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12th Mar 2021
Winnie The Pooh first edition 1

A rare first edition of A.A.Milne’s ‘Winne-The-Pooh’ is set to go under the hammer in Norfolk next week – with interest already shown in the book from as far afield as Japan.

The hardback book with gilt titles was published in 1926, costing 7s 6d, but experts at Keys Auctioneers in Aylsham have put a conservative pre-sale estimate of £200-£250 – but say it could sell for much more.

The first edition is in stunning condition, especially considering so many children’s books become well-worn with age.

“This is in remarkably good condition for a children’s book which is nearly 100 years old,” said Andrew Lyndsay-Bullock, head of books at Keys. 

“You would normally expect to see the gilt on the outside rubbed off, fingerprints from where children had enjoyed the book over the years, and even inscriptions inside the cover.  This example has none of that – it is almost as if it has barely been read.

“Winne-The-Pooh has a wide appeal right around the world, and we have already had interest in this volume from as far afield as Japan.”

The book goes under the hammer on Friday 19th March, as part of a 274 lot Book and Ephemera Sale.  Other highlights include:

  • A de luxe first edition of J.R.R.Tolkein’s ‘The Hobbit’, published in 1976
  • A first edition of L.P.Hartley’s ‘The Go Between’, published in 1953
  • A first edition of Philip Larkin’s ‘The Whitsun Weddings’, published in 1964
  • A first edition of Richmal Crompton’s ‘William’s Television Show’, published in 1958

Keys Books and Ephemera Sale takes place on Friday 19th March from 10.30am, on Keys’ live online bidding platform KeysLive, which can be found at bid.keysauctions.co.uk, where there is also a full online catalogue.


‘Winne-The-Pooh’ was the first volume of stories about the eponymous bear, written by A.A.Milne and illustrated by E.H.Shepard.  It was an instant success, and was followed by ‘The House At Pooh Corner’ in 1928.

The books have remained in the bestseller lists ever since, and were adapted by Walt Disney into the 1966 film Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree.  The books have been translated into many different languages, including Latin and Esperanto.

Milne himself was born in 1882, and counted amongst his schoolteachers H.G.Wells.  As well as his literary skills, he was a gifted amateur cricketer, and played in an authors’ team alongside J.M.Barrie. P.G.Wodehouse and Arthur Conan Doyle.