AN auctioneer business will sell an original Banksy artwork discovered more than a decade ago.

Anderson & Garland Auctioneers, based in Newcastle, will sell Banksy's Happy Choppers artwork at auction in March at an estimate of £500,000-£700,000.

The business, owned by Hexham men Julian Thomson and Fred Wyrley-Birch, was established in 1840 and is one of the largest independent auction houses in the UK.

Hexham Courant: The Happy Choppers artwork by BanksyThe Happy Choppers artwork by Banksy (Image: Anderson & Garland)

Banksy's Happy Choppers was created in 2006 and documented by Steve Lazarides, Banksy’s ‘partner in crime’, in his seminal work Banksy Captured (Volume 1).

Fred Wyrley-Birch, director of Anderson & Garland Auctioneers, said: “We’re delighted to be able to offer another original and unique work by the elusive artist Banksy.

Hexham Courant: Banksy's Happy Choppers artworkBanksy's Happy Choppers artwork (Image: Anderson & Garland)

"With our recent success in selling his ‘Merrivale Stable’, which fetched £1,000,000, including fees, we are uniquely placed to bring this highly desirable piece to market. The work carries an auction estimate of £500,000-£700,000."

Happy Choppers was painted onto the wall of a building on Holywell Row, Shoreditch, London, and was painted over by the previous owner of the building, as it was considered a security problem.

The building was later sold to the current owner, without mention of it. 

Hexham Courant: One of the directors of Anderson & Garland, Fred Wyrley-Birch, on the auction rostrumOne of the directors of Anderson & Garland, Fred Wyrley-Birch, on the auction rostrum (Image: Anderson & Garland)

In 2008, while browsing 'Banksy Locations and Tours' by Martin Bull, the vendor recognised his neighbour’s building in one of the images, which meant the Banksy was on his building. 

The section of the wall had now been painted black, however, tucked away and only just visible at the top, was a small section of propellor. 

The vendor, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “After discovering such an important work, we wanted to ensure the integrity of the piece, so approached restoration specialists to find the best way of preserving it for generations to come. 

"To our knowledge, no one had attempted to rescue a fragile work of high-profile street art like this before. As the piece had been painted on render, after several abortive attempts, the decision was made to remove it in sections by specialists.”

The work has been authenticated and valued by experts at Anderson & Garland Auctioneers of Newcastle and will be offered for sale as part of the Spring Fine Art Auction on March 20.

More details will be released in the coming weeks.