Two spray paintings by Banksy sold for an above-estimate £120,000 pounds each in a London sale of urban art last night.
“Laugh Now but One Day We’ll Be in Charge“Â featuring a chimpanzee wearing a sandwich board, and “Bombing Middle England,” showing pensioners playing bowls with grenades, achieved the joint top price with fees at a sale by the U.K. regional auction house.
They had been expected to fetch up to 50,000 pounds and 80,000 pounds each. Both were bought by telephone bidders. The 146-lot sale in an industrial space in Shoreditch, east London, the first of its type ever organized by a regional auction house, totaled 801,204 pounds with fees against an estimate of 672,000 pounds to 977,000 pounds, with 89 percent of the lots sold during the three-hour event, the company said.
“The results were mixed in places,” said Stephan Ludwig, in an interview after the sale. “But considering what’s happening in the broader economy, particularly in an area like property, it showed that the market for this kind of art is resilient.”
The most highly valued work in the catalog was Banksy’s early freehand painting, “Portrait of an Artist.” This failed to sell against estimates of 150,000 pounds to 200,000 pounds. Banksy’s stencil-on-foam board, “Glastonbury Sign,” acquired by the seller directly from the artist at the 2003 Glastonbury pop festival, sold for a mid-estimate 45,600 pounds.