Top Authors and Illustrators Create Special Editions for Charity Auction

Posted on November 28, 2014

Photo of the signed new edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory illustrated by Quentin Blake

Sotheby's is holding a charity auction to benefit U.K. charity House of Illustration. The auction event is called First Editions: Redrawn at Sotheby's and features some fantastic items for collectors.

House of Illustration is a non-profit which promotes the art of illustration. It supports emerging talent as well as established artists, in Britain and abroad. The charity firmly believes that illustration inspires a love of reading, writing and drawing. Good art also helps promote literacy. Towards that end, the group sponsors programs in schools and gives grants to promising illustrators.

.For the auction a number of today's greatest illustrators and authors have taken their published works and given them a new twist. Each artist or illustrator took one of their classic books and punched them up for a special edition. The illustrators and authors added new artwork, made comments describing their inspiration for the illustrations and gave new insight into their characters. There are 34 lots in the auction; each one is an original treasure.

Quentin Blake, who illustrated Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has added two new illustrations. He notes that this will be the only copy of the book that has specially added vanilla fudge. Blake was appointed as the first UK Children's Laureate in 1999. He has won numerous awards for his work, including the prestigious Hans Christian Anderson Award.Blake also created two new illustrations for a special edition of Roald Dahl's The BFG.

Cressida Cowel, author and illustrator of How to Train Your Dragon by Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, has done extensive annotations in the book's margins and created extra illustrations for a special edition of her book which was made into a hit film by DreamWorks Animation in 2010.

Photo of annotated illustration of The Tiger Who Came to Tea


Author and illustrator Judith Kerr crated new illustrations and many annotations for her bestselling 1968 picture book, The Tiger Who Came to Tea. Millions of copies of the book have been sold and it has never been out of print. Ms. Kerr, who was awarded an OBE in 2012 for services to children’s literature and Holocaust education, explains that the tiger was originally going to wear a top hat. But she scratched that idea and says she's glad she did.

Other illustrators and authors who participated include Michael Bond, who has created an annotated version of A Bear Called Paddington, Dave McKean and Neil Gaiman with a new edition of Coraline, John Lawrence with new illustrations for Watership Down, Helen Oxenbury with a new illustration for We're Going on a Bear Hunt and Chris Riddell with extra illustraions and annotations for Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels.

You can go here for more information and to see the full color catalog for the auction which takes place on December 8, 2014.
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