A lost original drawing by the well known illustrator E H Shepard of Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet standing beneath Owl’s house, staring at a watch, is to go under the hammer at Sotheby’s. The illustration is an outtake, unused in the famous series of books. It will be offered for sale carrying an estimate of £50,000.
The 90 year old drawing, was created for one of four A. A. Milne books either, Winnie-the-Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner, When We Were Very Young or Now We Are Six published from 1924 to 1928.
The sketch was in the private collection of the artist and it was not donated to the University of Surrey which holds the E.H. Shepard Archive. The drawing was given by Shepard’s wife Norah to the composer Julian Slade to mark the West End opening night of his musical based on the famous character. The drawing measures 9in by 9in and will be auctioned at Sotheby’s in London on Tuesday.
Dr Philip Errington, from Sotheby’s, said: “It is a particular thrill to see a fine and early contemporary drawing by Shepard which is unknown. “The standard illustrations are known throughout the world but this is one from the same period that, for an unknown reason, never made it into the book.
Dr Phillip Errington of Sotheby’s said;“The Slade family story is that Veronica Flint-Shipman, who commissioned the musical, approached Mrs Shephard. Mrs Shepard said she didn’t have any Pooh illustrations but then a few days later she discovered this piece in a drawer. “It was simply something buried away and forgotten. “The quality is in no doubt: it is a wonderful piece with Shepard’s flair for the characters’ personalities springing from the drawing.”