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

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ian Fleming, <i>Goldfinger,</i> first edition, inscribed to Sir Henry Cotton, MBE, London, 1959. Sold for $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Joseph Brant, Mohawk Chief, ALS, writing after pledging support to King George III against American rebels, 1776. Sold for a record $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Sonia Delaunay, <i>Ses Peintures</i> . . ., 20 pochoir plates, Paris, 1925. Sold for a record $13,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Diana, Princess of Wales, 6 autograph letters signed to British <i>Vogue</i> editor, 1989-92. Sold for $10,400.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alexander Hamilton, ALS, as Secretary of the Treasury covering costs of the new U.S. Mint, 1793. Sold for $12,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Benjamin Graham & David L. Dodd, <i>Security Analysis,</i> first edition, inscribed by Graham to a Wall Street trader, NY, 1934. Sold for $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> George Barbier & François-Louis Schmied, <i>Personnages de Comédie,</i> Paris, 1922. Sold for $9,375.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alphonse Mucha, <i>Ilsée, Princesse de Tripoli,</i> Paris, 1897. Sold for a record $13,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ralph Waldo Emerson, <i>The Dial,</i> first edition of the reconstituted issue, Emerson’s copy with inscriptions, Cincinnati, 1860. Sold for a record $3,250.
  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.
  • <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 14. [CRIMEAN WAR] HAMLEY. <i>The Story of the Campaign of Sebastopol.</i> 1855. £150 to £200
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 17. JONGH & D'ALMEIDA. <i>L’armee Russe...</i> c.1898. Colour plates and many illustrations. £500 to £600
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 18. [RUSSIA] LE PRINCE. <i>Oeuvres. 1782.</i> Rare folio format with 80 etchings and 74 aquatints. £4000 to £6000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 21. [RUSSIA] MORNAY. Set of 8 hand-coloured aquatints of carriages, sleighs and occupants. c.1825. £1200 to £1800
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 33. BOWDICH. <i>Excursions in Madeira and Porto Santo.</i> 1825. A fine copy. £800 to £1200
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 37. QUIN. <i>An Historical Atlas.</i> 1836. 2nd edn, 21 hand-coloured maps revealing civilisation. £800 to £1200
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 39. LE BRUN. <i>Voyages [...] par la Moscovie, en Perse...</i> 1718. 300+ engravings, panorama. £4500 to £5500
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 48. BRIERLY. <i>The English and French fleets in the Baltic.</i> 1855. Colour lithographs. £7000 to £9000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 60. DELLA VALLE. <i>Reise Beschreibung... in Turckey, Egypten, Palestina[...].</i> 1674. £1500 to £2000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 77. MURRAY, Mrs. Watercolour Album of Heaths. c.1860. 55 original watercolours. £750 to £1000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 91. ADDISON. <i>Works...</i> 1721. 4 vols, large paper copy, English red morocco. £2500 to £3500
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 96. HOLBEIN. Imitations of original drawings. 1792-1800. Exceptional copy. £4000 to £6000

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