Rare Book Monthly

Articles - August - 2018 Issue

Bear Facts

Recently the original map of Winnie-the-Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood by E. H. Shepard was sold for $570,137 [BP 430,000].  Created in 1924, It was sold 49 years ago by Sotheby’s in London for BP650 and again recently on the 99th, this time for BP430,000 for a compounded rate of return of 14.17% for each of its 49 years.  Nice work if you were the buyer... in 1968.  So, what is it that has changed the market’s perspective?    Is it just that old books and artwork almost always increase in value or is there something special going on here?  Let’s start with Sotheby’s description.

 

PROBABLY THE MOST FAMOUS MAP IN ENGLISH LANGUAGETHIS ILLUSTRATION HAS BEEN IN PRIVATE COLLECTION FOR ALMOST FIVE DECADES.  Once Milnme had created the literary landscape of the hundred acre wood and surrounding features, it was Shepard ho firmly established the visual setting.  With typical Shepard humour the map is supposed to be the work of Christopher Robin (“Drawn by me and Mr. Shepard helpd”) and includes a number of Christopher Robin’s own spellings (“pikniks”, “raletions” and “rox”.)  The map was reproduced on the endpapers of Winnie-the Pooh and, at least for Shepard, established a defi9nite visual style.  In 1931 when Shepard worked on The Wind in the Willows his first innovation was to introduce a map of the locality on the endpapers.  Both maps, of course, pre-date those in Tolkien’s The Hobbit.  Just as Shepard’s map is the means of entry to the book, it is also the first animated sequence in the Disney film (Winnie-the-Pooh and the Honey Tree, 1966).  Shepard produced at least two preliminary drawings for the map (one in the collection of the V & A Museum and an earlier sketch sold in these rooms, 17 December 2008).  This, the original as used by the publishers, was sold in these rooms, 17 December 2008).  This, the original as used by the publishers, was sold by Shepard in his exhibition at The Sporting Gallery, 26 November – 21 December 1926.  It was given the title, in the exhibition catalogue, as simply “Map of Pooh’s Country”.  Below the mount Shepard has added the caption “Winnie-the-Pooh.  Map for end papers”.  The reverse of the board also notes “Map for End Papers”.

 

Looking at all old and rare books in the Rare Book Hub Transaction Database that brought at auction $650 in 1968, they have on average increased in value to $8,828 today, a nice annual increase of 5.47% compounded, but hardly the mind-bending 14.17% this incandescent map has.

 

The Pooh stories have aged well, very well in fact, and this map, an important original illustration of the series, has become an icon.  So, if you loved these stories and have had money to burn, what nicer thing to have on your wall than this important, easily identifiable original illustration.

 

For five generations Winnie-the-Pooh has been required listening if not reading for a large audience of English speakers and slowly this children’s tale has grown in stature as generation after generation have told and retold the Pooh stories.  As luck would have it, today, many of those once children have grown into the women and men that collect and many collect material that resonated with them when they are small.

 

For them, this is a rare gem and a keeper.

 

The future of this collectible will rise and fall with interest in the Pooh series.  At the recent Comic-Con in San Diego books and artwork have had their place but today’s youth seems far more taken with interactive electronics and comic book and movie impersonation.  As to how many visitors came dressed as Winnie-the-Pooh I suspect not many for the timeless characters of A. A. Milne, while aging well, more resonate with those of a certain age who now buys their bus tickets for half-price and their icons for six figures.


Posted On: 2018-08-01 05:38
User Name: battledore

This original published map of the Hundred Acre Woods from the 1926 endpapers of WINNIE is among the most iconic recognizable images from any 20th century children's book. As I had discussed with our client, who bid over the telephone and at £320,000 hammer he was the underbidder, hanging on his wall at home, anyone who might visit would just need a glimpse of the map from a distance to recognize what it is (assuming they had an educated childhood). It has been rumored that the map was actually purchased by a member of the Royal Family as a gift to the Royal Nursery for the children of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.


Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Manuscript Masterpieces from the Schøyen Collection
    London auction, 11 June
    BROWSE NOW
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Holkham Hebrew Bible. In Hebrew, decorated manuscript on vellum [Toledo, 2nd quarter 13th century]. £1,500,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Crosby-Schøyen Codex. In Coptic, manuscript on papyrus [Upper Egypt, middle 3rd century / 4th century]. £2,000,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Geraardsbergen Bible. In Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Southern Netherlands, late 12th century]. £700,000–1,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now : Jean de Courcy (fl. 1420). The Chronique de la Bouquechardiere. In French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1480]. £200,000–300,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The ‘Catherine de Medici’ Hours. In Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1485]. £120,000–180,000
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
  • Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions