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An original drawing by John of a fat budgie that was used for a charity Christmas card in 1965 has sold for more than £22,000., is a very simple doodle of the overweight bird on a perch was actually designed for his novel ‘A Spaniard in the Works’.
But after it was published Oxfam asked permission to use his primitive bird sketch for its charity Christmas cards of the same year.
The work was entitled ‘The Fat Budgie’ by John, but because of its rotund shape it looks like a robin which made it perfect for the front of a Christmas card. The original pen and ink drawing, which is 8ins by 10ins, was gifted by Lennon to Tom Maschler, a British literary editor who worked on his book.
It has now been sold at auctioneers Bonhams for £22,500.
Stephen Maycock, of Bonhams, said: “It was quite a coupe for Oxfam to receive John Lennon’s permission to use his art work for their cards.
“The year was 1964 so these were probably the first charity Christmas cards of their kind.
“The front of the cards contained a facsimile of Lennon’s signature and the cards sold awfully well.
“John Lennon produced a lot of drawings, mostly cartoons, right through to the 1970s.
“All of his drawings tended to be very simple and not accurate to life.
“They were more exaggerated, like the fat budgie picture.
“This original work is probably one of the best known John Lennon works out there because it was published in his book and also because of the Christmas card.
“Tom Maschler was an editor at the publishers Jonathan Cape and John Lennon gave him a load of drawings as a thank you for the work he put into the book.
“The drawing has been sold by a private collector.”

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