Christie’s to auction off first-ever NTF art pieces for $1m

By Raffaele Redi

The British auction house will auction Curio Cards, the first Art NFT project on Ethereum

Curio Cards N9                                 
Curio Cards N9 – Photo: curio.cards
                                

Pioneering British auction house Christie’s is going to auction off the first-ever non-fungible token (NFT) Art project on Ethereum, Curio Cards, and will be taking live bids in ether (ETH) at the leading auction house.

The full set of 30 cards is estimated to be worth ETH 250–ETH350, or between around $750,000 and $1m.

A full set of 31 NFT projects from the Art Blocks curated collection will is also on sale as part of the “Post-War to Present” auction scheduled for 1 October.

“Considered to be some of the oldest artworks on the Ethereum blockchain, a Full set of Curio Cards, including the misprinted card 17b, will be complemented by a set of 31 works from the Art Blocks Curated project, each of which unites digital artists in pursuit of aesthetic innovation,” states Christie’s.

Curio cards

Although Curio Cards is the first Art NFT project on Ethereum, it is not the first project ever. Etheria is the oldest Ethereum-based NFT project in existence. It features virtual tiles of land on the blockchain and a primitive version of Decentraland.

“It holds the top position in our top-five historical NFT collections list, however, it’s not exactly an art collection, so that honour remains with Curio Cards. It was deployed 77 days after the launch of the public Ethereum network on 21 October 2015,” says its creator on Twitter.

Curio Cards, launched as an online gallery art show on 9 May 2017, are a collection of digital art numbered from one to 30, featuring artwork from seven different artists. Each numbered series has unique artwork and a fixed supply of digital prints, ranging in supply from 111 to 2,000 cards. There are a total of 29,700 Curio Cards, with an estimated 4,000 currently lost or destroyed.

“All Curio Cards were created in 2017, and no more can ever be created. Curio Cards have had an influential impact on NFTs. The two most popular NFT standards developed later (ERC721 and ERC1155) share many design elements with Curio Cards, with ERC721 noting and referencing Curio Cards,” say its creators.

The first major auction in ETH

In a statment, Christie’s announced: “In a first for a major auction house, bidding on these two seminal NFT collections will take place in Ether (ETH), the cryptocurrency native to the Ethereum blockchain.” 

The move comes as ETH price is plummeting in line with other cryptos, with NFT sales dropping on both primary and secondary markets, according to nonfiungible.com data.

However, a $1.1m purchase was recorded on the secondary market over the past 24 hours as Autoglyphs #378 was sold for 360 wrapped ether (WETH). The NFT, which was minted two years ago, was auctioned off for just ETH0.2 at that time, corresponding now to just a few hundred pounds at the current rate.

Suits on for Christie’s

Elsewhere, another ongoing auction by Christie’s prompted members of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) community to ‘suit up’. Participants were cheering the landmark auction, No Time Like Present, which featured a selection of BAYC NFTs, which feature multiple images of apes in suits.

A tweet by a Twitter user named ‘stew_eth’ encouraging followers to put their “suits on for Christie’s” went viral recently, spreading throughout the BAYC community.

One of the first to act was basketball player Stephen Curry, making the aforementioned image of the ape the profile picture on his twitter account, prompting a fun reaction from the British auction house. 

Further reading: D&G NFT auction starts while Freddy Mercury NFT sales stall

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