£125,000 for Two $60 Works from Banksy’s New York Residency

Banksy, Winnie the Pooh (2013) Photo: Bonhams


A New Zealand woman who purchased two works from a Central Park street vendor for $60 each during Banksy’s New York residency last fall sold them at Bonhams for nearly £125,000 (approx. $214,000), the Telegraph reports.

Kids on Guns (2013) was purchased at Bonham’s spring contemporary art sale for £68,500, near the top end of its £50,000–70,000 ($85,000–119,000) presale estimate. Winnie the Pooh (2013) made an equally handsome £56,250, beating its presale high estimate of £50,000. Both pieces are around 45 cm (18 in) square.

The cumulative result marks nearly 1,800 times what the unsuspecting woman paid for the works while in New York on vacation.  The stall at which the anonymous street artist posted a decoy man to sell the pieces advertised them simply as “spray art.”

Banksy notified the lucky buyer the day after her purchase. She was then presented with certificates of authenticity for both works. It was the 13th part of his one-piece-per-day public art stunt in the city during the month of October, titled Better Out Than In.

The pair sold at Bonhams was two of just eight works sold at the street side that day for a total take-home for the artist of around $420. A Chicagoan purchased four of the pieces. Kids on Guns and Winnie the Pooh are the first of the group to have been sold at auction and set a high bar—and pretty serious incentive—for the other owners to offload their booty.

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