WHEN the hammer went down on Lot No 31 on Tuesday night, Skibbereen art auctioneer Morgan O’Driscoll had sold a set of four Andy Warhol screen prints of Muhammad Ali for €260,000.
The other star lot, in what was Morgan’s third Irish and international art exhibition since lockdown, was a signed print by Banksy called Morons, which realised a price of €84,500.
It was one of Morgan O’Driscoll’s most successful auctions to date. An estimated 94% of the 176 works sold in the online auction – which was conducted at his office at Ilen Street, Skibbereen – and realised €2m in sales.
‘The auctions are increasing in popularity because international buyers have come to expect them to feature the finest international art. They are drawn, too, by the incredible talent that is available here in West Cork,’ Morgan told The Southern Star.
He confirmed this was not his first time selling a Warhol. It was, however, a world record price for that particular full set of Muhammad Ali screen prints, which were done in the 1980s.
It was not his first time selling a Banksy, either. But Morgan estimated that the pre-Covid-19 price of this particular work of art would have been in the region of €20,000.
The price of Banksy’s works have increased exponentially since lockdown and on Tuesday night this lot – No 27 – quadrupled in value.
‘It’s ironic,’ said Morgan, ‘that the lot is called Morons and depicts an art auction with a framed image that states, “I can’t believe you morons buy this shit”.’ Morgan said he is delighted that the art market is holding up very well during the pandemic. For those interested in checking what he has coming up next, Morgan has a more affordable art auction, which is live online and finishes at 6.30pm next Monday, November 2nd.
All of these can be viewed on morganodriscoll.com. See the ad in this week’s Southern Star for more.