Leopard and Barcode, a work by British graffiti artist Banksy, has sold for £75,650 at Bonhams' Urban Art Sale in London.
Coming in just below its £80,000 high-estimate, the spray paint on canvas, one of five produced and signed by the mysterious artist, was the top lot at the March 29 auction.
The work has excellent provenance, having been acquired from the 33 1/3 Gallery in Los Angeles by the consignor.
The sale is further evidence of the art-buying public's continuing fascination with the man.
Last year Banksy's Monkey Detonator sold for £97,250 at Bonhams, while the world record for a Banksy piece is Keep It Spotless, a mural which first appeared in London and sold at Sotheby's New York for $1.87m in 2008.
"It seems that the public just can't get enough of [Banksy], and his continued anonymity, even following last year's Oscar nomination, only adds to his enigma," commented Alan Montgomery, an urban art specialist at Bonhams.
"Increased international interest means that he is no longer just collected in the UK, but now has a truly global following."
The auction also featured Banksy's Girl and Balloon, which achieved £73,250, close to five times its pre-sale valuation. His Bomb Hugger made £49,250.
The joint-second top lot of the sale was a spray paint on canvas by Brazilian twins Os Gemeos. O Aniversario da Meretris sold for £73,250.
Paul Fraser Collectibles will keep you abreast of further developments in the urban art world throughout the year, so make sure you check back here regularly.
We have a number of superb investment-grade pieces of art in our collection, sourced by our market experts.