Banksy – Soup Cans (Unsigned Lithograph)
Tesco Tomato Soup Cans is a rare and collectable offset lithograph print by Banksy from 2004 in an edition of 1,000. Printed by POW. 32.8″ x 23.2″ (83.3cm x 58.9cm).
Buying and collecting original Banksy prints can be difficult waters to navigate – our Banksy print buying guide aims to help…
Banksy – Trolleys (Signed Silkscreen)
2007. Hand signed and numbered by Banksy. Limited edition of 750. 56 x 76cm (22 x 30″)
The first rule for buying any work of art is to buy it because you love it. If you’re buying a Banksy print as an investment there’s no guarantee its value will keep rising. Loving the work to begin with ensures that any fluctuations in value will be incidental to how thrilled you are to own it.
With that in mind let’s move on to the issues to consider when looking to buy a Banksy print online. The first issue you’ll come up with is scarcity – there aren’t too many Banksy originals (signed or unsigned) on the market. Sure there’s a ton of copies out there but authentic limited edition Banksy silkscreens are few and hard to find.
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My first recommendation is to start at London based MyArtBroker with over 50 Banksy limited edition prints available on their website. Prices are on application or you can make an offer for any works you’re interested in.
Banksy – Di-Faced Tenner
2004. Offset lithograph. Portrait of Princess Diana and motto on the front: “I promise to pay the bearer on demand the ultimate price.” Image of Darwin on back and statement: “Trust no one.” 8 x 15cm (3.1 x 5.9″).
From there hop over the water to Amsterdam based Lionel Gallery who stock a surprisingly wide range of Banksy prints. Again, prices aren’t listed online so you’ll have to contact them directly for individual prices.
Banksy – Petrol Bomb
2011. Offset lithograph. Edition of 2000. 50 × 40cm (19.7 × 15.7″)
While we’re in London Lazarides Gallery (Steve Lazarides was Banksy’s de facto agent for 11 years until 2009). Original Banksy artwork and prints are rarely available to buy directly online at Lazarides so you’ll need to contact for prices too.
Banksy – Very Little Helps (Signed Silkscreen)
2008. Hand signed and numbered by Banksy. Limited edition silkscreen screen print in an edition of 299. 37cm x 51cm (14.5″ x 20″)
Then it’s over to some well established online galleries like Rise Art who occasionally acquire limited numbers of Banksy prints to sell online.
Steve Lazarides started out selling Banksy screen prints for just £25 each, prints that are now worth many thousands of pounds each. Still, even that’s small beer compared to the staggering £9.9 million Banksy’s “Devolved Parliament” painting sold for in October 2019.
Banksy – Devolved Parliament
2009. 4m (13ft) painting sold for £9,879,500 by Sotheby’s, London, 2019.
With those kinds of prices floating around how do you begin to work out what you should pay for a Banksy screenprint? Artsy’s online auction results for Banksy artworks can be a helpful place to start to give you a ballpark figure to aim for.
Let’s use Banksy’s 2007 screen print Stop & Search (shown below) as an example. It’s part of an edition of 500 and signed and numbered by Banksy (with a Pest Control CoA).
Banksy – Stop And Search (Signed Silkscreen)
2007. Hand signed and numbered by Banksy. Limited edition silkscreen screen print in an edition of 500. 76 x 56cm (30″ x 22″)
A print from the series was sold at Bonhams in March 2012 for £8,750. In January 2016 another, valued at £5,000 – £7,000, sold at Philips auction house for £15,000. Fast forward to June 2019 and another sold for £35,062 at Bonhams. Thus valuing the full edition of 500 at over £17 million!
Artsy list over 2,000 Banksy final auction prices you can filter by year, type etc. You’ll need to register (for free) to see the final prices.
You can also get clues on going rates for Banksy prints using the following method on eBay. Go to the Advanced Search page and enter the ‘print name’ + ‘Banksy’ + ‘Pest Control’. Then make sure to tick the checkboxes ‘Title and description’ and ‘Sold listings’. If a print of the same edition sold recently you’ll see exactly how much someone was prepared to pay for it.
Original Banksy exhibition posters are now highly collectible items themselves offering hope for the rest of us who can’t afford an original Banksy print. Here are some Bansky exhibition posters currently available on eBay…
Banksy – Save Or Delete Greenpeace Poster
2002 Rare Banksy poster. Disney threatened legal action so posters were never circulated. A2 size (42 x 59cm)
Banksy – Forgive Us Our Trespassing
Limited edition poster with folds as issued. Exit Through the Gift Shop film poster on reverse. Size: 23″ x 16.5 (58.4cm x 41.9cm).
Banksy – The Art of Banksy (Exhibition Poster)
Limited edition. Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam. Offset lithograph. Size: A0 size, 84 x 119cm (33 x 47″).
Banksy – Visit Historic Palestine
Various editions of this poster from the Walled Off Hotel. Offset lithograph. Size: 23.2″ x 16.5″ (59cm x 42cm).
Banksy – Doe Museum (Exhibition Poster)
Doe Museum, Zuidlaren, Holland. Offset lithograph. Size: 46.7″ x 33″ (118.6cm x 83.8cm).
eBay can be a minefield for buying Banksy prints with so many knock offs and imitations masquerading as originals. Another problem is the sheer volume of results with so many sellers using Banksy’s name to appear in search results whether they’re relevant or not. To illustrate the point a recent search for ‘Banksy’ on eBay UK brought back almost a quarter of a million results!
But it is possible to find legit Banksy prints without wading through thousands of duds. Try this eBay search which searches for Banksy’s “Pest Control” official verification within the item description and you’ll see much better results.
Now lets talk about the eBay elephant in the room. Is it crazy to spend thousands of pounds on an artwork you’ve only viewed online from a seller you’ve never met? It certainly can be – but it absolutely doesn’t have to be. Here’s some tips (learned the hard way) to make your purchase as safe and smart as possible.
1. Only buy from sellers with a positive feedback of 100% and plenty sales.
2. Stick to listings with detailed descriptions and high quality photos (including Pest Control verification) and ask for more photos/info if necessary.
3. Use a credit card to pay (with or without Paypal) and you’ll be protected up to £30,000 or more with your credit card’s Section 75 coverage.
4. If for any reason the artwork isn’t as described when it arrives eBay has a money back guarantee you’ll be covered by too.
Use this eBay search which displays Banksy originals in ‘newly listed’ order. Click ‘Follow this search’ for the option to receive an email whenever a new artwork is added. It’s the best way I’ve found of grabbing a ‘Buy it Now’ bargain before anyone else. Happy hunting!
Banksy – Chocolate Donut (Signed Silkscreen)
2008. Hand signed and numbered by Banksy. Limited edition of 299. 56 x 74.5cm (22 x 29.3″)
If you’d like to sell a Banksy print then you’ve a number of options available. eBay reaches the widest audience and charges lower fees then a broker or auction house. If you get a legit buyer eBay’s great, however, if you get a fraudulent or difficult buyer then it can be a real hassle to resolve disputes.
For more peace of mind you could go down the art auction route. Check out our art auction recommendations for some good sites to get started with.
Banksy – Guantanamo Bay
2013. Modified oil painting sold for £375,000 by Lazarides at Art13 London in 2014.
Alternatively you could use an art broker to connect your work with a buyer in exchange for a fee. MyArtBroker runs such a service with fees from 12.5% and has a range of wanted Banksy prints they’re looking to sell on their website. Their Banksy Seller’s Guide is a good resource for digging deeper.
Look away now Banksy collectors and purists. A much more affordable way of enjoying Banksy’s work is to buy open edition prints from photos of his street art. Forget all about certificates of authenticity and collectible value – these are made independently of Banksy and sell on value is moot.
Saying that, unless you’re lucky enough to live in a building with a Banksy art piece on its walls these prints are about as close as you can get to it.
Banksy – Vestry Street
Can be printed in various sizes from 30 x 40cm up to the poster sized 77 x 110cm.
My favourite place for selection and service is King & McGaw who currently stock 120 Banksy street art prints. You can have them printed on 230gsm, fine-grain, smooth art paper (framed or unframed) or on hand-stretched canvas over a 2 inch deep wooden frame with canvas edge.
That’s your walls sorted but that coffee table could do with some street art to stare at – time for some of the best Banksy books.
Leading the pack is the catchily titled ‘Banksy. You are an Acceptable Level of Threat and If You Were Not You Would Know About it’ by Gary Shove and Patrick Potter. Written in 2014 it spans Banksy’s work from the late 90’s up to 2013’s NYC project. Check out some images from the book in this forum post on Urban Art Association.
Banksy – Hardcover Book (2014)
“You are an Acceptable Level of Threat and If You Were Not You Would Know About it”. 4th Edition. 240 pages. Includes Banksy’s October 2013 NY residency ‘Better Out Than In’. 26 x 21 x 2.5cm (10 x 8 x 1″)
Special mention to Wall and Piece from 2006, written by Banksy himself it’s as witty, smart and loaded with lots of early work as you’d hope.