Land Rover From \'Peter Rabbit\' To Hop On The Auction Block

  • Sketch by E.H. Shepard will be seen for the first time in 90 years
  • Ink drawing shows Christopher Robin asleep with Pooh on his bed
  • Went on to become the most recognisable bear in the world

By Steve Robson

Published: 08:05 BST, 26 June 2013 | Updated: 16:28 BST, 26 June 2013

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The first-ever sketch of children's favourites Winnie-the-Pooh and Christopher Robin by famed illustrator E.H. Shepard has come to light for the first time in 90 years.

The ink drawing accompanied Pooh author A.A. Milne's poem 'Vespers' and shows Christopher Robin asleep in bed with a teddy bear lying on his back on the quilt.

It is part of a set of eight original Pooh drawings from private collections around the world tipped to fetch more than £600,000 at auction.

Beautiful: This ink drawing of Christopher Robin asleep with Pooh lying on his bed is among the collection

Beautiful: This ink drawing of Christopher Robin asleep with Pooh lying on his bed is among the collection

Unique: The sketches have not been seen since they were sketched by E.H. Shephard in 1924

Unique: The sketches have not been seen since they were sketched by E.H. Shepard in 1924

One other original Shepard illustration is the iconic 1926 work from Winnie-the-Pooh of Christopher Robin pulling his bear up the stairs by its leg.

An almost-identical sketch showing the boy dragging Pooh down the stairs that was owned by the late film director Michael Winner sold last December for £139,250.

Iconic: Another of the sketches shows poor Pooh being dragged by one leg up the stairs

Iconic: Another of the sketches shows poor Pooh being dragged by one leg up the stairs

The price for the reverse picture is now expected to rival that price.

A preparatory sketch map of One Hundred Acre Wood, where Winnie-the-Pooh lived with Eeyore, Piglet, Rabbit, Tigger, Kanga and Roo, is also tipped to sell for £80,000.

The map has Shephard's revised captions for locations in the wood, such as 'Eeyore's Pasture Land' which became 'Eeyore's Gloomy Place.'

It went on to appear in the endpapers of the first volume of the Winnie-the-Pooh books published in 1926.

'Vespers' was the final poem of Milne's 1924 book' When We Were Very Young', the first book Shephard illustrated for the writer.

The poem included the famous lines 'Hush! Hush! Whisper who dares! Christopher Robin is saying his prayers.'

The 1.8ins by 4.7ins sketch, titled 'And I shut my eyes and I curl up small', was the first time young Christopher Robin and his toy bear Winnie-the-Pooh were drawn together.

Shepard, who also illustrated The Wind in the Willows, sold the sketch in 1924 to a private collector who has treasured it ever since.

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It is now being sold with along side another drawing from 'Vespers' of Christopher Robin kneeling at his bed praying. They have a joint pre-sale estimate of £60,000.

Talent: Ernest Shepard who illustrated Wind in the Willows and Winnie the Pooh and the Christopher Robin books

Talent: Ernest Shepard who illustrated Wind in the Willows, Winnie the Pooh and the Christopher Robin books

Dr Philip Errington, books and manuscripts specialist at auctioneers Sotheby's, said: 'These are Shepard's original Winnie-the-Pooh illustrations that were then passed on to the publishers.

'Winnie-the-Pooh has a place in all our hearts and is up there with Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan as one of the fundamental children's stories.

'There is not a child or adult who wouldn't recognise Winnie-the-Pooh and Christopher Robin - and these are the originals.

'The drawings from Vespers are particularly fascinating because it is the first time we are introduced to Christopher Robin and lying on the end of his bed is a bear.

Charming: This map sketches out One Hundred Acre Wood where Pooh lived with Rabbit, Eeyore, Piglet, Tigger Kanga and Roo

Charming: This map sketches out One Hundred Acre Wood where Pooh lived with Rabbit, Eeyore, Piglet, Tigger Kanga and Roo

The sketch of Christopher Robin praying at his bedside accompanied A.A. Milne's poem Vespers E.H. Shephard also illustrated The Wind and The Willows

Inspired: The drawing of Christopher Robin praying, left, accompanied A.A. Milne's famous poem 'Vespers'. Right, the bear which has gone on to become recognised by children around the world

'They have not come up for auction since Shepard himself sold them in 1924. Without Vespers there would not have been Winnie-the-Pooh.

'The interest in Winnie-the-Pooh is worldwide and we expect these illustrations to be very popular auction items.'

Londoner Shepard was made an OBE in 1972 in recognition of his illustrations and died on March 24, 1976, aged 96.

The Sotheby's auction is being held on July 10 in London.

Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2348692/Charming-sketches-Winnie-Pooh-tipped-fetch-600-000-auction.html

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