The first drawing of Winnie the Pooh with Christopher Robin has set a new auction record at Sotheby's The Art of Illustration - From the Collection of Michael Winner auction, which was held yesterday (December 12) in London.
Children's illustrations have proved to be one of the best investments around
Entitled Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump…, the original artwork sold for £139,250 ($224,505), bringing an increase on estimate of 39.2%. It is now the most valuable EH Shepard work ever sold at auction, topping the previous $194,000 world record - held by another drawing of Winnie the Pooh - by 15.7%.
In total, film director Michael Winner's remarkable collection realised £1.1m ($1.8), having been hailed as the finest single-owner collection of original book illustrations ever offered at auction.
He commented: "It was many years ago that I went into an old bookshop in the Charing Cross Road [London]; there I saw two paintings by Arthur Rackham which I found utterly memorable. They had a quality which was unique. From then on I became a collector: I was hooked."
Possibly the best-loved illustration in a children's book, the first outing of EH Shepard's famous bear came in 1926, when AA Milne released his Winnie the Pooh. Instrumental to the book's success, Shepard's legendary work can also be seen in Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, with the majority of his original drawings now housed at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Oxford's Bodleian Library.
Find out why illustrations are hailed as the best investment of the art world. We also have an EH Shepard market update available, which explains why the artist's beloved work has such an enduring appeal to collectors and investors alike.
Ready to join this thriving market? Paul Fraser Collectibles is currently offering a brilliant signed drawing of Winnie the Pooh clutching his honey pot, as well as a great example of Shepard's Punch magazine political cartoons.