The BFG © The Roald Dahl Story Company, Quentin Blake 2024

The BFG © The Roald Dahl Story Company, Quentin Blake 2024

Iconic illustrator Quentin Blake has drawn the likes of Charlie Bucket and the BFG once again as part of a Bonhams auction to support a campaign for a permanent national centre for illustration.

Quentin Blake has illustrated 18 Roald Dahl books during his long and prolific career, with his scratchy pen and watercolour depictions of Matilda, Charlie Bucket and the BFG being the definitive representations for generations of readers. And now he’s re-drawing them alongside his own creations, such as Professor Dunpont and Patrick.

Created as part of a Bonhams auction that will raise funds for the new Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration in Islington, the set titled A Dozen New Drawings of Old Friends will include 12 drawings of treasured characters and run until March 14. If you’ve got deep enough pockets, you could snap up a Blake original for anything between £3,000 and £8,000.

Catherine King from Bonhams said: “Quentin Blake is one of the world’s most loved illustrators, and, for many, his work was first introduced to them through his drawings of Roald Dahl’s famous children’s characters.

“It is a real privilege to be able to offer these new drawings of old friends, bringing together once again the genius of Quentin Blake and Roald Dahl, all in aid of a good cause.

“Not only that, but Blake has also re-drawn some of his own most beloved original characters, giving this sale a real sense of all the fictional friends that we are so grateful Quentin has shared with us.”

Matilda © The Roald Dahl Story Company, Quentin Blake 2024

Matilda © The Roald Dahl Story Company, Quentin Blake 2024

Charlie Bucket © The Roald Dahl Story Company, Quentin Blake 2024

Charlie Bucket © The Roald Dahl Story Company, Quentin Blake 2024

The Grand High Witch © The Roald Dahl Story Company, Quentin Blake 2024

The Grand High Witch © The Roald Dahl Story Company, Quentin Blake 2024

Fantastic Mr Fox © The Roald Dahl Story Company, Quentin Blake 2024

Fantastic Mr Fox © The Roald Dahl Story Company, Quentin Blake 2024

Lindsey Glen, director of Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration, added: “It’s exciting to see Quentin bring these well-known, beloved characters back to life after so many years.

“The auction of these 12 very special drawings will support the campaign for a permanent national centre for illustration – a project that sprung from Quentin’s vision for a place where people could come to examine visual storytelling and communication.

“Opening in Clerkenwell next year, the Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration will offer exhibitions of illustration from around the world, community and school programmes, and a home for Quentin’s extraordinary 40,000-work archive.”

George Kranky © The Roald Dahl Story Company, Quentin Blake 2024

George Kranky © The Roald Dahl Story Company, Quentin Blake 2024

Mister Magnolia © Quentin Blake 2024

Mister Magnolia © Quentin Blake 2024

Mr Hoppy © Quentin Blake 2024

Mr Hoppy © Quentin Blake 2024

Patrick © Quentin Blake 2024

Patrick © Quentin Blake 2024

The auction is the latest move by the Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration, the UK’s only charity for illustration, which last year launched the country’s first National Illustration Day. Intended to be a celebration of the art people see in their everyday lives, the charity is a joyful recognition of illustration in all its forms.

Currently, the Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration is working to restore an industrial heritage site in Clerkenwell, London, that will act as its base of operations. This is due to open in 2025, and with the help of the funds raised via the auction, it will be able to support illustrators and empower people of all ages to tell their stories.

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