Detail from copy of The House at Pooh Corner that Methuen issued in 1928s signed by both AA Milne and the illustrator, EH Shepard, £21,000 at Dominic Winter.

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Bid to £21,000 in a June 14-15 sale held by Dominic Winter (20/24% buyer’s premium) was one of just 20 copies on Japanese vellum of a limited, deluxe edition of AA Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner that Methuen issued in 1928.

Signed by both Milne and the book’s illustrator, EH Shepard, this very special copy was also inscribed by the former as a “wedding presentation copy for Priscilla, with love and best wishes from Blue, 21.xi.51” – see picture above.

‘Blue’ was Milne’s nickname among family and friends and the dedicatee was his neighbour Priscilla Lutyens (a great-niece of the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens), someone who for many years had helped by typing up his work.

One of Milne’s letters contains the words: “I should have sent the enclosed before but I wanted to be sure what the latest official rates were for a ‘High-Class-Typing-by-Oxford-trained-Amanuensis…’,” later adding, “…if you didn’t go running round the country marrying farmers, Heaven knows what we might have written next.”

That ‘Blue’ nickname, said the cataloguer, related not just to the colour of Milne’s eyes but perhaps also to his perpetual glum demeanour.

But on a brighter note, the money raised from the sale of this lot was to be donated to the Bristol Children’s Hospital.

First of the Five


Lotted with two other books from the ‘Famous Five’ series, this 1942 first of Enid Blyton’s Five on a Treasure Island sold at £2700 at Dominic Winter.

Children’s books on offer included a copy of the very first book in Enid Blyton’s ‘Famous Five’ series, a 1942 first of Five on a Treasure Island. Offered in company with 1941 firsts of Blyton’s The Adventurous Four and The Adventures of Mr Pink-Whistle, it brought a bid of £2700.


Mossyface by Willam Earle, or WE Johns as it really was, £3600 at Dominic Winter.

The earliest and rarest volume in a Biggles collection that ran to 30 or so lots was Mossyface, A Romance of the Air. In 1922, some 10 years before its appearance in more familiar book form, it was issued as a sixpenny ‘Weekly Telegraph Novel’, as the work of one William Earle.

The text block had worked loose from the wrappers, the staples having been removed, but it seems that this very copy, last seen at Bloomsbury Auctions in 2005, is the only example ever recorded at auction. It sold this time out at a mid-estimate £3600.


Enormous, eight-engine flying boats on the cover of The Black Peril by WE Johns. Sold for £3000 at Dominic Winter.

The other Biggles tale noted here is The Black Peril, a story by WE Johns issued by John Hamilton c.1936. In a bright, unrestored jacket, it sold for £3000.

Among the children’s books, a 1958 first of A Bear Called Paddington, the first of Michael Bond’s enormously successful Paddington tales, made £2600.


The spine shows some loss and damage but the elaborately decorated covers of this 1701 Holy Bible present a splendid example of the work of the binder Thomas Sedgley. Taking £13,000 at Dominic Winter, it was sold in aid of two churches, one in Gloucestershire and the other in Herefordshire.

Goad treasures

A collection of works was offered from the estate of the late Rosemary Goad (1928-2021), who joined Faber & Faber in 1953 as a typist and in 1970 became the first woman working within the company to join its board. This featured a scarce 1965 first issue of Seamus Heaney’s first separately printed poems – in fact Eleven Poems – that sold at £4800.

Other Goad treasures included a 1966 first of Heaney’s Death of a Naturalist, warmly inscribed to Charles Monteith, “…the best friend, guide and publisher I could have found”, which sold at £6000.

That same sum was bid for a lot combining warmly inscribed copies to Monteith of Heaney’s Door into the Dark of 1969 and Wintering Out of 1972.