will offer an original unpublished Winnie the Pooh illustration by E H Shepard at Christies Interiors sale on 10 December 2013. Never before seen on the market, it is thought the illustration was intended as a title page or frontispiece for a Winnie the Pooh publication. Estimated to fetch between £50,000 and £70,000, Pooh and Piglet outside Owl's house features three of the best loved characters from AA Milnes books, showing Pooh and Piglet talking to each other, while Owl observes from above no doubt the talkative character is trying to squeeze a word in. The illustration is among 503 lots in the sale, which includes 47 illustrations.
James Richards, Specialist, Drawings and Watercolours at Christies commented: This highly finished drawing is everything one would wish to see in an E H Shepard illustration. We have three of the main characters including Pooh and Piglet who are wonderfully engaged with each other in the foreground. Above them is Owl, whose familiar tree house, which is such an important location within A A Milnes books, brings together the whole composition. Furthermore the incredible story of this drawing, having been bought directly from E H Shepards wife upon his death and having never been seen before on the open market adds to its importance. E H Shepard was extremely talented and his ability to bring to life A A Milnes well-loved characters means his work is greatly sought-after and I am sure will delight generations to come.
Pooh and Piglet outside Owl's house‟ comes to auction for the first time, having originally been purchased directly from E.H. Shepard's widow by Mrs Veronica Flint-Shipman, a theatre director. Mrs Flint-Shipman then presented the work, with additional commemorative plates, to Julian Slade to celebrate his 1970 adaptation for the stage of Winnie the Pooh, which ran at the Phoenix Theatre in London. Slade was a prolific English writer and composer of musicals during the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Best known for writing the record-breaking Salad Days, the longest running West End musical of the 1950s, Slades productions were renowned for their charming and light tone.