Pooh and Piglet Delivering Parcels by EH Shepard, £30,000 at Roseberys.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

He did, however, decide to use him to illustrate a book of poems called When We Were Very Young (1924) and the rest is history.

Shepard did come to resent “that silly old bear” as he felt that the public’s preoccupation with Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends overshadowed all his other work.

However, after selling many of his original drawings through the Sporting Gallery in the 1920s he was often persuaded to revisit some of his much-loved characters, either for friends and family or on commission, and in the 1950s-60s produced a number of replica drawings for selling exhibitions.

Parcel delivery

The 4 x 5in (10 x 14cm) ink on paper offered by Roseberys (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) on September 12 was signed and dated lower right Oct 1st, 1931.

A winter scene of Pooh and Piglet Delivering Parcels, it was last at auction at Sotheby’s in March 1970 when it was bought by Elaine Moss (1924-2020).

She, too, was an important figure in children’s books, working variously as an adviser, reviewer, editor and writer. From the 1970s, she was the selector for the National Book League’s Children’s Books of the Year awards.

Offered at the auction in West Norwood, south London, by descent with a guide of £20,000- 40,000, it took the mid estimate of £30,000.

Sotheby’s holds many of the records for EH Shepard illustrations having sold Poohsticks Bridge, 1928, which featured in The House at Pooh Corner, for £260,000 in 2014. In July 2018 the original map of The Hundred Acre Wood from the opening endpapers of the 1926 first edition of Winnie-the-Pooh took £350,000, having last sold in 1970 for £1700.

Prior to that, an 1890s watercolour illustration by Beatrix Potter for the final scene from the Rabbit Christmas Party had held the record for a children’s book illustration (£240,000 in 2008).


Page torn from an autograph book with inscription Miss B. Potter, sold attributed to rather than fully autograph, £4000 at Roseberys.

Also purchased by Moss at Sotheby’s in 1970 was a page torn from an autograph book painted in pen and ink and watercolour with three vignettes of a bunny rabbit with a stoneware jug.

Bearing the inscription under mount Miss B. Potter, it was offered by Roseberys as an attributed rather than a fully autographed work and it took £4000.