When a Banksy original art piece goes to auction or is sold, the world hears about it. From news headlines to documentaries and televised reports, the unveiling of a new Banksy art piece is big news – and the sale of it is often even bigger due to the large sums of money that exchange hands.
For Banksy sellers, the value of an original piece by Banksy will come as no great shock – after all, there is a reason why you have invested your hard-earned money in a piece by the renowned and mysterious street artist. But what are the largest sales of Banksy artwork that have occurred on the global art market?
The Rise in Value of Banksy’s Work
Banksy has hosted a number of exhibitions showcasing his own work, beginning back in the early 2000s when he was relatively unheard of compared to the artist he is today. As an example, in 2004 Banksy created a selection of spoof banknotes that had a different figurehead (Princess Diana rather than the Queen) and which read ‘Banksy of England’ rather than ‘Bank of England’. At the time, a run of posters containing 10 uncut notes was sold for £100 per piece – just three years later in October 2007, the same item sold for £24,000.
And it’s not just notoriety that has seen the value of Banksy’s work see such an increase. The interest of celebrities over the years has added to the coveting of Banksy original pieces – something which supposedly helped the street art industry as a whole in what has since been called ‘the Banksy effect’.
Banksy’s Charitable Sales and Art Pieces
Aside from the huge value and profit that lies in the sale of Banksy pieces, the artist has also done his bit for various charities over the years – with one famous instance being his donated piece ‘Game Changer’ which was gifted to the University Hospital of Southampton during the Covid-19 pandemic. In March 2021 the painting was sold for £16.7million which went directly to the hospital and other NHS-related charities and organisations.
Another charitable piece is ‘Mediterranean Sea View’, which was painted in 2017 and sold at auction in 2020 for £2.2million. The proceeds from the sale were donated to the Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation – in fitting support of the piece which highlights the migrant crisis.
Now for the big numbers – what are the biggest figures ever fetched for a Banksy piece?
The Biggest Individual Sales Ever
One particularly famous piece which fetched a huge sum at auction was the ‘Girl with Balloon’ piece – but it didn’t end there. In a move to self-vandalise his own work, Banksy had created a shredder inside the frame of the piece which, when the hammer dropped on the final bid, proceeded to start shredding the piece. The piece was half-saved and – given the immense news and notoriety that this stunt created – the piece doubled in value almost overnight.
Originally sold for just over £1million, the piece sold again in 2021 for a staggering $25.4million (£19.3million approx.)
Some other highly valuable Banksy pieces which have fetched huge sums include:
- ‘Devolved Parliament’ – first shown in 2009, this piece is the ultimate example of Banksy and his political commentary, showing MPs as chimpanzees in the houses of parliament. In 2019 this piece sold at auction for £9.9million – which at the time was a record high for Banksy, with the artist famously chiding himself for not selling it of his own accord.
- ‘Show me the Monet’ – this piece did, in fact, generate quite a bit of money, as it fetched £7.5million at auction in 2020. The piece was painted in 2005 and continues to be apt today amid the climate crisis, as it highlights a landscape similar to that created by Monet but with trolleys, traffic cones, and other waste destroying the peaceful environment presented in the painting.
Nobody knows how much each original Banksy will fetch when it goes to auction or comes up for sale, but with the guidance of a team of expert Banksy sellers and valuers, you can ensure that you get the very best price when selling your investment piece.