A British Icon

Starting out as an underground artist in Bristol, Banksy has now risen to dizzy heights in the international artworld with his work generating record-breaking prices at auction. 

Starting out as an underground artist in Bristol, illegally spray-painting striking artworks onto public property, Banksy has now risen to dizzy heights in the international artworld. His work has generated record-breaking prices at auction and his immediately recognisable Girl with Balloon was voted the U.K.’s favourite artwork in 2017.

Banksy has been operating since the 1990s, generating a distinctive style that fuses street art and graffiti, generally created using stencils, to offer social and political commentary, often imbued with humour. The works are political with an anti-war, anti-capitalism and anti-establishment stance and use iconic imagery and symbols to create striking juxtapositions. Working under a pseudonym, as fame and prices have soared, there has been huge speculation over who is behind these artworks. However, the artist’s true identity remains a closely-guarded secret. 



LOT 239 | § BANKSY (BRITISH 1974-) | FLYING COPPER - 2004 | Sold for £25,200*


View Lot 239 ⇒



Over the years, Banksy’s artistic expression has expanded, directing an Oscar-nominated documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop in 2010 and in 2017 to recognise 100 years of British government involvement in Palestine, opening a fully operational art hotel in Bethlehem, ‘The Walled-Off Hotel.’ Continually audacious and bold, in 2018 Banksy created a new artwork titled Love is in the Bin during a live auction, when the painting Girl with Balloon started to self-shred moments after the hammer came down on its sale for a record price of just over £1million at Sotheby’s London. When it was re-sold, part-shredded and now titled Love is in the Bin, in 2021, an entirely new record was set achieving £18.5 million. 

Here in Flying Copper we can see the subversive and often humorous juxtapositions that Banksy creates to convey his messages. With the policeman kitted out in full riot gear but also sporting a smiley face and angel wings, referencing innocence, purity and 1990s rave culture against a figure of violence and control. 

Now that Banksy’s work has become so recognisable and highly sought after, authentication of each work is highly important. This screenprint has recently been authenticated by Banksy’s only authenticating body ‘Pest Control’ and is sold with an accompanying ‘Certificate of Authenticity'.


*All sold lots include buyer's premium.


Auction Information


Wednesday 10 August | Live Online | Edinburgh


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Prints & Multiples


Lyon & Turnbull are delighted to offer Modern and Contemporary editioned prints and multiples within our Contemporary & Post-War Art // Prints & Multiples and MODERN MADE auctions.

An exciting and developing area of the market, Prints & Multiples are popular with new and seasoned collectors alike.

At Lyon & Turnbull, we handle prints from a wide variety of artists: from 20th century masters Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Joan Miro through to the British canon of printmakers including Dame Laura Knight, L.S. Lowry, Edward Bawden, all the way to David Hockney and Howard Hodgkin. Our auctions encompass printmaking created up to and including the present day, with artists currently working in these mediums, such as Tracey Emin, David Shrigley, Banksy and the Connor Brothers.


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Contemporary & Post-War Art


Characterised by competitive bidding, strong results and a high selling rate, our Contemporary & Post-War Art sales are among our most popular auctions. Held three times a year in our Scottish saleroom, highlights are also regularly exhibited in our London gallery. Our strong private client base and excellent international marketing reach has seen these sales grow into flagships of our company.

Encompassing works by both emerging and internationally regarded contemporary artists and sculptors, we have achieved top prices for household names including John Hoyland (a world record), Bridget Riley, Eduardo Paolozzi (a world record for a sculpture), Terry Frost, Nicholas Party, Alison Watt and Callum Innes. Regularly featured local favourites include John Bellany and the ‘New Glasgow Boys’ Peter Howson, Ken Currie, Steven Campbell, as well as John Byrne and Alasdair Gray.


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