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Banksy prints star as Bonhams Contemporary Auction fetches over £1 million
Banksy (British, born 1975), Gold Flag, 2007. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- The Steve Lazarides collection of Banksy prints made 434,600 at Founded 1793, the contemporary lifestyle auction which took place at Bonhams New Bond Street yesterday (28 January). The sale, which also introduced a large-scale painting by Conor Harrington and works by leading contemporary artists such as Peter Doig, Damien Hirst and Marc Quinn fetched more than 1,000,000 in total.

Continuing the Bonhams tradition of successful involvement with Banksy’s market, his works performed extremely well, with 30 selling above their high estimates. The top-selling lot was Rude Copper (2002), a screen-print and spray-paint on paper depicting a policeman raising a middle-finger to the viewer, which sold for 32,500 against a high estimate of 12,000.

Christ with Shopping Bags (2004), a thought-provoking reimagining of traditional crucifixion imagery, made 22,500 against a high estimate of 12,000 and Laugh Now (2004) and Festival (2006) both made 20,000, after high estimates of 8,000 and 6,000 respectively.

The auction’s top lot was Conor Harrington’s Dance With the Devil (2013), a striking oil and spray paint on stretched linen work measuring 200 by 250 cm, which sold for 77,500 against a pre-sale estimate of 30,000-50,000. Paintings by Harrington, who started his career working as a graffiti artist in the mid-nineties, have been bought by celebrity collectors including Alicia Keys, Jared Leto and Damien Hirst.

From the contemporary design section of the auction, Kam Tin’s three Cloud tables, fashioned from polished brass, fetched 25,000 after pre-sale estimates of 12,000-18,000, while Maquette for a Chair by Allen Jones RA smashed its high estimate of 3,000 to make 22,500.

Ralph Taylor, Head of the Post-War and Contemporary Art at Bonhams, said: ‘We are delighted with the success of the auction. The concept was to create an engaging and imaginative sale that celebrated a variety of Contemporary Lifestyle touchstones and at estimates that invite participation from all collectors. Furthermore, this result is a clear demonstration of Banksy’s importance as a figure at the heart of Contemporary Art with a thriving market and pan-global interest. We follow this collection with two major original paintings by the artist in our forthcoming sale of Post-War & Contemporary Art in London on 12 February, an auction we welcome with huge anticipation.’

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