Banksy 'Girl and Balloon' canvas smashes auction estimate

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A limited edition canvas of Banksy's iconic 'Girl and Balloon' has smashed its auction estimate by selling for a record-breaking £345,000.

The 2003 piece is based on the artist's work which appeared on a wall one year earlier in London.

It features a girl letting go of a red, heart-shaped balloon and last year it was named Britain's favourite artwork.

And while prints can be picked up for a few pounds, an authentic Banksy canvas of the piece is seriously sought after among collectors.

Credit: SWNS

Bonhams auctioned number 17 of 25 at its Post-War and Contemporary Art sale in London on Wednesday - giving it a guide price of around £200,000.

But there was a bidding war and the winning buyer ended up forking out £344,750 for the 15-year-old piece.

This is a record for any images of Girl and Balloon, smashing the previous best of £169,250.

This result was remarkable because of the interest from around the globe. We had 15 bidders vying to acquire this work, including four who were in the room. In the event, the painting was sold to someone who was in the room. Recently we have seen Banksy's appeal surge. And this has been reflected in the prices achieved in our saleroom.

Gareth Williams, departmental director, Post-War & Contemporary Art at Bonhams