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Annual RCA secret postcard sale draws Emin, Perry and Ono

Almost 3,000 artworks were donated by artists and designers whose identities were hidden until £45 purchase price was paid

Art lovers discovered whether they had bagged a mini-masterpiece by the likes of Tracey Emin, Yoko Ono or Anish Kapoor on Saturday when they took their chances on the almost 3,000 secret postcards on sale for just £45.

Wallace and Gromit film-maker Nick Park and fashion designer Sir Paul Smith also contributed to the fundraiser, organised by the Royal College of Art.

More than 1,000 invited artists – including up-and-coming students and graduates – donated 2,900 works to the 18th RCA Secret event, held at the college in Kensington, west London.

Among the postcards on offer were four pencil drawings of a woman lying on a bed by Emin and two from Park featuring a beaver driving a tractor and a happy squirrel.

But unlike traditional sales, the artist's identity remained a secret until the postcard was purchased and the buyer was able to read the signature on the back.

Also appearing in the collection were film-maker Mike Leigh's photo-collage of a gentleman with a pig and five colourful pen drawings by ceramicist Grayson Perry, including one of a tiger with the words "Most art is shit".

The postcards, some of which are potentially worth thousands of pounds, were offered on a first come, first served basis on Saturday after a week-long exhibition.

Organisers hope this year's event – the largest to date – will raise more than £130,000 for the college's fine art student award fund.

The collection's curator, Wilhelmina Bunn, said: "We are enormously grateful to all of the artists who have donated postcards this year, making it the biggest event we have ever staged.

"As future funding for art education is likely to be reduced, it's encouraging that established artists and designers are willing to help support a new generation of students."

The sale has raised more than £1m over the past 17 years.


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