Rare Winnie-the-Pooh drawing leads April 19 auction
SAN FRANCISCO – A rare Winnie-the-Pooh drawing highlights PBA Galleries‘ April 19 sale of Illustrated & Children’s Books, Fine Printing, Art & Photography, and Books sale. Three-hundred-and-fifty lots of striking and uncommon illustrated books and visual materials; finely printed works in limited editions, scarce children’s books and more come to auction from the collection of the late Fred Bennett. There are numerous books written by, designed, or with contributions by Merle Armitage; as well as books with illustrations by Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac and Kay Nielsen; and rare artists’ books. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
The top-estimated lot, an original ink and watercolor drawing, depicts a joyful Winne-the-Pooh and his friend Piglet. Beautifully drawn on card by E. H. Shepard, the original illustrator for A. A. Milne’s timeless series of stories of Christopher Robin and friends, this rare colored image of Pooh was not intended for publication. The illustrator rarely drew his most famous characters outside of his work for Milne, making the card especially desirable. In addition, Shepard hand-inscribed the work to his agent, Carter Brown. Estimate: $40,000-$60,000
One of only five sets of progressive proofs for Jean Charlot’s Picture Book of 32 original lithographs is offered with an original watercolor by the artist. One set of lithographs was divided among the edition in copies 1-32. The other four sets were bound in four volumes for the artist, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lynton R. Kistler and Merle Armitage. This offering is the set prepared for Armitage, a famed book designer, and is signed by Charlot at the front of each volume. The original watercolor appears at the front of the first volume and is hand-inscribed to Armitage by Charlot, and dated 1933. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000
Joel Peter Witkin’s The Maxims of Men disclose Their Hearts, one of only 40 numbered copies (total edition of 47), contains 15 original platinum prints. Housed in a tan silk-covered case, the two-volume set consists of one volume of text and a photographic reproduction of a Witkin journal, and a second larger volume with the prints, each signed by the photographer. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000
Another highlighted photographic work, Edward Weston: Nudes, by Charis Wilson, is accompanied with an original platinum photograph “Nude, 1920.” The photograph taken by Weston and printed by his son Cole is included, as issued, in this limited-edition collection of Edward Weston’s sensuous nudes with excerpts from The Daybooks and Letters. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000
From the Fine Press section of the sale are two featured lots. Taos Quartet by Merle Armitage is his account of D.H. Lawrence’s sojourn in Taos, New Mexico, as a guest of Mabel Dodge Luhan. This is one of only 16 copies of a book designed to be bound into the February 1951 issue of FLAIR and is inscribed by the author. Estimate: $2,500-$3,500.
Robinson Jeffers’ Poems is one of 310 copies printed by the Grabhorn Press with an original signed photograph by Ansel Adams as the frontispiece. It is signed by Jeffers on the limitation page and additionally inscribed by Jeffers to legendary Los Angeles bookseller Jake Zeitlin. A beautiful production, it includes initials printed in orange-red that were designed by Valenti Angelo. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000
A rare signed first edition of Andy Warhol’s Children’s Book is inscribed to John Fisher-Dann. Illustrated with classic Warhol outlines in bright colors, the book is also inscribed to Fisher-Dann’s parrot “Ernie” and is signed by Warhol on two other illustrations. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000. Also for children is the Arthur Rackham-illustrated Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen. Bound in the original full vellum, it contains 12 color plates and is one of 525 copies signed by Rackham. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000
The sale will begin at 11 a.m. Pacific Time / 2 p.m. Eastern Time. For more information, call PBA Galleries at 415-989-2665 or email email@example.com.