Miniature Banksy Model Auctioned For £1 Million
In the summer of 2021 cult British street artist Banksy was back in the headlines for “A Great British Spraycation” which featured nine works in East Anglian coastal towns. The most unusual work in the collection was a tiny model stable the artist discreetly inserted into a medieval model village in Great Yarmouth. It wasn’t until a visitor noticed it a couple of days later that staff began to suspect they may have gained a precious artwork complete with one of Banksy’s signature rats standing on a cartwheel.
Last week the model stable was put up for auction in Newcastle by the owners of the model village out of security concerns. The eventual hammer price was £800,000, or just over £1 million with the addition of the artist’s fee and commission.
The sale is testament to the enduring strength of the Banksy brand. Other notable sales in recent months include a new record for most expensive work ever sold at auction for “Love Is In The Bin” back in October 2021. This piece was formerly known as “Girl With Balloon” up until it famously self-shredded during an auction at Sotheby’s in London in 2018 shortly after selling for £1 million. After an intense bidding war, the artwork sold again in October for a remarkable £16 million, significantly over the £4-6 million guide price.
The former holder of the record was another piece sold last year, “Game Changer”, which went for £16.8 million in March 2021 at Christie’s in London. These fast-paced record sales are widely being interpreted as the art market’s return to normal trading conditions after the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic.