Auctions | November 9, 2015

Winnie the Pooh, Wine Waiter, at Bonhams

Shepard Winnie the Pooh cropped_zpsuobq2kvn.jpg

A charming sketch by Winnie the Pooh illustrator E. H. Shepard, dashed off as a farewell gift to the steward who had served at his table on a voyage to Australia over Christmas and New Year 1967/68, is included in Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in London on 11 November.  It is estimated at £8,000-12,000. 

The sketch, marked table 32 and signed by Shepard’s fellow diners, shows Winnie the Pooh carrying a gigantic bottle of wine and Piglet loaded down with dishes trotting around behind.  Shepard drew it on the back of the menu for the Landfall Dinner marking the arrival of the SS Arcadia in Sydney on 14 January 1968 at the end of the voyage.

The sketch is just one of several original illustrations in the sale connected with children’s literature. The artwork for the cover of the 1970 Daily Express Annual featuring Rupert Bear and chums on a snowy mountain is estimated at £2,000-4,000 and two original pen and ink drawings by Ronald Searle for The Compleet Molesworth - reflections on the trials of life by the prep-school boy, forever in scrapes, he invented with Geoffrey Willans in the 1950s - at £600-800.  

Margaret Tempest’s illustrations for Alison Uttley’s Little Grey Rabbit books were an integral part of their appeal. Watercolour illustrations for Little Grey Rabbit’s Washing-day-1942 (£1,500-2,000); Little Grey Rabbit’s Christmas-1936 and the very first book, The Squirrel, the Hare and the Little Grey Rabbit-1929 (£4,000-5,000) are included in the sale. 

Bonhams head of books Matthew Haley said, “Children’s literature has an enduring popularity and often features in our sales and we are fortunate this time to have such a strong and wide selection of original illustrations of some much-loved characters.”

Image: E. H. Shepard, an original sketch of Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet, estimate £8,000 - 12,000.