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The first edition copy of The Roly Poly Pudding which Beatrix Potter inscribed to Old John Taylor, the model for the Mr John Dormouse in Ginger and Pickles. It sold for £3000.

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When that book appeared in 1908, Old John professed to be jealous of his son's fame. In a good-humoured manner, Miss Potter gently and humorously asked how she could include the now invalided father in one of her tales if he "insisted on living in bed?", but shortly afterwards received a note which read, "John Taylor's compliments and thinks he might pass for a dormouse".

How could she refuse? In the following year Old John became Mr John Dormouse in Ginger and Pickles, a book she dedicated to her old friend, but who sadly didn't live to see it in print.

The forthcoming film on the life and work of Miss Potter, starring Renée Zellweger, may or may not inspire a new entry of collectors into an already well-established and strong market, but this is just the sort of thing that Miss Potter's countless fans love.

A first edition copy of The Roly Poly Pudding that sold for £3000 to Peter Kay in a Dominic Winter sale of December 6 is the one that Beatrix Potter inscribed to Old John Taylor and his wife in December 1908, the book that stirred the bed-bound old man into thinking that he might pass as a dormouse.