MILNE, A.A. (author). E.H. SHEPARD (illustrator). Winnie-The-Pooh. London, Methuen & Co. Ltd. 1926.
Royal 8vo. Original dark blue cloth-backed paler blue boards with onlaid paper lettering-label to upper cover, all edges uncut and the book unopened, preserved in original pale blue dustwrapper printed in darker blue to spine and upper cover; pp. [xvi] + 158, printed on handmade paper; charmingly illustrated throughout by Shepard in line; a very nearly fine copy in remarkably fresh condition, both externally and internally, with a bruise to bottom forecorner of both boards, internally with the unavoidable offset-toning to free endpapers but otherwise extremely crisp and clean, without ownership inscription, in a very good example of the elusive dustwrapper (priced 42/- to spine) which shows some fading, dusting, and toning, rubbing to edges, and narrow chipping to spine ends, with a 6.5cm closed split to bottom joint fold, now internally skilfully repaired with archival tissue-tape and barely noticeable; very scarce, by virtue of the tiny limitation alone.
First edition, de luxe of this iconic classic, limited to only 350 numbered copies which is double-signed in ink by both A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard to the limitation page.
Accompanying this copy is a fine 2-page autograph letter, in ink, signed by A.A. Milne, on a single leaf of printed letterhead (13, Mallord Street, Chelsea, S.W.3) addressed to "Dear Grubb". The letter discusses terms of an agreement concerning amateur rights for the production of a play, apparently written by Milne, which the author leaves in the hands of Samuel French; declines an invitation to contribute to a Christmas number because of surfeit of work; discusses personal ailments; and refers to the imminent publication of his book of fairy tales for children entitled Once Upon a Time.