Christie’s aggregate global NFT sale totals over $100m

By Raffaele Redi

The British auction house is about to sell more NFTs

Larva Labs (Est 2005), Crypto Punk 8191 (left) and 9997 (right)                                 
The NFT collection sold featured Larva Labs (Est 2005), Crypto Punk 8191 (left) and 9997 (right) – Photo: Christie’s

The online-only auction featuring the first non-fungible token (NFT) sale in Asia offered by an international auction house, ‘No Time Like Present’, achieved a record total of HKD121m ($15.5m, €13.4m, £11.6m), three times the pre-sale estimate, driving Christie’s aggregate global NFT sale total to over $100m.

As Chistie’s reported, the 14 NFT lots were all sold, while the NFT sale totalled HK$95.9m.

The historic sale by Christie’s Hong Kong division, which featured a collection of NFT digital art, paintings and lifestyle objects from renowned Hong Kong actor and singer Shawn Yue, also fetched the highest online sale total in Asia among all the auction houses.

Over 16,400 visitors were drawn to the sale, which recorded 279 registrants, with over 50% being first-time registrants, and 168 bidders, with 65% being first-time bidders. A portion of the sale proceeds will benefit the Make-A-Wish Hong Kong Foundation.

“Today, we made history once again with this phenomenal sale that set numerous records in the arenas of NFT and online auctions in Asia, while also driving our global NFT auctions to surpass the US$100m threshold,” said Jacky Ho, Christie’s vice president and head of evening sale, 20th & 21st Century Art Department, Asia-Pacific.

“Our inaugural NFT sale in Asia has completed Christie’s global footprint for this revolutionary category, and we look forward to continuing to own and lead the NFT space and conversations on digital art in Asia and beyond,” Ho added.

Further Christie’s NFT auctions 

Christie’s New York has announced two forthcoming auction including NFTs. The first, ‘Post-War to Present’ will go live on 1 October, and will be the first bidding for a major auction house to take place in ether (ETH).

The auction will feature works by post-war artists including Yayoi Kusama, Helen Frankenthaler, Yoshitomo Nara and Wayne Thiebaud, as well as “the highly sought-after NFT collections Art Blocks and Curio Cards. 

The Christie’s website states that the auction will “unite the artists of the mid-20th century with their counterparts of today in a seamless, thrilling dialogue that promises to deliver quality works for burgeoning and seasoned collectors alike, in both the physical and digital realms”. 

Bidders will compete on two NFTs considered to be some of the oldest artworks on the Ethereum blockchain, as a full set of Curio Cards valued at $1m, including the misprint card 17b, will be complemented by a set of 31 works from the Art Blocks Curated project.

A few days later, on 6 October, Christie’s New York will present the first NFT lot to be offered in a photography auction with floor prices ranging from $100,000–$150,000.

“Justin Aversano’s Twin Flames is a visual elegy to the twin the artist never knew. The images that comprise Twin Flames were originally shot in three film formats, Polaroid, 120mm and 4x5, and over the course of 14 months, beginning in May 2017,” says Rebecca Jones, Christie’s associate specialist and head of sale.

The lot includes an NFT of Bahareh & Farzaneh, the cover image of Aversano’s self-published book, along with a the full physical collection of 100 chromogenic prints in the series.

On 12 May 2021, Christie’s dropped a CryptoPunks NFT bundle that auctioned off for close to $17m – which was still far from its $69m NFT sale of Beeple’s gargantuan digital artwork – the auction house’s first – in early March.

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