Our much-loved childhood friend Winnie-the-Pooh always knew how to enrich our lives with pearls of wisdom, like: “You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
And to that, you would need to consult a map, because you must “Always watch where you are going. Otherwise, you may step on a piece of the Forest that was left out by mistake.” And how do you determine which pieces of the Forest are legit? You look them up in the original Hundred Acre Wood map created by illustrator E.H. Shepard, of course!
The map in question, seen above, is being put up for auction by Sotheby’s on July 10 in London. Made available to the public for the first time in almost 50 years, the Hundred Acre Wood map is the memorable backdrop to author-philosopher A.A. Milne’s cherished fictional world of Christopher Robin and his woodland friends.
If you spot some misspellings like “Nice for Pikniks” and “Big Stones and Rox” on the map, it’s because that’s exactly how Milne intended this map to be – mischievous. You can also find delightfully recognizable locations like “Pooh Trap for Heffalumps” and the famous spot “where the Woozle wasn’t” on the map.
Sotheby’s is hailing the creation as “probably the most famous map in English literature”. The auction house expects the sketch to be scooped up by a collector for £100,000-150,000. Selling alongside the Hundred Acre Wood map are four more original Winnie-the-Pooh sketches by Shepard that have also remained hidden from public eye for almost five decades. Collectively, this bundle could fetch anywhere between £310,000 and £440,000 for Sotheby’s.
The auction house first sold the Hundred Acre Wood map in 1968, when it fetched £650. Two years later, Sotheby’s sold it again to a private collector for £1,700.