Rare Book Monthly

Articles - August - 2018 Issue

Bear Facts

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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

  • <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>April Auction<br>April 4, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> MITCHELL, John (1711-1768). A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America. Copperplate engraving with original hand color. London, 1755. $250,000 to $350,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> AUDUBON, John James (1785 - 1851). Brown Pelican (Standing), Plate 251. Aquatint engraving with original hand color. London, 1827-1838. $175,000 to $225,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> AUDUBON, John James (1785 - 1851). Fish Hawk or Osprey, Plate 81. Aquatint engraving with original hand color. London: 1827-1838. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>April Auction<br>April 4, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> GONZALES DE MENDOZA, Juan (1545 - 1618). <i>The Historie of the great and mightie kingdome of China…</i> London, 1588. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> VERBIEST, Ferdinand (1623-1688). [World Map] Kun-Yu Ch'uan-Tu. Engraved twelve sheet map with vertical sections joined to form six sheets. Korea, Seoul, c. 1860. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> SANGGI, Chong (1678-1752). Korean Atlas. Manuscript map on mulberry bark paper. C. 1750-1790. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>April Auction<br>April 4, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> AUDUBON, John James (1785 - 1851). Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Plate 66. Aquatint engraving with original hand color. London, 1827-1838. $80,000 to $120,000.
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    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> BENNETT, Lieut. William Pyt (d. in action, 1916). AN IMPORTANT AND APPARENTLY UNPUBLISHED SERIES OF GELATIN SILVER PHOTOGRAPHS OF LHASA AND TIBET TAKEN DURING THE CELEBRATED YOUNGHUSBAND MISSION OF 1904. $60,000 to $80,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Abraham Lincoln, <i>Emancipation Proclamation by the President of the United States,</i> pamphlet, 1862. $10,000 to $15,000.
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    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens & the persons who served him, 1866-1907. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Autograph book with inscriptions by orators Moses Roper & Peter Williams, 1821-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
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    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br>E. Simms Campbell, <i>A Night-Club Map of Harlem,</i> in inaugural issue of Manhattan, 1933. $10,000 to $15,000.
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    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> <i>March For Freedom Now!,</i> poster for the 1960 Republican Convention. $4,000 to $6,000.

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