July 16, 2018
A Winnie-the-Pooh illustration has sold for more than any other book illustration ever
by Stephanie DeLuca
One lucky person will never get lost in the Hundred Acre Woods: a hand-drawn illustrated map of Winnie-the-Pooh’s hometown has been purchased, with the very special distinction of being the most expensive book illustration ever sold at auction, according to Connie Suggitt at Guinness World Records.
The map was sold in London by Sotheby’s for £430,000 ($570,000) — three times the expected sale price, beating the previous record by over £100,000. Someone reached deep into the honey pot for this one.
The illustration, titled “Original Map of the Hundred Acre Wood,” was drawn in 1926 by Ernest Howard Shepard for the endpapers of A.A. Milne’s book Winnie-the-Pooh. Christopher Robin, the book’s young hero, takes credit for Shepard’s map; the illustration is signed “Drawn by me and Mr. Shepard helpd.”
Shepard is best known as the illustrator of the Winnie-the-Pooh books and The Wind in the Willows. His illustrations are apparently much beloved and highly valued: the record for this particular category was previously held by a drawing Shepard did of Pooh and Christopher Robin playing Poohsticks. It sold for £314,500.
Winnie-the-Pooh and lots of money too.
Stephanie DeLuca is the director of publicity at Melville House.