Unseen Artwork By Banksy Sells for £117,800

At Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions

Please click here to view the full catalogue online.

In a week where the internet is rife with rumours of a Banksy Paris residency, Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions sold a previously unseen canvas from his Barcode Leopard series in their London auction of Modern & Contemporary Art, Thursday 5th December.

A unique variant and the largest known canvas from the Barcode Leopard series, the spraypaint and acrylic on canvas carried his famous stencilled signature. At 84 x 91.5 cm, it was bought by the vendor directly from a friend of the artist, and had been in a private London collection for the past 10 years. The recognisable image had been authenticated by Pest Control Office London, and was purchased by a European collector on the telephone.[Lot 141]

A glazed earthenware pot by national treasure Grayson Perry had been a key part of a UK private collection since 1989, when it was purchased from the Soho art gallery Brich & Conran, by the wife of gallery owner James Birch. A well-known curator, Birch gave the Turner Prize winner his first show at the James Birch Fine Art gallery on the King's Road in 1984. The pot, entitled A Classical Compromise, was decorated with a number of moulded pictorial vignettes in the style of Old Master paintings. It sold to an anonymous buyer on the telephone for £32,240. [Lot 108]

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions Modern & Contemporary Art Specialist Angus Maguire said: "The pot is a very early work by a now well-known and well respected figure of the art world. His technique was still in the early stages of development at the time he created it and its curious title suggests a young contemporary artist commenting at the time about his perception of Old Master paintings, in relation to his own work. It is an important piece in charting the rise of Grayson Perry to national treasure."

Elsewhere in the sale, an untitled drawing in multi-coloured ball point pen by American conceptual and minimalist artist Sol Le Witt sold for £26,040, a multiple of its pre-sale estimate. Mounted on card, the central image of a mesh structure is only 13cm x13cm and was created by interweaving horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines using four different coloured ball point pens. The technique uses a ruler to create the lines, and the resultant colour is completely unique.

The drawing was given to his great friend the famous British sculptor Barry Flanagan, and was inscribed 'Four colour drawing for Barry Flanagan, May 22, 1971'. A pioneer of minimalist art during the 1960s, Le Witt is sought after fervently by collectors. It was purchased on the telephone and will join a private collection in Texas. [Lot 100]

A second previously unseen work by Banksy will be sold in a sale of Modern and Contemporary Prints at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions in London on Wednesday 11th December. The extremely rare 2012 screenprint, entitled 'Love Hurts,' was never released. One of only 16 copies, it will be immediately familiar to those who follow the elusive British street artist who drew a similar but different heart in Brooklyn on 7th October, during the artists New York residency. It is estimated to sell for £50,000 - 70,000. [Lot 129]

The full catalogue for both of these sales can be found online at www.bloomsburyauction.com.


Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions are a UK 'top 5' auctioneer of fine art and collectibles. As part of Stanley Gibbons we are the only UK stock-exchange listed firm of auctioneers and occupy the same stable as coin specialists Baldwin's, and Apex Philatelics. Established in 1759, we have the broadest and most regular calendar of specialist catalogued sales in the industry, numbering over 150 per annum, and provide vendors and buyers alike access to market-leading specialist advice in any number of collecting fields. We operate from salerooms in Donnington Priory (near Newbury), London's Mayfair, Bristol and Godalming.

Bloomsbury - 6th December 2013