The auction house at Pooh corner – rare original illustrations to sell at Bonhams in London

Two rare illustrations featuring the adventures of A.A. Milne’s much-loved creation, Winnie-the-Pooh by Ernest H. Shepard (1879 – 1976), are to go under the hammer at Bonhams in London later this month. ‘Tigers don’t like honey’ and ‘Pooh visiting in Owl’s parlour’ are expected to fetch between £20,000 – 30,000 each at Bonhams’ Sale of Modern Pictures and Illustrations at Knightsbridge on 22 May 2007.

‘Tiggers don’t like honey,’ in coloured crayon and measuring 11 x 12 cm, was drawn as an illustration for the 1958 edition of The World of Pooh, but it was not included in the printed version. It remained part of the estate of the artist until it was acquired and exhibited by Sally Hunter Fine Art, and then bought by a private collector, who is selling it now at Bonhams.

The same collector has consigned ‘Pooh visiting in Owl’s parlour,’ in pen, ink and coloured pencil, to Bonhams’ sale. The picture measures 10.5 x 12 cm, and was published in the 1929 Methuen edition of Winnie-the-Pooh.

The sale also includes four studies by Shepard for Milne’s poem ‘Missing,’ which famously begins ‘Has anybody seen my mouse?’ and is estimated to fetch between £4,000 – 6,000. It had previously been in possession of Ann Faith Shepard, the artist’s daughter-in-law, before entering a private collection.

Further charming illustrations from favourite children’s books also feature in the sale, such as a scene from Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows ‘by Michael Foremnan for £400 – 600, a sketch of Captain Pugwash by John Ryan; and Dr Seuss’s Cat in the Hat for £1,500 – 2,000.