20 OCTOBER 2006

It's no secret that Kate Moss is more in demand than ever as designers compete for her modelling services. But even controversial graffiti artist Banksy must have been surprised when his pictures of the supermodel were snapped up for more than five times their estimated value at auction this week.

The six silkscreen prints of the Croydon-born beauty, which reflect Andy Warhol's iconic Marilyn Monroe series, prompted frenzied bidding at Sotheby's modern art sale. Originally valued at £10,000 they eventually fetched £50,000; the winning bid coming from a US-based private collector.

Sotheby's representative Elli Varnavides described the outcome of the sale as "spectacular". "I believe Kate Moss was happy about Banksy using her image in an iconic way," she added. The Bristol-born artist, who counts Christina Aguilera, Brad Pitt and Jude Law among his celebrity fans, recently attracted headlines after he controversially painted a real elephant pink and gold to represent the way poverty was ignored.

Kate, meanwhile, was getting creative herself when she joined boyfriend Pete Doherty on stage at his Babyshambles gig in Florence on Thursday. The 32-year-old beauty caused a sensation when she took to the microphone alongside her beau. And it's not just their duets which are causing a stir. The loved-up couple have been spotted wearing impressive rings – a sparkling diamond for her and a square-cut, cream-coloured gem for him - on their engagement fingers.

Photo: ©
The Andy Warhol-style prints of supermodel Kate fetched an unexpectedly high price at auctionClick on photos for gallery
Photo: ©
Croydon-born Kate has been in Florence this week to support her beau Pete at his Babyshambles gig. The pair have recently been spotted sporting their own pieces of art - impressive rings on their engagement fingers Photo: © Rex

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