A New Record For Any Book Illustration

Friday, July 13, 2018
A New Record For Any Book Illustration

A new auction record was set for any book illustration, when the original map of Winnie-the-Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood by E.H. Shepard sold for £430,000.

A new auction record was set for any book illustration, when the original map of Winnie-the-Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood by E.H. Shepard sold for £430,000.

Possibly the most famous map in children’s literature, this charming sketch from 1926 was unseen for nearly half a century ahead of the sale. It was offered with an estimate of £100,000-150,000 in Sotheby’s sale of English Literature, History, Science, Children’s Books and Illustrations.

Featuring on the opening end-papers of the original 1926 book, the sketch introduces readers to the delightful imagination of Christopher Robin and his woodland friends. Exactly 40 years later the map played a starring role in the landmark Disney film - Winnie-the-Pooh and the Honey Tree - where it was brought to life as an animation in the film’s opening sequence.

As well as mapping the magical world of Winnie-the-Pooh the sketch also captures the unique personalities of A.A. Milne’s much-loved characters. Eeyore is depicted in his rather boggy and sad” “gloomy place with his head hanging sluggishly in the grass, whilst the energetic Roo bounces towards the “sandy pit” where he plays. A solitary Winnie-the-Pooh sits thoughtfully looking out over the wood to his friend, Christopher Robin, who stands with boyish arrogance looking back.

The charming childishness of Christopher Robin is marked by clumsily spelt locations, such as “NICE FOR PICNICKS” and “100 AKER WOOD”, as well as a compass marked with points spelling out the title character’s name. Shepard’s own amusing personality seeps into the illustration, as the map is signed off with the words “Drawn by me and Mr Shepard helped".

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Koen van den Broek (B. 1973) Orange Border, 2001

Koen van den Broek (B. 1973) Orange Border, 2001

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