11 October 2019
  • Rare Quentin Blake drawing comes to BBC 'Antiques Roadshow'

Viewers of BBC1's long-running series 'Antiques Roadshow' were treated to a sight of an early - and nearly lost - drawing by Quentin Blake duirng the programme aired on 6 October 2019.  The owner, who brought the framed drawing along to the show at Compton Verney in Warwickshire, recalled that she saved the artwork from being thrown in a skip when she was helping to clear out offices in the 1980s.  As an art student, she immediately recognised that the drawing was by Quentin Blake, rescued it, and had Quentin sign it.

The drawing was one of a series from the early 1970s which Quentin was commissioned to do for a family planning leaflet by the manufacturer of a brand of condoms.  Titled 'Sense and Sensitivity: a Guide to using the Sheath' the leaflet gave guidance on contraception with drawings depicting a cheery couple wearing stripy bathing suits.  Quentin had originally drawn the figures in the nude, but was asked by the publishers to add costumes.

Unfortunately the remaining drawings for the leaflet have not come to light; but, as the BBC's antiques expert Frances Christie commented: 'For an art student's find - what an incredible thing!'

Viewers in the UK can see the programme on BBC iPlayer:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000970g/antiques-roadshow-series-42-compton-verney-1