Tuesday - 22 July 2014

Pooh, Piglet and Toad the washerwoman

30 June 2003Written by ATG Reporter

A watercolour and drawings sale held by Bonhams on June 10 included a small group of E.H. Shepard illustrations from the estate of the late Jean Ames, who as Jean Gourlay had befriended the artist during the late 1930s and early 1940s, prior to his second marriage, and though the saleroom was non-committal on the matter, it is possible that these versions were specially made by Shepard for Miss Ames.

Above right: this ink and watercolour wash version of a drawing of Pooh sitting on a stone in mid-stream and singing, an illustration that appears in the chapter ‘Tiggers don’t climb trees’ in The House at Pooh Corner, 1928, was sold at £18,000. From the same source – and indeed the same chapter of the book – came an ink and green wash drawing of Piglet digging a hole with a shovel,“I’m planting a haycorn Pooh so that it can grow up into an oak tree”, which sold at £6500.

The pair of drawings relating to the chapter in Wind of the Willows in which Toad dresses up as a washerwoman to escape from prison, “You’re the very image of her”, above centre, sold at £6000, while “Look here I’ve left my purse behind”, above right, in which Toad runs into trouble whilst trying to catch a train, sold at £7500. The Wind in the Willows drawings are all signed with the artist’s initials, the House at Pooh Corner drawings are unsigned but inscribed to verso by Shepard.

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