Page last updated at 20:10 GMT, Monday, 15 September 2008 21:10 UK

Hirst artwork put up for auction

Damien Hirst
Damien Hirst is selling a range of his work from across his career

Hundreds of works of art by Damien Hirst are being auctioned at Sotheby's.

The artist has abandoned the traditional method of selling through dealers and galleries, going straight to the auction house instead.

The auction, called Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, is the first time an artist has sold a substantial body of work this way.

Already sold is The Golden Calf for 10.3m and The Kingdom - a tiger shark in formaldehyde - which sold for 9.6m.

The Golden Calf, placed in a gold case, was estimated to sell for between 8m and 12m.

Cigarette butts

The work entitled The Kingdom had been estimated at between 4m and 6m. A case of used cigarette butts is expected to go for more than 1m.

The Black Sheep with the Golden Horn, another animal in formaldehyde, sold for 2.6m, within its 2-3m estimate.

There are set to be three auction sessions, with a second and third on Tuesday morning and afternoon. In total Mr Hirst will put 223 works up for sale.

The extraordinary body of new work to be showcased at Sotheby's is among his best yet
Sotheby's spokesman

Mr Hirst has called the auction a "mini retrospective" and "probably the most amazing show I've put on".

BBC Entertainment reporter David Sillito said that opting to sell all this art in the hurley-burley of the sale room is an unusual move, but that the artist says galleries can be snobby and elitist.

A spokesman for Sotheby's said: "The extraordinary body of new work to be showcased at Sotheby's is among his best yet - ambitious, exquisite and incredibly powerful."

New Hirst works to be auctioned
19 Jun 08 |  Entertainment
Hirst auction 'due to fetch 65m'
29 Jul 08 |  Entertainment
Hirst's diamond skull raises 50m
30 Aug 07 |  Entertainment

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