LONDON.- Quentin Blake: A Retrospective; Forty Years of Alternative Versions, a series of Alternative Versions, preliminary drawings, and related artwork offered directly from the personal collection of one of Britain's best-loved illustrators achieved a total of £768,625 / $1,015,968 / 867,778. Proceeds from the sale will benefit House of Illustration, Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity and Survival International. A selection of works were offered in the Valuable Books and Manuscripts auction on 11 July, highlighted by Charlie, Willie Wonka and Grandpa Joe (estimate: £10,000-15,000), which sold for £50,000 / $66,300 / 56,450. The illustration was produced by Quentin Blake in 2016, for the Roald Dahl Centenary Portraits project to celebrate 100 years since the authors birth and achieved a world auction record for a work by Quentin Blake. An alternative version of Matilda from the same series sold for £43,750 / $58,013 / 49,394. Alongside the live sale, a dedicated online auction for Quentin Blake: A Retrospective was open for bidding from 3 to 12 July. The online sale was led by Quentin Blakes The Grand High Witch (estimate: £10,000-15,000), which achieved £35,000 / $46,200 / 39,515, along with Mother and baby underwater, in green (estimate: £2,500-3,500), completed for the Rosie Birth Centre at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, which realised £15,000 / $19,800 / 16,935.
The sale marked the largest collection of Quentin Blakes works to come to market and the only sale to span his entire 40-year career. The collection comprised artwork for various exhibitions, his own books and those of other authors, including illustrations for Folio Society editions of classics such as Candide and Don Quixote and alternative versions for a variety of hospitals and public spaces.