Winnie the Pooh drawing fetches £314,500 at auction

image copyrightPA
image captionThe illustration entitled 'For a long time they looked at the river beneath them' is set in chapter six of the second Milne book.

One of the most famous images of Winnie the Pooh has sold for £314,500 at auction, three times its estimate.

EH Shepard's ink drawing of the bear playing Poohsticks with Piglet and Christopher Robin was published in 1928.

The illustration, which featured in AA Milne's second book, The House At Pooh Corner, had been in a private collection since the 1970s.

It formed part of Sotheby's sale of children's books.

The London auction also featured items from history, English literature and illustrations.

The famed drawing, entitled For a long time they looked at the river beneath them… is set in chapter six of the second Milne book, which was called "In which Pooh invents a new game and Eeyore joins in".

It was one of several Shepard illustrations up for auction.

A pencil drawing of the same scene sold at Sotheby's last year for £58,750.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionEH Shepard was made an OBE in recognition of his illustrations

The original wooden crossing on which the illustration is based, known as Posingford Bridge, is in AA Milne's hometown of Ashdown Forest in East Sussex.

The bridge fell into disrepair by the 1970s, but was restored and reopened by Christopher Milne, the author's son who inspired the character of Christopher Robin, in May 1979.

It was completely rebuilt in 1999.

Shepard and AA Milne worked together on four books - Winnie-the-Pooh (1926), The House at Pooh Corner (1928), a poem about the bear in verse book When We Were Very Young (1924), and Now We Are Six (1927).

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

He also illustrated the characters for Kenneth Grahame's The Wind In The Willows.

Other items for sale at the auction in London included classic children's works by Beatrix Potter, Mike Margolis and Arthur Rackham.

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