Damien Hirst's skull sketch fails to sell at auction

Damien Hirst sketch The sketch on the back of a discarded poster did not meet its reserve price

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A sketch of a skull drawn by Damien Hirst on the back of a poster has failed to sell at auction.

The doodle, in biro, references the artist's famous diamond-encrusted skull and was given to a friend in Mexico.

The 87cm (34 in) by 57.5cm (22 in) sketch was expected to fetch £6,000, but did not meet its reserve price.

Auctioneers Chorley's of Prinknash, said it was "disappointing" bidding only went to £2,200 at the sale in Cheltenham.

However, two other Hirst items did sell during the auction.

Wrestling match

On the skull sketch along with a signature, the artist had written a dedication to the recipient "Nara", with the message "Love is Blind".

"It was acquired directly from the artist by the vendor at an exhibition Hirst held at the Hilario Galgueria Gallery in Mexico in 2006," a Chorley's spokeswoman said.

"During the after-show party, which included a wrestling match, Hirst sketched a skull and the slogan Love is Blind on the back of one of the discarded wrestling posters for a friend.

"It's disappointing that it didn't sell but we're pleased the other two Hirsts sold."

Two exhibition catalogues signed and illustrated by Hirst were also included in the sale.

One featuring sketches of a skull, lemon and cigarette packet made £950 whilst a second butterfly sketch sold for £550.

In 2007, Hirst's diamond-encrusted skull - 'For the Love of God' - sold for a reputed £50m.

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