A famous ink drawing of beloved children's character Winnie The Pooh has gone under the hammer in London for a record $503,200 (£314,500).

The E.H. Shepard illustration, which depicts the honey-loving bear playing the game Poohsticks with characters Piglet and Christopher Robin, was published in author A.A. Milne's second book, The House At Pooh Corner, in 1928.

The artwork, titled For a long time they looked at the river beneath them, was part of a Sotheby's children's book auction this week (begs08Dec14) and sold for three times its estimate.

The high price set a new record for a Shepard drawing, previously just under $224,000 (£140,000), and earned the piece the title as the most expensive book illustration sold at auction.

Philip Errington, director of Sotheby's book department, tells the Afp, "It's an incredibly important piece, it's reproduced twice within The House at Pooh Corner, and I had great expectations that this would catch people's imagination but it exceeded all our expectations.

"We're very happy we've smashed those two world records."

A pencil drawing of the same image was snapped up in another Sotheby's sale last year (13) for $94,000 (£58,750).