It was these words, written on the label round his neck, which made the Brown family decide to take the small brown bear home with them. They met him, incidentally, on Paddington station; he had travelled by himself all the way from Peru, with only a jar of his favourite marmalade to keep him going." Paddington has always managed to touch our hearts, but perhaps in the current climate when pictures of refugees at train stations have become a reality again, it reminds us that Paddington is as relevant as ever.

Bellmans is delighted to be able to offer the rare chance to buy a presentation copy of the first edition of A Bear Called Paddington, published by Collins in London in 1958. It is inscribed on the front free endpaper: "To Nina, with best wishes, Michael Bond." Nina was a close friend of Michael Bond’s and worked at his literary agency.

It is a fine copy with the illustration of Paddington Bear on title and other illustrations in the text by Peggy Fortnum. The original pink cloth and blue and white dust-jacket with an illustration of Paddington and price of "8s. 6d. net" unclipped (the dust-jacket with chip and short tear), it is expected to sell for £700 - £1,000 on the 8th December. It is the Property of the late Tamara Lo, whose mother Nina worked for the literary agency representing Michael Bond.

Nicholas Worskett, Bellmans' book specialist says: "It's always a real joy to find a presentation copy of a much-loved children's book. The qualities of kindness and humanity which Paddington so perfectly embodies – perhaps ironically, given that he’s a bear - are particularly welcome in our troubled and uncertain times.”

The auction, 8th December, 2pm will include further Paddington books from the same collection as well as other books by Michael Bond.

Bellmans’ Printed Books and Manuscripts auction is now open online to browse and bid with viewing available 5th - 7th December, 9am - 5pm and 8th December, 9am - 1pm. The auction showcases a variety of rare first edition books, illustrated maps and decorative bindings. Highlights also include a selection of much loved children's books from Beatrix Potter to of course, Michael Bond, selected poems by Siegfried Sassoon and classics from Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle and W.B. Yeats amongst many others.

For further information please visit or contact our Printed Books & Manuscripts specialist:
Nicholas Worskett | [email protected] | 01403 700858

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