Winnie the Pooh and Adam Smith triumph at Sotheby's auction

Sotheby's sale of English Literature, History, Children's Books and Illustrations raised a total of £771,788 on Thursday (July 15).

The rich children's and illustrated section included an exceptional collection of chapbooks and a fine E  H Shepard drawing of Pooh Bear and Christopher Robin.

EH Shepard Christopher Robin Winnie the Pooh Stairs
EH Shepard's drawing to illustrate Us Two

The ink drawing is the original version of one which appears on page 35 of Now We Are Six by A  A Milne to accompany the poem Us Two:

"So wherever I am, there's always Pooh,

There's always Pooh and Me.

'What would I do?' I said to Pooh,

'If it wasn't for you,' and Pooh said: 'True,

It isn't much fun for One, but Two

Can stick together,' says Pooh, says he.

'That's how it is,' says Pooh."

The drawing was estimated at £45,000-55,000. Not for the first time, however, bidders valued the Shepard drawing higher and it squeaked past its estimate range to reach £55,250. Other drawings by Shepard and his fellow Punch cartoonist John Tenniel (of Alice in Wonderland fame) also sold well.

A less soothing but more important meditation on the relations between individuals narrowly beat it to top lot status. A first edition of free market champion Adam Smith's classic work An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations also cleared its £30,000-50,000 listing as one bidder allowed £61,250 of their wealth to flow towards it.

Titanic first class deck plan
Titanic first class deck plan
(Click to enlarge)

Also appearing in the sale was a rather haunting piece of memorabilia: the deck plan for first class accommodation on the Titanic. Offered at £10,000-12,000, it achieved £13,750.

Collectors of rare books and manuscripts will now be looking forward to Dominic Winter's auction on July 21.


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