INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
The Guardian DECEMBER 7, 2016 - by Danuta Kean
AUTHORS, ROCK STARS AND ONE DOCTOR WHO AMONG ARTISTS IN ILLUSTRATION AUCTION
Classic works by Quentin Blake and images from Eric Clapton, Brian Eno and Peter Capaldi are among forty works being sold to raise money for London gallery
Autobiographical drawings by Brian Eno, Eric Clapton and Peter Capaldi will join work by more traditional artists including Chris Riddell and Helen Oxenbury in a sale of more than forty original illustrations aimed at raising thousands for a public gallery founded by former children's laureate Quentin Blake.
As well as the musicians and Doctor Who star (all three of whom studied at art school), the designer Paul Smith and artists David Shrigley and Peter Blake will have works on sale at Sotheby's in London on December 13. Money raised will be used to support the House of Illustration. Based near King's Cross in London, the House is the UK's only public gallery dedicated to the art-form and seeks to discover and nurture new illustrating talent.
Philip Errington, director of Sotheby's specialist books and manuscripts said: "These artworks are unlike any others that we have sold, because they were commissioned for an exhibition at the House of Illustration in 2008 rather than contributed to raise money in a sale. For them to come up for sale like this is rather extraordinary."
Dr Errington said the auction was also unusual because of the mix of work by celebrities and book illustrators. "There is a wide amount of interest because it covers acknowledged artists, celebrities and musicians," he added.
Among the items expected to garner most interest is a typescript from the second episode of Capaldi's incumbency as the Doctor, Into The Dalek. The script has a colour illustration by the actor, who shows that the lessons he learned at Glasgow School of Art have not been forgotten. It has an estimate of £3,000.
Quentin Blake has contributed a number of highly sought-after works, including original artworks from Roald Dahl's BFG and the seventieth-anniversary editions of Enid Blyton's Five On Treasure Island. They are expected to sell for well in excess of their £3,000 estimate, because of their interest to Dahl and Blyton collectors.
The artworks by Clapton, Capaldi and Eno featured among others in the House of Illustration's What Are You Like? exhibition eight years ago, which asked "illustrators and those who have found drawing to be a central part of their lives to describe themselves by doing a series of drawings of their favourite things". Eno's features a characteristically eclectic collage of naked women, architecture and grinning old men.
Money raised in the sale is likely to be eclipsed by that raised by a hand-drawn manuscript of JK Rowling's The Tales Of Beedle The Bard, which will also be sold by the auctioneer on the same day. The author made seven copies of the manuscript, which she gave to six of "those most closely connected to the Harry Potter books". The seventh copy was auctioned for her charity Lumos in 2007 for £1,950,000.
This copy is expected to raise at least £500,000 for Rowling's original publisher Barry Cunnigham, who received it in 2007 in a white Jiffy envelope. Inside was a cloth-wrapped, leather-bound manuscript covered in semi-precious stones and featuring a silver-mounted skull. A note from Rowling in the front read: "To Barry, the man who thought an overlong novel about a boy wizard in glasses might just sell... THANK YOU."