Antiques Roadshow: Quentin Blake art rescued from skip valued at huge sum ‘Amazing’

Antiques Roadshow: Quentin Blake cartoon value stuns guest

When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.

The owner told Antiques Roadshow expert Frances Christie how she’d come across the illustration and instantly realised it was a Quentin Blake drawing. She had eventually managed to get the English cartoonist to sign it himself. The BBC valuation show frequently stuns viewers eye-watering figures on seemingly inconspicuous items, and Sunday’s (June 20) was no exception. It turned out the artwork that was so nearly thrown away was worth a four-figure sum at auction.

The owner brought along the cartoon, which depicted a young man and woman in swimming gear.

The woman was stood behind the man with her hands around his chest and the pair were grinning.

Analysing the image, Frances said: “It’s quite rare to see something so small that puts such a big smile on everyone’s faces.

“This is unmistakably the work of Quentin Blake, with that pen and ink line, the spontaneity of it, those huge smiling faces. How did it come to be yours?”

The guest explained how she came about the drawing, replying: “Well, about thirty years ago when I was an art student in London, I had a summer holiday job to clear out an office of a charity.

“And amongst all the papers that were going in the skip was this drawing.”

Frances cut in, commenting: “No way!” She was clearly surprised that the owner had simply come across the illustration out of nowhere.

The owner continued: “and I recognised it as a Quentin Blake illustration because he’s one of my favourite artists

“It wasn’t signed at the time. A friend was going to interview Quentin Blake and so I gave him the illustration and said if you get the opportunity, could you ask him to sign it? Which he did.

“Quentin Blake told my friend the story behind the drawing, and it was an illustration for a leaflet about contraception.

“And originally, the couple were naked, but the powers that be thought it was a little bit risqué, so he was asked to put the swimming costumes on them.”

“I mean, what a amazing find,” Frances said. “If we look a bit closer we can see that he’s used pen and ink in this incredibly confident line that’s such a trademark style of his.

“And then he’s used some white paint, just to correct where the pen might have gone astray slightly.

“Then, I love this story that people didn’t like that they were totally naked and so Blake’s put on these boldly striped swimming trunks.

“You’ve got all the qualities that you want from a Blake, you’ve got his incredible eye for giving facial expressions with just a few tiny strokes of his pen – his eyes are just dots but you can see that they’re glowing and joyous even though they’re dots – I think that’s his skill, to render this incredibly happy image with a single line.

It then came to the moment of truth, and the price of the item was definitely not what the owner was expecting.

Frances said: “Given that you didn’t pay a bean for it, and it’s something that you found amongst a bunch of boring papers, if this was to come up at auction today we would probably expect a valuation of somewhere between £1,000 to £1,500.”

“Oh my goodness” the guest said. “That’s amazing!”

Antiques Roadshow is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Source: Read Full Article