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'Poohsticks' Drawing Sets Auction Record

December 14, 2014

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"Poohsticks" means big bucks.

A drawing of the iconic pairing of Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, and Christopher Robin playing the game in A.A. Milne's book The House at Pooh Corner sold at auction for nearly $500,000.

The Sotheby's auction brought in $493,000 for the drawing, done by illustrator E.H. Shepard in 1928. The original drawing had been for 40 years in a private colleciton.

The auction house said that the closing price was the highest ever recorded for a book illustration. The pre-auction estimate had been up to $270,000.

The ink image, one of the most well-known of those to feature the lovable bear, appeared in the closing scene of Chapter Six of Milne's second Pooh book. Milne and Shepard collaborated on five books featuring Winnie the Pooh.

A pencil drawing of the image sold at auction in 2013 for $92,090.

The image shows Pooh, Piglet, and Christopher Robin leaning over a bridge to track the progress of sticks dropped into the stream from the other side of the bridge.

Milne took inspiration for the scene from his own experience. His hometown of Ashdown Forest is the site of Posingford Bridge, the one featured in the image. Milne's son Christopher restored the bridge in the 1970s and rebuilt it in 1999. It is now called Poohsticks Bridge.

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