A first edition of world-famous children's book The Tale Of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter has sold for far in excess of its estimate after it fetched £43,400 (€51,400) at auction today. 

The book had been estimated to sell for up to £35,000 when it went under the hammer in London on Thursday.

The book features 41 full-page line drawings and was printed privately by Beatrix Potter in 1901 after several children's book publishers turned her down. The work became a hit with friends and family and a publisher decided to release the book.

Among the other highlights in the sale of Beatrix Potter memorabilia, which were amassed by collector John Cawood since 1972, was an original watercolour design for The Story of Miss Moppet.

Created in 1906, the drawing of the mouse - estimated to fetch up to £12,000 - was autographed by Potter and includes her notes.

The total sale of nearly 100 items is estimated to fetch more than £100,000.

The auction, which took place on the 150th anniversary of the author's birth, also features an illustration, created before Potter made her name as an author, for a Christmas card of a mouse in a nest.