Famed 'Winnie the Pooh' Bridge Estimated to Sell for Up to $81,400 at Auction

The famed "Winnie the Pooh" bridge is going up for auction next week, where it's expected to sell for up to $81,400, or an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 British pounds.

The bridge is in southern England, and was a place where the author of the beloved Pooh series of books, A. A. Milne, often played with his son, Christopher Robin, in the 1920s. It then became a regular setting in the adventures of Pooh and his friends in the book series that started in 1926.

James Rylands of Summer Place Auctions, which has previously auctioned significant large items, including 20 tons of the Berlin Wall, described the bridge as "one of the most important iconic literary objects there is." He hoped it could go for as much as 250,000 pounds, or just under $340,000.

"When you actually talk about history and add in the emotion and the happiness that 'Winnie the Pooh' has brought to generations as children and adults over the years, it is very difficult to price it," Rylands said. "If it fetches a quarter of a million pounds, then I won't be surprised."

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Winnie the Pooh Illustrations
The bridge from the famed "Winnie the Pooh" series is going up for auction next week, and is expected to fetch $81,400. A rare Winnie the Pooh book showing an inscription from author A.A. Milne is displayed at a press preview at Sotheby's Auctioneers on December 15, 2008 in London. Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

"Offering it at auction is probably the biggest opportunity globally for people to reach out and be able to buy it and put it in a museum," Rylands said.

The bridge, originally called Posingford Bridge, was built around 1907 and officially renamed Poohsticks Bridge in 1997 by the late author's son, whose toy animals were the basis of the Pooh series.

It was then taken down in 1999 after being worn out by visitors and was replaced by a newer structure funded largely by the Disney corporation.

The original bridge was dismantled and stored in Ashdown Forest Centre in the southern county of East Susses, until the local Parish Council recently gave permission for it to be restored and rescued. The bridge, which measures 8.87 meters long by 4.5 meters wide (29 feet by 15 feet), has now been fully restored using local oak 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 the luxury department store Harrods on his first birthday.

Rylands said there's been interest from around the world, but hoped that the bridge stays local.

"I do hope it stays in Sussex because it obviously has great relevance to the locality," he said. "But if it does end up in the United States or indeed Japan, I have no doubt it will be a little bit loved over there as well."

Winnie the Pooh bridge
The bridge from the famed "Winnie the Pooh" series goes up for auction next week. Silke Lohmann of Summers Place Auctions stands on the original Poohsticks Bridge from Ashdown Forest, featured in A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh books and E.H. Shepard's illustrations, near its original location in Tonbridge, Kent, England, Thursday, September 30, 2021. Gareth Fuller/PA via AP