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Quentin Blake, or rather, Sir Quentin Blake, is a name that is synonymous with the works of Roald Dahl himself. Sir Quentin illustrated countless children’s classics from Dahl, which many agree, helped to propel the books to classic status. You can’t think of Dahl without Blake, and vice versa, and it is this synergy that helped the nation and dare we say, the world, fall in love with such classics as: The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, The Twits, and many, many more. Many of us grew up on these timeless classics and what’s wonderful is that the children of today, and as the song goes ‘kids from one to ninety-two‘ are fortunate enough to enjoy the these classic stories over and over. This is one of the many reasons why the upcoming Quentin Blake Sale presented by Christie’s has garnered such interest.
For the art lovers out there amongst you, this month, Christie’s auction house, London will be an event you will want to pay very close attention to. As forming part of the Christie’s Classic Week 2018 Sale, the famed auction house will be presenting ‘Quentin Blake: A Retrospective; Forty Years of Alternative Versions’. This collection made available through the Quentin Blake Sale contains a wide variety of illustrations from Sir Quentin’s personal collection. The collection will contain 30 unique illustrations from one of the Britain’s best-loved artists and children’s book illustrators. The illustrations will be a part of Christie’s Valuable Books and Manuscripts sale, which will take place on the 11th of July. Alongside these 30 illustrations will be 148 unique illustrations which will be open for bidding from July the 3rd until the 12th of July.
Works from this sale are being auctioned for a very good cause, as proceeds raised will go to benefit House of Illustration, Survival International, and Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity. ‘Quentin Blake: A Retrospective; Forty Years of Alternative Versions will be available to view and open to the public between the 7th and 10th of July at Christie’s, with estimates ranging from between £200 and £10,000.
Highlights of the Quentin Blake Sale include illustrations from the very first book of Dahl’s to be illustrated by Blake, which was the Enormous Crocodile. Not only that, but there is also a look at preliminary drawings which showcase the early incarnations of the BFG – one of Dahl’s most beloved characters. What’s especially appealing to true art and literary lovers alike. However, the fact that the collection contains illustrations from Blake’s lesser-known works, including drawings in pencil from his 2018 London exhibition is cause to attract many collectors that transcend collectors of literary art. His ‘Arrows of Love’ works are also generating a lot of buzz, as these wonderful sketches depict a series of women either embracing cupid’s arrow or doing their best to dodge it.
Blake’s illustrations are unmistakable due to his unique style and as Blake himself puts it, his ultimate goal is to ‘bring a key moment to life in a way that perfectly complements a text’. If you’re a fan of Blake, Dahl, or art in general, Christie’s London this July, is a venue you won’t want to miss.
Images courtesy of Christie’s