The October 29 sale was organised jointly by street art collective Vanguard and East Bristol Auctions and was held in aid of charities Temwa and Aid Box Community. The two prints were consigned by Grant Marshall (aka Daddy G of the band Massive Attack) who donated them along with certificates of authenticity issued by Banksy’s Pest Control office.
Bomb Middle England, a 3ft x 13.5in (99 x 35cm) screenprint, was published by Pictures on Walls, London in 2003. As well as being signed in pencil to the lower right, this copy was signed B with an X to the lower left which differentiated it from the general run of 500 prints in the edition.
Estimated at £15,000-25,000, it sold to an online bidder on thesaleroom.com at £70,000. The previous highest price for a copy at auction was £36,000.
Banksy had given this copy to Marshall’s family early in his career and the founding member of Massive Attack (a band, like Banksy, originally from Bristol) decided to sell it to support the charities which help vulnerable people in Bristol and Malawi.
The other Banksy consigned by Marshall was a copy of the 2004 screenprint I Fought the Law. From an edition of 500 signed prints, again published by Pictures on Walls in London, it was estimated at £30,000-40,000. It drew high demand here and was knocked down at £71,000, another high price for this particular edition.
Vanguard project director Mary McCarthy said: “The fact that the record-breaking sale of these Banksy prints happened in a club in Bristol and not at Christie’s in London or Sotheby’s in New York demonstrates the incredible energy of Bristol’s street art scene.
“It is truly an amazing achievement for Bristol to compete at this level.”