Thomas (1914-1953) produced the sketch during a night at London’s Gargoyle Club a later sent it to the wife of a friend. It was later sent to BBC Wales executive John Hefin and comes to the auction from his collection. It is estimated at £1500-2000 and is part of Rogers Jones’ Welsh Sale in Cardiff.
“There’s a strong market in the UK for his works but some choice pieces go to the US,” said auctioneer Ben Rogers Jones. But, he added, “there are several good collectors in Wales. The English won’t necessarily have their own way with him. It’s out of the three.”
Hopes for the sketch, done in apparent haste, are down to Thomas' enduring popularity.
The market for Thomas memorabilia surged in 2014 with the poet’s centenary. However, Rogers Jones suggests that it remains strong: “He seems to be more than ever in the public eye. He’s still celebrated.”
The same sale will also offer a bumper selection of works by Sir Kyffin Williams (1918-2006), coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the artist’s death.
The Welsh Sale takes place on September 10.