Hirst piece to auction alongside artist's 'parody'

Auction house Phillips de Pury and Company today held the first of its new series of themed auctions that are to be held in London and New York.

According to the auctioneer's press release, "each sale will be a considered selection of quality property in a range of values to reflect the chosen theme."

Today's London event, entitled Now: Art of the 21st Century, will be followed by Latin America, Music and New York New York.

A noteworthy presence at the London auction was artist Damien Hirst's "return" to a large auction house.

Two lithographs of his famous, and famously expensive, diamond encrusted skull, For the Love of God, are listed at £10,000-15,000.

But, for buyers looked to acquire an actual skull, Polish artist Peter Fuss's riposte to Hirst's skull is also present.

Fuss original produced his own "diamond skull," entitled For the Laugh of God, while Hirst was peddling his original for £50m. For the Laugh of God, in contrast, was offered for just £100.

But even works of artist parody can accrue value, and Fuss's knockoff skull - featuring close to 9,900 pieces of glass made to look like diamonds - is now valued at £6,000-8,000.

This isn't band, considering its production required an investment of £250 and 18 hours of work.

Fuss's artwork led Guardian art journalist Jonathan Jones to declare, "We must buy the diamond skull for Britain."

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