LONDON—The adventures of the honey-loving bear “Winnie the Pooh” have captivated children and their parents for nearly 100 years. Fans now have a chance to be a central part of Pooh’s history when a rural bridge in southern England goes up for auction next week.
A.A. Milne, author of the hugely popular Pooh series of books, often played with his son Christopher Robin on the bridge in the 1920s. It became a regular setting for the adventures of Pooh and his friends in the series that began in 1926.
James Rylands of Summer Place Auctions said, “Putting it up at auction is one of the biggest opportunities for people around the world to reach out and buy it and put it in a museum.” .
Rylands described the bridge as “one of the most important iconic literary objects” and hoped it could go for £250,000, well beyond the £40,000 to 60,000 estimate placed at Tuesday’s auction.
“When you really talk about history and add the emotions and joy that ‘Winnie the Pooh’ has brought to generations as children and adults over the years, it’s very hard to put a price on it,” Rylands said. said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it fetches a quarter million pounds.”
The bridge, originally called Possingford Bridge, was built around 1907 and was officially renamed Poohsticks Bridge in 1997 by the late author’s son, whose toy animals were the basis of the Pooh series.
It was removed in 1999 after being damaged by visitors and replaced by a new structure funded largely by the Disney Corporation.
The original bridge was dismantled and stored at Ashdown Forest Centre, in the southern county of East Sussex, until recently granted permission by the local parish council to be restored and salvaged. The bridge, which measures 8.87 m long and 4.5 m wide (29 ft by 15 ft), has now been completely restored, using local oak to make up for any missing elements.
The auction coincides with the centenary of Pooh’s arrival in the world when Christopher Robin received a fluffy teddy bear from luxury department store Harrods on his first birthday.
Rylands said there is interest from around the world, but expects the bridge to remain local.
“I hope it stays in Sussex because it clearly has a lot of relevance to the terrain,” he said. “But if it ends up in the United States or indeed Japan, I have no doubt it will be a little loved there as well.”
by Khadija Kothia
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times