Damien Hirst fans stung by small print

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The Independent Online

Damien Hirst fans who thought they were buying a piece of history at last week's £11 million Pharmacy auction may be in for a nasty shock.

Damien Hirst fans who thought they were buying a piece of history at last week's £11 million Pharmacy auction may be in for a nasty shock.

The 168 lots sold at Sotheby's were billed as "original" fixtures and fittings from Hirst's famed Notting Hill restaurant. But close inspection of the catalogue reveals that several items included in the sale were manufactured this year. Pharmacy closed last year.

The news, revealed in a London newspaper, could come as an unpleasant surprise to buyers who did not read the small print. Sotheby's press release described all 168 lots as "original items from the celebrated Pharmacy restaurant".

A Sotheby's spokeswoman insisted that buyers had not been duped. "It is perhaps misleading but I don't think any of the buyers were misled, because we issued the catalogue a month before the sale and the details were all there," she said. "They were buying an original work by Damien Hirst, that's the important thing."

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