Everyone knows the famous Only Fools and Horses episode, where Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter discovers the Harrison ‘lesser’ watch in their garage. Well, Fred Wyrley-Birch, of Anderson & Garland Auctioneers in Newcastle, had a very similar experience at the back of a garage in Ponteland, near Newcastle, where he discovered a rare and valuable limited edition Banksy print.
Fred explained “A local lady telephoned me, inviting us to look at items at their home, with a view to selling them at auction. This is a free service, which we provide daily for clients across the region and beyond, for larger consignments. Once at the property, I looked at a range of objects, set aside for my visit. I then filled out the usual receipt and loaded them into my car, ready to take back to the saleroom. As we were finishing, by chance, the client, delighted at the clear-out, revealed everything was now sorted, except for one item, a limited edition print that was in the garage, which had been puzzling her. I offered to take a look, so we went to the back of the garage where it was stored. When she handed it to me, it was one of those moments that makes the hair on the back of your head stand up. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was holding a rare, limited-edition ‘Banksy’.
The print, titled ‘Morons’ is numbered 195 from a series of just 500.
‘I asked the client if they had any extra provenance,’ said Fred. ‘They explained that it had been purchased in 2006, from ‘Pictures on walls’, a gallery in London, for £200’. The print also comes with the original tube and packaging. Moreover, it has the original skull and crossbones postage design and franking number on it.
It comes up for auction on Wednesday 27th October at Anderson & Garland’s saleroom in Newcastle, as part of their Modern Art & Design Auction, and is estimated to fetch between £10,000 - £15,000. Public viewing takes place on Tuesday 26th October or by appointment.