AN art sale with a twist has raised thousands of pounds for a state-of-the-art cancer centre.

The Secret Art Sale returned to The Minories art gallery in Colchester to raise funds for the new £3.25 million cancer centre at Colchester Hospital.

More than 400 artworks were up for grabs at the set price of £40.

Contributors of art included comedian and actress Jenny Eclair, internationally acclaimed artist Maggi Hambling and a host of well-known painters.

There was even a sketch by Danish-French painter Camille Pissarro’s great grandson and an original Private Eye cartoon.

But art lovers did not know whose work they were buying until after the sale.

Event organiser Kathy Norris said it was a hugely successful event.

She said: “I’m not sure exactly how much was raised but so far it’s around £6,500.

“About 160 paintings were sold over the weekend including the Private Eye drawing and the Pissarro piece for the bargain price of £40.

“It was a real success and it’s more money for the charity which is excellent.”

Some paintings are still up for grabs, including a signed message from Jenny Eclair.

The remaining pieces can be bought online for the same price.

Visit to view the artwork.