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Rare Banksy balloon print expected to fetch up to £350,000

Written by on 10 September 2020

A rare print of Banksy’s famous Girl With Balloon artwork is expected to sell for up to £350,000.

While it usually features a red balloon, this one is purple – and one of just 88 created with different colours.

It is up for grabs at Christie’s as part of the auction house’s second sale dedicated to Banksy.

The online auction is already under way and has a starting bid of £240,000, with a final estimate of £250,000 to £350,000.

The sale of the 69cm x 49cm artwork finishes on 23 September.

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Christie’s is also selling works by other well-known modern artists including Keith Haring

Murray Macaulay, head of the prints and multiples department for Christie’s London, says the Banksy market is one of the fastest-growing in the industry.

He said: “This particular version is in purple… this is the first time a purple has come on to the market. So we’re expecting that there will be a lot of interest.”

More from Banksy

The sale is titled Banksy: I Can’t Believe You Morons Actually Buy This S***, after the anonymous street artist’s Morons artwork, and includes 22 lots.

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“His images are infinitely memorable,” Mr Macaulay said.

“You see them and you remember them, and you get the punchline straight away. I think that’s why his work is so effective.”

Christie’s also has two other online sales “covering the breadth of printmaking from the late 19th century to the present day” – including works from artists such as Andy Warhol and David Hockney.

An employee holds a work by Paul Cezanne at Christie's auction house in London, Britain September 9, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Jacobs
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A watercolour by Paul Cezanne will be auctioned for the first time in October

The auction house is also hosting its 20th Century Evening Sale in New York on 6 October, which will also run online.

One highlight will be a Paul Cezanne watercolour that has never been up for auction and is estimated at around $25m (£19.2m).

“This is the most expensive watercolour by the artist to appear at auction,” said Giovanna Bertazzoni, vice chairman of Christie’s 20th/21st century department.