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Bomb Middle England, 2003


Bomb Middle England, 2003
Edition: 500 (50 signed)

‘People who get up early in the morning cause war, death and famine.’

Bomb Middle England shows three middle-aged ladies playing boules on a strip of grass created from two horizontal planes of green, the only elements of color in an otherwise muted palette. At closer look, the viewer can notice the boule balls are no other than cannonballs, with lit fuses.
In fact, those ladies seem to be enjoying a game of petanque, a traditional afternoon activity for what could be described as the elite traditional older class. The composition is also a striking element of this horizontal print with a clear separation between the players at a safe distance from the lit fuses. One might say Banksy has chosen his side as he signed and numbered under the bombs…
Banksy thus illustrates how the elite and power in charge is believed to be indifferent to the violence and devastation of war, as they seem to throw bombs without a care. It also portrays a cynical parody of war as a game played by those in power who can decide to expend the lives of others and never suffer any of the consequences.

Banksy, Banging Your Head Against A Brick Wall, November 2001
Bomb Middle England first appeared as a mural spray-painted in Banksy’s hometown of Bristol. An earlier version, in spray-paint and acrylic on canvas, was sold in 2007 at Sotheby’s for GBP 107,000. At the time, it held the record set for an artwork by Banksy. Banksy did a few originals with this image.


Bomb Middle England

Year: 2003
Medium: Screen-print in colors on wove paper
Size: 35×100 cm (13 5/8 x 39 inches)
Publisher: Pictures on Walls


Total Edition: 500
of which 50 prints are signed
Artist’s Proofs: 31 signed AP
A run of 31 Artist’s Proofs were released in 2005 for Lazarides Gallery.



Updated as of 15 March 2023


1. Bomb Middle England (unsigned)


Bomb Middle England (unsigned), 2003
Numbered 281/500 in pencil, lower right
Heritage Auctions: 26 October 2022
USD 25,501

Bomb Middle England (unsigned), 2003
Numbered 59/500 in pencil, lower right
Sotheby’s online: 17 August 2022
Estimated: GBP 10,000 – 15,000
GBP 20,160 / USD 24,192

Bomb Middle England (unsigned), 2003
Numbered 360/500 in pencil, lower right
Sotheby’s online: 18 March 2021
GBP 32,760 / USD 45,536
Bomb Middle England (unsigned), 2003
Numbered 194/500 in pencil, lower right
Bonhams London: 25 February 2021

GBP 44,000 / USD 62,120

2. Bomb Middle England (signed)

Bomb Middle England (signed) has not sold at auction since 2008. A signed AP from the AP Edition of 31 last sold at Sotheby’s online on 19 September 2019 for GBP 18,750.

Bomb Middle England (signed AP), 2003
Signed in pencil, lower right
Inscribed ‘AP-12/31’ in pencil, lower right
Sotheby’s online: 19 September 2019
GBP 18,750