Forum Auctions to sell Banksy's first ever print

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Forum Auctions to sell Banksy's first ever print
Forum specialists posing with Banksy's Rude Copper.

LONDON.- On Tuesday 21st January Forum Auctions is offering a unique hand sprayed variant numbered 1/250 of Banksy’s iconic Rude Copper image. The work is signed and further embellished with Banksy’s trademark red ink tag.

Printed by Pictures on Walls in 2002, Rude Copper is recognised as the artist’s first commercially produced screen-print and introduced Banksy’s work to the fine art market for the first time.

Of the 250 examples, only c.50 were signed and fewer still hand sprayed with the ‘FUCK THE POLICE’ tagline. Acquired by the seller at Sydney’s inaugural Semi Permanent exhibition in 2003 for only $400 AUD, the work is estimated to sell for £70,000 - £90,000 and promises to be keenly contested by collectors.

Rude Copper’s blunt messaging questions the traditionally romanticised image of the friendly neighbourhood bobby on the beat, instead warning us to be wary of authority. The image also parodies the cat-and-mouse relationship between graffiti artists and the police’s efforts to crack down on the vandalism of public spaces. Banksy’s subversive images of policemen have adorned any number of buildings and doorways over the years, from his infamous Kissing Coppers in Brighton to his rediscovered Snorting Copper in Hackney, London.

Forum Auctions’ sale of Editions and Works on Paper is being held at The Westbury Hotel on Tuesday 21st January. Alongside Rude Copper(Lot 266), a further seven numbered and signed prints will be on offer; Napalm (Lot 264), Morons (Lot 265), Grannies (Lot 268), Monkey Queen (Lot 269), Love is in the Air (Lot 270), Silver Flag (Lot 271) and Trolleys (Lot 272).

Forum Auctions is London’s specialist auctioneer for works on paper and sells over a quarter of all Banksy numbered editions that come to auction on the secondary market annually.

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