TV personality Charles Hanson is set to auction off a flock of giant rams which have been brightening up Derby's streets this summer.
The bold and beautiful works of art will go under the hammer in September to raise vital finds for Derby Museums, a cause close to Charles' heart. He is an ambassador for the museums.
And he confesses he'll be very tempted to bid on one of the 30 magnificent rams - all part of a spectacular fun and free Derby art trail running until August 22. In the event's planning stages, his eye was taken by The Royal Ram design, so much so Hansons chose to sponsor it in conjunction with Wild in Art.
"I'm a Derby man and it's the very least that I could do," said Charles. "I had to support this vital cause. We must secure our history and heritage, and what a wonderful way to do it. These unique public artworks are superb. They've done wonders to brighten up the city this summer and lift spirits after 18 months of lockdowns.
"As well as raising money for our museums, they remind us of Derbyshire's rich heritage. For example, The Royal Ram, designed by artist Donna Newman of Eden Designs, was inspired by Royal Crown Derby, a ceramics firm with roots dating back to 1750. I was very proud to sponsor it and I was blown away when I saw it for the first time.
"Now the time is approaching for the charity auction and, as the auctioneer, I will be doing my utmost to raise as much money as possible for Derby Museums. In fact, I'm tempted to bid on The Royal Ram myself because it's magnificent - in fact they all are. They deserve to fetch top hammer prices and it will be wonderful if some of the rams remain in Derbyshire, the county they represent."
Donna Newman, of Eden Designs, with The Royal Ram and Charles Hanson.
The ram sculpture is based on the mythical Derby Ram from an 18th Century song. According to legend, the Derby Ram was 10 yards high and people came from far and wide came to see it.
The Ram Trail works of art are due to go under the hammer in a live-streamed auction on September 9 in the Italian Mill at the Museum of Making. With just weeks to go, serious bidders are invited to register their interest now at https://derbyramtrail.org/auction/
Tony Butler, executive director at Derby Museums said: ‘Through the opening of the Museum of Making and launch of the Derby Ram Trail, we have really enjoyed bringing people back into the city and brightening up our city’s streets with these fabulous works of art. It will be great to see who is going to bid on the night and take these fantastic pieces of art back to their homes, workplaces and local communities.’
Emma Carberry, from Hansons, with The Royal Ram and Charles.
"If you do decide to take the plunge at the auction, not only will you end up with a fantastic work of art, you will also be supporting the work of Derby Museums as proceeds raised through the auction will be part of the Endowment, supporting the work we do across all our sites."
Derby Museums will be hosting a Farewell RamUnion Weekend from September 3-5 with an opportunity for members of the public to see all the rams together one last time before they ram-pede off to auction. Tickets for this event have been released and are expected to sell quickly.
For more information about the auction, Ram Union Weekend and other trail events, including a range of accessible family-friendly events, visit: www.derbyramtrail.org.
The Derby Ram Trail has been created thanks to a collaboration between Derby Museums, Wild in Art and Presenting Partner Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District (BID). Wild in Art is a leading producer of creative events that transform places into free, family-friendly outdoor art galleries. The Derby Ram Trail Auction is kindly supported by Penguin PR.