I have to admit it, albeit abashedly: I have not read Winnie-the-Pooh, author AA Milne's collection of stories from the 1920s, or watched the Disney-adapted films. And yet, show me a picture of the jolly teddy bear - rendered in a red half-sleeved tee in animation form - or reference "Pooh bear" in conversation, and I'll instantly know what, or rather whom, you're talking about. Such is the power of classic literature: its beloved characters not only fascinate generations of readers (and, in this case, viewers), but also seep into the subconscious of society at large.
Said enamoured generations can now bid for a rather rare piece of literary memorabilia: the original drawing of the Hundred Acre Wood, where Pooh and his friends, Piglet, Tigger, Rabbit, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo and Christopher Robin, embarked upon many an adventure (see video below for more details).
This was the map that has been reproduced scores of times on the opening end-papers of the book, including the 1926 original, as Philip Errington, a senior specialist at Sotheby's Department of Printed Books and Manuscripts, explains to The National.
The sale of the sketch, by British illustrator EH Shepard, has been timed to coincide with new film Christoper Robin, directed by Marc Forster and scheduled for an August release. Named after Milne's son, Christopher Robin is the boy who befriends Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood.
The map will be offered alongside four original Winnie-the-Pooh illustrations by Shepard.
Shepard is also famed for creating Mole, Rat, Toad and Badger for Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, (which I have, fortunately, read).
The Hundred Acre Wood map was sketched in 1926, and has remained unseen, as it was part of a private collection, for nearly 50 years. It is estimated to sell at auction for between £100,000 and £150,000 (up to Dh725,000).
Sotheby's English Literature, History, Science, Children's Books and Illustrations auction, on July 10, will also include letters and memorabilia signed by and belonging to Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi and Charles Darwin; and rare editions of books by Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Graham Greene, PG Wodehouse and William Shakespeare.