Hidden Gems Edition IX

Refreshed every Friday at midday, Hidden Gems is a carefully curated selection of original art and world art news. This week, we're looking at Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne's beloved bear re-imagined by the Disney studios, as Winnie the Pooh Day is celebrated on January 18. The Walt Disney Company, founded in 1923 by Walt and his brother Roy, will soon kick off the huge celebrations for their centenary, so a party atmosphere is in the air.

Read on to find out more about these celebrations, and to see our collection of Winnie the Pooh original animation art plus more Disney Vintage works from other classic films. You can also see work by Dan Lane and Whatshisname, who have been inspired by Disney's genius.

VIN ORI POR 29054 3 Disney (2 Board) Storyboard Set 11

Featured art: detail from Disney (2 Board) Storyboard Set 11 (from 'Winnie The Pooh And Tigger Too', 1974), by Disney Vintage. Original storyboard drawings, £3,000.

Winnie the Pooh and AA Milne

Winnie the Pooh Day is celebrated on 18 January, the birthday of the man who created him, AA Milne. Before writing the books for which he is most famous, Milne was a successful novelist and playwright, and one of the first scriptwriters in the early British film industry. When his son Christopher Robin was born in 1920, he turned to writing for children, with a hit poetry collection, When We Were Very Young. 

But it was a teddy bear who appeared in this book who would make Milne and his son very famous. Milne's poem Teddy Bear began with the words: "A bear, no matter how he tries/Grows tubby without exercise", and the tubby creature became the star of Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, alongside Christopher Robin. However, Christopher Robin's own bear was originally called Edward, and was renamed Winnie after he saw a bear called Winnipeg at London Zoo; the 'Pooh' part of the name came from a swan that Christopher Robin named.

But it's not Winnie that we see in the illustrations for the Winnie the Pooh, but illustrator EH Shepherd's son's bear called Growler, who was thought to be a bit cuddlier than Winnie, who now lives in the New York Public Library with Christopher Robin's other toys who appear in the books. Sadly, Growler no longer exists - Shepherd gave him to his granddaughter, and he was eaten by a neighbour's dog.

The original Winnie the Pooh toys

Winnie the bear, the inspiration for Winnie the Pooh, with friends Tigger, Roo, Eyore and Piglet on display at the New York Public Library

100 years of Disney magic

By the time the first Disney film starring Pooh Bear, Winnie The Pooh and the Honey Tree, was released in 1966, Disney had already been running for over 40 years, and become an international phenomenon. Started by Walt Disney and his brother Roy in October 1923 as the Disney Brothers Studio, The Walt Disney Company celebrates its centenary this year under the banner of !00 Years of Wonder, with events at Disney theme parks and a huge Disney exhibition at London's ExCel centre and a tour featuring Disney's classic music.

Walt Disney may have started out as an animator, but his brand became a phenomenon in the world of entertainment, with the Marvel brand being bought under the Disney umbrella in 2009, and Lucasfilm, makers of the Star Wars movies, in 2012. We are proud to be able to work with Disney on their Disney Vintage collection, as well as our Marvel artworks, and wish the company a very happy anniversary.

Featured Artist

From the blog

Behind the scenes of our Disney Vintage collection!


Curated by one of the most reputable vintage animation art dealers in the world, our Disney Vintage collection boasts original works from the films that made history. Discover more about the different types of art.

Graffiti art: In The Empty Spaces by Dan Lane


Made famous by artists like Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Richard Hambleton, the street art aesthetic is a bold form of self-expression - making it perfect for adding personality to your home décor.

Whatshisname - more emotional pieces from the Gone series


Internationally-acclaimed artist Whatshisname launches a new collection of his Gone series

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