Offbeat

By Becca Husselbee


The original map of Hundred Acre Wood from the enchanting Winnie the Pooh series of books is up for auction and could fetch a huge £150,000

Drawn by illustrator, Ernest Shepard, for the original 1926 book, the map shows the home of Winnie the Pooh and all his friends from the series of children’s books created by author, AA Milne.

Ernest Shepard was a cartoonist and illustrator for, British Magazine, Punch, in 1924, when a colleague there suggested that he work on a new character created by Milne, based on his son’s teddy bear.

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Milne, a regular contributor to Punch, was not keen on Shepard’s style at first, But decided to give him a try with his collection of poems, ‘When We Were Very Young,’.

Milne was so taken with Shepard’s work, and felt so indebted to him for Pooh’s success, that he later granted a share of royalties to the artist.

The map shows Christopher Robin at his starting point as well as each characters home, from Eeyore’s Gloomy Place to Piglet’s House, even where Pooh places his traps to catch Heffalumps.

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.

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Shepard’s own amusing personality seeps into the illustration, as the map is signed off with the words ‘Drawn by me and Mr Shepard helpd’.

Winnie the Pooh went on to become a well-loved Character with children around the world and even Walt Disney himself knew he wouldn’t and would not want to change Shepard’s iconic work, with the map later being incorporated into the opening scene of Disney’s first Pooh film.

The map was brought to life in the opening scene of the 1966 short animation, Winnie-the-Pooh and the Honey Tree, exactly 40 years later.

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The piece of literary history is for sale with Sotheby’s and estimated to make between £100,000 and £150,000 on July 10, during their English literature, history, science, children’s books and illustrations sale in London, a sale which includes four more of Shepard’s works.

Other illustrations included in the sale show Christopher Robin and Pooh bear participating in a game of Pooh sticks, Pooh and friends looking down into a river, Eeyore going for a swim and Christopher and Pooh‘s final goodbye as they walk through the woods in Milne’s final book.

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The ink drawings, none of which have been seen for the last 50 years, have a combined estimate of between £310,000 and £440,000 and will all be sold at the same times at the original map.