Tonight at Sothebys
London, in an auction supported by Britains best-loved illustrator, Quentin Blake, House of Illustration raised £68,750 in its What are they Like? celebrity auction. The organisation which champions Britains most accessible art form, offered 16 illustrations by some of todays best-known illustrators, each depicting a celebritys eight favourite things. The animated sale, taken by Sothebys UK Chairman Harry Dalmeny, was attended by leading names such as Sheila Hancock, David Walliams and Sir Christopher Frayling.
This evenings top lot was Paula Regos depiction of Ruby Wax who revealed a love of The Beatles, her gym-shoes and frozen yoghurt which was snapped up after a show of bidding brinkmanship for £10,000 by the actress Sheila Hancock.
Comedian David Walliams bid single-mindedly up to £4,000, for the illustration of his wife Lara Stones favourite things - which included their dog Bert, the Dutch football team and being married. Walliams also bought a companion piece his own portrait by House of Illustration founder Quentin Blake, which revealed his penchant for spaghetti and meatballs, his pyjamas and his love for the gold pocket watch his wife bought him for his 40th birthday (£8,000).
While the auction was taking place, Quentin Blake recorded events in the form of a delightful sketch, which was sold as the climax of the evening for £8,500.
The money raised this evening will help towards the establishment of a flagship home for House of Illustration in Londons Kings Cross regeneration area in Spring 2014, which will be the first ever gallery and education space dedicated exclusively to exhibiting, celebrating and learning about British and international illustration and illustrators.