Early pieces by graffiti artist Banksy added to Los Angeles auction

Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:42am EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Four early works of elusive British artist Banksy will go on sale at an auction in December, joining the artist's "Flower Girl" piece, Julien's Auctions said on Monday.

The four graffiti works include "Happy Choppers," a 2002 mural that first appeared on a wall at the Whitecross Street Market in London and features a stenciled group of military helicopters, one adorned with a pink bow.

The piece is estimated to fetch between $150,000 and $200,000, and will join the sale of "Flower Girl," a stencil work that first appeared on a Los Angeles gas station wall. It is expected to fetch between $150,000 and $300,000.

Beverly Hills-based Julien's Auctions said the auction marked the first time that Banksy's public street art had gone on sale in the United States.

The works were all put up for sale by private owners whose identities remain confidential. The consignors to decide whether Banksy receives any part of the proceeds, Julien's said.

Also included in the sale are two other works from Banksy's 2003-2004 tour in Germany, which were discovered on walls in Berlin. "TV Girl" features a stencil of a girl holding a television set with an orange heart on the screen, while "Umbrella Rat" depicts a rat dressed in a bowler hat and tie, parachuting with an umbrella.

"TV Girl" is expected to fetch between $80,000 and $120,000 while "Umbrella Rat" is estimated between $40,000 and $60,000.

The final piece to be added to the collection is a 2003 work called "Black Bobby," from Banksy's tour in Sydney, Australia. It features a silhouette of a British policeman writing a ticket and is valued between $20,000 and $30,000.   Continued...