Banksy: Merrivale stable going under the hammer in Newcastle
- Credit: Danielle Booden
A Banksy artwork deposited amid a model village in Great Yarmouth could achieve a seven figure sum when it goes up for sale at auction.
The owners of Great Yarmouth's Merrivale Model Village say the stable - which shone a global spotlight on the seafront attraction - will be sold in Tyneside where they have links.
It will be included among lots in a modern art and design auction on January 27.
Frances Newsome, 60, said the stress of being custodian of the creation had possibly contributed to husband Frank's heart attack in December.
"It will be nice to draw a line under last year," she said.
"We had the highs of Banksy and a lot of personal loss. They say whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, so we should be really strong."
The stable featuring a porcelain figure carrying fruit appeared in August during what the elusive artist later declared as his summer 'Spraycation'.
The tiny thatched stable, also depicted a rat and the words ‘Go Big Or Go Home” scrawled on the side,
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It went unnoticed at the model village for two days until it was brought to the attention of staff.
Once verified it made headlines across the world, and lead to a spike in visitors as well as issues around insurance and security.
It is going up for sale at a Newcastle auction house - Anderson and Garland’s Auctions - where Mrs Newsome has a personal connection through her grandfather who was a collector and well-known to staff there.
Following a period on display at a museum in Peterborough, it is heading to the north east where it can be viewed by potential buyers.
Iain Byatt-Smith, of the auction house, said there had already been international interest from dealers and private collectors and that the market was "buoyant."
Because it was "special" the stable would have its own catalogue. In line with previous offers the lot was expected to achieve the high hundreds of thousands up to a million pounds, he said, with bidders having to pre-register.
Mrs Newsome said she hoped it would stay in the UK.
"It was a blessing and we are extremely thankful," she said.
"I just wish he would tell us why he left it with us.
"But the added stress has not helped and when it went to the museum it was a relief.
"The costs of having it were pretty horrendous."
Meanwhile a replica model made at the University of the Arts in Bournemouth, was "amazing" she said.
With the replica in place the attraction also planned to introduce Merrivale-sized versions of the east coast Banksy spree, in tribute to the Spraycation.
Mr Newsome was recovering well, but would be unlikely to return in the same capacity, she said.
Proceeds from the Banksy sale would secure the future of the attraction, she added, with preparations underway for the new season in February.
Private art collector John Brandler said in his view the stable could achieve between £500,000 and £1m.
"It is not a typical Banksy," he said.
"The best ones are those that make you smile or those that make you think.
"With the grabber there was some wit to that, the seagull is phenomenal, and the sandcastle - what a clever concept.
"Then there was the altering of the statue in Kings Lynn - it did not take a lot of work but it took a lot of thought."
In its favour he said it was a unique, standalone artwork and that there was no doubt about its authenticity.
Mrs Newsome said a reserve had been set and that the prospect of a sale was "exciting and nerve-wracking."
Another work forming part of the Spraycation is due to go under the hammer in California.
The mural showing a girl building a sandcastle in London Road North, Lowestoft, was removed in November after the building's owners sold it off.