Published on July 17th, 2018 | by Jasmine Evans
Original Winnie the Pooh Map Sells for Record £430,000
The original map of the Hundred Acre Wood from Winnie the Pooh has sold at auction for a record breaking £430,000.
Setting out the scene of one of literature’s best loved novels, E.H. Shepard’s 1926 woodland map set a world record for the highest sum of book illustrations sold at auction. The original map stole the limelight at Sotherby’s auction house last week, almost tripling its estimated sale price of £100,000-£150,000.
Since deemed as “probably the most famous map in English literature”, this unique piece of artwork encapsulates the playful world of A.A. Milne’s novel, introducing loveable and prominent characters like Christopher Robin and Eeyore. Unseen for almost half a century, the masterpiece was originally sold by Sotherby’s for £650 in 1968, before being sold again for £1,700 to a private collector two years later.
The illustration is scattered with a range of deliberately misspelt places and locations, such as “nice for picnicks” and “100 Aker Wood” and is playfully closed with the statement “Drawn by Me and Mr Shephard helpd”.
Where Winnie the Pooh began
The enchanting story of a beloved bear began in 1925 at A.A. Milne’s Cotchford Farm. Situated on the edge of a forest, the idyllic setting sparked the imagination behind Christopher Robin and his woodlands friends.
Exactly 40 years later, the map was brought to life in an animation during the opening credits of the monumental Disney film, Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree.
“The most famous map in English literature”
Dr Philip W Errington, director of Sotheby’s Department of Printed Books and Manuscripts, said: “I suspect that there isn’t a single child who wouldn’t instantly recognise this wonderful depiction of The Hundred Acre Wood. This is the first drawing you encounter in the book and is the visual guide to the entire world of Winnie the Pooh.
“In this group of original drawings, you can see the real skill of the artist, the skill of the strokes of his pen. They’ve never been brought out in the UK or the US with illustrations by anyone else apart from EH Shepard. That is the power, and ability of the illustrator, and why this is probably the most famous map in English literature.”
The map was auctioned alongside four other original Winnie the Pooh illustrations by E.H. Shepard. In total, the collection sold for a combined £917,500.
*Photo Credit: SIMON DAWSON/REUTERS