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Guernsey's first Banksy auction

Guernsey's first Banksy auction

Monday 09 December 2019

Guernsey's first Banksy auction

Monday 09 December 2019

A Banksy print is going up for auction in Guernsey this week, marking the first time Martel Maides has been asked to handle one of the anonymous contemporary artist's works.

The Barcode Leopard print is the 461st edition in a run of 600, and will be auctioned off this Thursday at the auctioneer's fine art event.

With an opening price of £8,000, James Bridges, Director at Martel Maides Auction House, said they were very lucky to have come into the print, as its owner simply turned up one day with it, and its certificate, saying he wanted to sell it at auction.


"This very literally came to us by chance, as a man called in through the door," Mr Bridges said, "he came in and said he had a Banksy print, and asked if he could put it in the fine art auction.

"This is the first time we have had anything from Banksy, we don't get that much contemporary art in, and with Banksy being probably the best known contemporary British artist, it was a really good opportunity."


Pictured: the print shows a leopard having broken out of a cage, represented by a barcode. 

Mr Bridges said they had looked at other auctions of the print in the past to come up with their valuation - they are expecting the print to go for between £8,000 and £10,000 - and said the mystery of Banksy made his art all the more tantalising for customers. In the past, the barcode leopard prints have gone for as much as £18,000. 

This specific print is not signed by Banksy, put marked with a red 'Banksy' stamp - there were a number he did sign, and then 600 were stamped. Each print, including this one, comes with a certificate of authenticity - a Pest Control Certificate - which is torn in half, with the other half kept by Banksy's handling service, Pest Control.

"His prices have been on an upward trajectory for some time now," Mr Bridges said. "You used to be able to go into one or two different galleries in the UK and pick one up, but those days are long gone. This is one of his early prints as well, and it is seen as quite important in his career. It touches on themes of wildlife, showing the leopard breaking out of the commercialised cage, and is something he often refers back to."


Pictured: the print itself. 

The fine art auction starts on Wednesday, and the Banksy print will be up on Thursday morning as lot 700A, starting at 10:00. To view the lot itself, click here. 

Pictured top: James Bridges with the print, currently on display in the Martel Maides Auction House. 

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