Auctioneer Harry Dalmeny at the House of Illustration auction.


LONDON – If you cross Stephen Fry with Wagner and the Norfolk coast, you get a large man floating over a green cliff with the help of tiny red twitter birds. This is how illustrator Geoff Grandfield portrayed comedian Fry, for the House of Illustrations What Are They Like exhibition and benefit auction which was held last night at Sotheby's.
The works were sold at auction to benefit the House of Illustration, a charity dedicated to promoting and showcasing illustrators from around the world. The total raised was £65,850, which will go towards building a Museum of Illustration at the charity’s headquarters in London’s King’s Cross district.
Sixteen major British illustrators, including House of Illustration trustee Quentin Blake, produced drawings for the event. The subject: a list of favourite things, from food to animals and music, compiled by a person in the public eye.  

House of Illustration trustee Quentin Blake produces a live drawing of the auction.

With a live illustration of the auction from Quentin Blake, and appearances by comedians David Walliams and Ruby Wax – who were themselves subjects in the show – this was an exciting event for all involved.

I loved selling works where subjects and artists were in the room together, and got bids from a great range of supporters, celebrities and a few Sotheby’s staff who got into the evening.
As for the drawings, which included portrayals of Sir David Attenborough and Joanna Lumley, it appears most of the subjects are mainly focused on their dogs, which goes to prove what we all suspected about the English.