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.
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.
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.
- Learn how you can get pleasure and profit from rare books and manuscripts
- Click here for all the latest Art, Books & Manuscripts and Memorabilia news
Join our readers in 183 countries around the world - sign up for your free weekly Collectibles Newsletter today