Auction  July 11, 2018  Chandra Noyes

Map of the Hundred Acre Wood Breaks Auction Records

© Egmont, reproduced with permission from the Shephard Trust

Line block print, hand colored by E.H. Shephard, 1970, from Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic

At their auction of English Literature, History, Science, Children’s Books and Illustrations yesterday, Sotheby’s broke auction records with the sale of the Original Map of the Hundred Acre Wood. A testament to the timeless of the Winnie-the-Pooh books, and the lasting impact of the work of illustrator E.H. Shephard, the drawing sold for $570,000, the highest price ever paid for a book illustration at auction.

Photo Howard Coster, Courtesy the High

A.A. Milne and Christopher Robin, from Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic

E.H. Shephard drew the map in collaboration with author A.A. Milne in 1926, as if Christopher Robin himself had drawn it ("Drawn by me and Mr Shepard helpd" is written across the bottom), and includes child-like misspellings. The map includes all the familiar places of the Hundred Acre Wood, the character’s homes and favorite playplaces. Used as the end papers for Winnie-the-Pooh, the map established the style in which Shephard would draw the rest of the book’s illustrations. While two other versions of the map exist, this is the final complete version used by the publisher. It has been in private hands since it’s sale by the artist in 1926.
 

The Victoria & Albert Museum owns another copy of the map, along with other other related materials that comprise their exhibition Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic. Currently on view at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the exhibition tracks the history of the publication of the book and the influence it has had on pop-culture and on generations of children. Original drawings, photographs, cherished memorabilia, and animations of Shephard’s drawings bring the book to life in the exhibition. Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic is in view at the High through September 2.

About the Author

Chandra Noyes

Chandra is managing editor for Art & Object.

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