Girl with balloon
‘Girl with Balloon’ unsigned with a certificate of authenticity issued by Pest Control. Numbered from an edition of 600, the 2ft 3.5 x 19.5 in (70 x 50 cm) print sold for £42,000 at Forum Auctions.

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Demand for the anonymous graffiti artists works has shot up since his publicity stunt in October when a canvas of Girl with Balloon automatically shredded itself in the frame it was hanging in moments after coming under the hammer for £1.04m (including buyer’s premium) at an evening auction at Sotheby’s in London on October 5. The work was then renamed Love is in the Bin and authenticated by the artist.

Stephan Ludwig, CEO and founder of Forum Auctions, said: “The artist’s recent publicity has unsurprisingly increased the community of collectors for Banksy’s works and we saw particularly strong bidding from America at yesterday’s auction.”

Girl with Balloon was voted the UK’s best-loved art work by a Samsung-sponsored poll last year. The original appeared on Waterloo Bridge in 2002.

Certificate of authenticity

In March this year a canvas numbered 17/25 on the stretcher took a then auction record of a premium-inclusive £345,000 at Bonhams on March 7. But the price paid at the Sotheby’s sale is now a record. Only works with a certificate of authenticity issued by Pest Control, the handling service acting on behalf of the artist, are valuable.

At Forum’s white-glove sale on November 28, the £42,000 hammer price for the screenprint on wove paper of Girl with Balloon (2004) set an auction record for a Banksy print, following Forum’s previous record of £40,000 in 2017.

Other highlights included £38,000 for NOLA (White Rain) and £42,500 for a set of prints Barely Legal (LA Set).

Forum Auctions buyer’s premium is 30% including VAT and these lots are also subject to Artists Resale Rights.