It had been part of the street artist’s ‘Great British Spraycation’ series that emerged at British seaside destinations over the summer. The elusive artist was seen working on this and seven other pieces sited across Suffolk and Norfolk in a video uploaded to his Instagram account.
Known as Merrivale Stable, replete with red spray paint graffiti and ‘rat’ trademark, it was planted in the Merrivale Model Village, Great Yarmouth, on August 6.
Not spotted until two days after, it was later confirmed as a Banksy by authentication body Pest Control.
Within weeks the artwork was removed from the site for reasons of security and replaced by a replica. It went on display late last year at Peterborough Museum.
It was offered at the Modern Art & Design auction at the Newcastle auction house on January 27 with the proceeds going to the Merrivale Model Village. The saleroom was chosen as it is apparently a favourite of the vendor’s mother.
There was significant interest beforehand with phone bidders registered. Bidding started at £600,000 and after two minutes a UK private collector on the phone was successful, prompting a round of applause in the room. Including premium the price paid was £1.012m (22/20% buyer’s premium).
Julian Thomson, chairman and managing director, said: “There was a bit of buzz and considering the times we are in it was actually a pretty full room. This was a great coup for the northeast. It shows we can punch above our weight here in Newcastle.”