Supporting A Worthy Cause
♦ We just put up the auction information about the rec-covered books auction at Sotheby’s over the last day and The Bookseller has the results of that very auction…
Quentin Blake and Neil Gaiman were among the authors and illustrators who helped to raise almost £130,000 for House of Illustration on Monday evening (11th December).
Audrey Niffenegger and Jacqueline Wilson were also in attendance at the ‘First Editions Re-covered’ auction, organised by Blake, the directors of Sotheby’s and art suppliers Winsor and Newton at the auction house in central London.
A collection of 33 first editions of classic books were offered, each with an original dust-jacket, created and donated by leading artists and designers to benefit the House of Illustration, in north London.
Each artist selected a book “they felt a strong connection to” and created a new dust- jacket or artwork in response to it. The re-imagined classics included Blake’s reworking of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo and Raymond Pettibon’s tribute to Penguin classics for My Main Jeeves by P G Wodehouse. Artist Richard Wentworth donated a reworking of White Teeth (Hamish Hamilton) by Zadie Smith while one of the founders of British Pop Art, Peter Blake, donated Through the Looking-Glass and what Alice found there (Macmillan) by Lewis Carroll which went for around £3,000.
The top-selling items were artist David Downton’s interpretation of Dr No (Jonathan Cape), and Charlotte Hode’s re-imagining of A Room of One’s Own by (Hogarth Press) by Virginia Woolf brought by Jacqueline Wilson.
The auction raised £128,950 altogether and at the end of the two-hour event, organisers made a special plea for attendants to donate money towards a refugee exhibition at the House of Illustration, which culminated in a further £20,000.
A spokesperson for Winsor and Newton said: “The event was very well attended with around 100 people, including many of the artists who had donated work and had a stand of watercolours which Quentin Blake and Neil Gaiman experimented with. The auctioneer, Lord Dalmeny, chairman of Sotheby’s UK, was in high spirits, he made a lot of jokes, and the evening went really well.”
The House of Illustration is the world’s only public gallery solely dedicated to illustration and graphic arts and was founded by Blake in 2014. The money will be used to assist in running the gallery.