A VERY small Beatrix Potter drawing has sold for nearly £50,000 at an auction in America.
The three-and-three-quarter inches by six inches ink and watercolour had been expected to sell for up to 37,500 at the Sotheby's auction, in New York, but reached £47,438
The miniature, called 'Guinea pigs going to their garden...' was among 193 original illustrations sold by wealthy American couple, Kendra and Allan Daniel. The painting depicts four guinea pigs following a fifth along a path carrying garden tools.
A spokesman for Sotheby's said: "Early in 1893, when she was in her twenties, Beatrix Potter borrowed a number of guinea pigs from her friend, Miss Paget. One, named Mr Chopps, proved to be no problem but another, named Queen Elizabeth, apparently 'took to eating blotting paper, pasteboard, string and other curious substances and expired during the night. A pair of gardening illustrations date from this time: four guinea pigs following a blue-coated guinea pig and four guinea pigs working under the guidance of the blue-coated guinea pig.
"These were later redrawn in 1922 and used in Potter's book Cecil Parsley's Nursery Rhymes."