MILNE, ALAN ALEXANDER. 1882-1956. When We Were Very Young.  London: Methuen & Co., [1924].
Lot 105
MILNE, ALAN ALEXANDER. 1882-1956.
When We Were Very Young. London: Methuen & Co., [1924].
Sold for US$ 10,000 inc. premium

Voices of the 20th Century

16 Jun 2015, 13:00 EDT

New York

Lot Details
MILNE, ALAN ALEXANDER. 1882-1956. When We Were Very Young.  London: Methuen & Co., [1924]. MILNE, ALAN ALEXANDER. 1882-1956. When We Were Very Young.  London: Methuen & Co., [1924].
MILNE, ALAN ALEXANDER. 1882-1956.
When We Were Very Young. London: Methuen & Co., [1924].
Original blue cloth decorated in gilt, illustrated dust jacket. Custom folding chemise and quarter morocco slipcase. Newspaper portraits of Christopher Robin mounted to front pastedown and dedication page with offset to f.f.e.p. from the former, partial paperclip stain to f.f.e.p. and half-title, touch of wear to spine ends and corners, mild toning and wear to jacket.
WITH: MILNE, CHRISTOPHER ROBIN. Autograph Letter Signed ("Billy Moon"), 1 p, London, [January 1925], on ruled notebook paper, lower half mounted to recto of r.f.e.p.
AND WITH: MILNE, A.A. Autograph Letter Signed ("A.A. Milne"), 1 p, London, January 25 [1925], to Captain G.C. Rynd, on personal stationery, mounted to rear free endpaper.
Provenance: "U.G.R. from G.C.R[ynd]" (gift inscription dated Christmas 1924 inked to f.f.e.p.); Edith Rynd (ownership inscription and address inked to f.f.e.p.); Everett B. Heymann (correspondence between Heymann and G.C. Rynd loosely inserted).

FIRST EDITION, WITH AUTOGRAPH LETTERS BY BOTH CHRISTOPHER ROBIN AND HIS FATHER mounted at the back of the book. Issue with page ix numbered. A supremely charming association copy, preserving a handwritten letter from the book's dedicatee, Christopher Robin, the then four-year-old son and muse of the author who beginning with this book was to be immortalized as the companion of Winnie-the-Pooh and the other residents of the Hundred Acre Wood. Written in an endearingly wobbly uppercase, the letter reads in full: "13 Mallord St[.] Thank you very much for my pictures[.] They look very real as they hang in my nursery[.] From Billy Moon." (Billy Moon—as the book's dedication explains—was the name Christopher Robin preferred to call himself.) A.A. Milne's letter reads in full: "Dear Captain Rynd, It is extremely kind of you to send us those beautiful photographs. We all love them here, and they are now framed and hung up in the nursery. Christopher Robin is writing to you with his own hand, but his pencil moves slowly. However, he is determined to do it. With again many thanks. Yours sincerely, A.A. Milne."
The context of the two letters is provided by a group of loosely inserted correspondence between an American book collector and a certain Captain G.C. In a letter of February 1933, Captain Rynd explains that he was operating a photography studio in Oxford when he was hired by a lady to photograph her three tame dormice. Pleased by the results and reminded of the opening lines of Milne's poem "The Christening" ("What shall I call / My Dear little dormouse? / His eyes are small, / But his tail is e-nor-mouse") which appears on p 5 of When We Were Very Young, Captain Rynd sent mounted enlargements of the photos to Milne, "in appreciation of the pleasure that the poems had given me." By way of reply, Rynd received the letters from Milne and Christopher Robin, which he then mounted into the first edition copy he'd purchased the week of its release and had formerly gifted to his sister Edith.
An enormously pleasing copy featuring the earliest letter of Christopher Robin we have seen, and no doubt one of the earliest extant given the author's age at the time of writing.
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