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    Winnie the Pooh map sells at auction for record-breaking £430,000

    The original map of Winnie the Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood has set a world record for book illustrations sold at auction after it was bought for £430,000.
    Sotheby’s described the 1926 sketch, by English artist and book illustrator EH Shepard, as “possibly the most famous map in children’s literature”.
     
    It sets out the world of Winnie the Pooh and captures the unique personalities of AA Milne’s much loved characters.
    Eeyore is depicted with his head hanging the grass, while Roo bounces towards the “sandy pit” where he plays.
     
    A solitary Winnie the Pooh sits looking out over the wood to his friend, Christopher Robin, who stands 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.
    Hundred Acre Wood was inspired by Ashdown Forest in East Sussex.
    In 1925, AA Milne bought Cotchford Farm on the edge of the forest and he soon started publishing stories about the beloved bear.
    The map recently emerged for the first time in almost 50 years and was featured in Sotheby’s English Literature, History, Science, Children’s Books and Illustrations sale.
     
    Experts estimated it would fetch between £100,000 and £150,000 – but after worldwide attention it ended up selling for £430,000.
    This beat the previous record for any book illustration of £314,500, set at Sotheby’s in December 2014 for the original EH Shepard illustration of the game Poohsticks, which featured in AA Milne’s book The House At Pooh Corner.
    “I suspect that there isn’t a single child who wouldn’t instantly recognise this wonderful depiction of The Hundred Acre Wood,” said Dr Philip W Errington, director of the Department of Printed Books and Manuscripts at Sotheby’s. “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.”
    Featured on the opening end-papers of the original 1926 book, the sketch introduces readers to the 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.
     
    The map was offered alongside four further original Winnie the Pooh illustrations by EH Shepard, none of which had been seen for almost 50 years.
    In total, the map and other illustrations sold for a combined £917,500.

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