The lynchpin of the market, the immutable Banksy (b.1975), saw the majority of his major works go unsold.
Seven of 11 works by the Bristol aerosol impressario estimated at over £20,000 at Bonhams failed to sell, but the top lot was Banksy's 2004 oil on canvas Tesco Value Tomato Soup, which went beyond its £60,000-90,000 estimate at £98,000.
Dreweatt's sold only one of their four major Banksy's, Monkey Detonator, 2000, which went for a low-estimate £40,000. The potential star of the auction, Vandalised Oil 001, was unsold against a £150,000-200,000 estimate.
At both sales, all the Banksy's being offered had been authenticated by the artist's approved vetting board, Pest Control.
Other important names in the market, such as Adam Neate (b.1977), also ran into trouble, with two of his works from 2007, The Eternal Triangle and Jackson, Red Portrait, failing to sell at Bonhams against estimates of £35,000-45,000. But Nick Walker's (b.1969) The Morning after (London Version) drew decent interest at the Bonhams Bond Street sale and sold to a buyer in the room at £28,000.
Dreweatts achieved a 72 per cent selling rate for their 105-lot sale, but the talk in the saleroom was that lots were going for generally cheaper prices than at previous sales.
By Alex Capon