Her ‘Chagall’ Is Headed for the Trash. How’s That for Caveat Emptor?

Stephanie Clegg paid $90,000 for a Marc Chagall painting at a Sotheby’s auction in 1994. It was reappraised for $100,000 in 2008. Now an expert panel in France wants to destroy it as a fake.

#art, #auctions, #chagall-marc, #comite-marc-chagall, #finances, #forgery, #france, #manhattan-nyc, #sothebys, #stephanie-clegg

How Paintings Lost in a Small-Town Art Heist Were Recovered 50 Years Later

Two sleuths — a curator and a librarian — in New Paltz, N.Y., helped the F.B.I. track down 200-year-old paintings that were stolen from a historical society in 1972.

#ammi-phillips, #annatje-eltinge, #art, #dirck-d-wynkoop, #elting-memorial-library, #historic-huguenot-street, #josephine-bloodgood, #museums, #new-paltz-ny, #robberies-and-thefts, #sothebys

Catch a Rising Star at the Auction House

No longer does museum validation or scholarly attention determine a painting’s value. Now, the collectors’ hunger comes first, and institutions must follow.

#art, #auctions, #basquiat-jean-michel, #christies, #museums, #phillips-auctioneers-llc, #pollock-jackson, #sothebys, #warhol-andy, #weyant-anna-1995, #weyant-paul-1984, #wong-matthew-1984-2019

Spring Auction Sales for Two Blockbuster Weeks Top $2.5 Billion

Eleven auction records for artists — six by women — were smashed on Thursday night in two sales at Sotheby’s.

#art, #auctions, #christies, #leigh-simone-1968, #phillips-auctioneers-llc, #quarles-christina-1985, #sean-scully, #sothebys, #venice-biennale

The Macklowe Collection Tops $922 Million at Auction

The art holdings from a bitter divorce became what Sotheby’s called the most valuable collection ever sold at auction.

#art, #auctions, #collectors-and-collections, #finances, #macklowe-harry, #manhattan-nyc, #richter-gerhard, #rockefeller-margaret-1947, #rothko-mark, #sothebys

Warhol’s $200 Million ‘Marilyn’ Could Test Art Market’s Health

The painting is poised to wrest the auction high for an American artwork from Jean-Michel Basquiat.

#art, #auctions, #basquiat-jean-michel, #christies, #marilyn-monroe, #monroe-marilyn, #phillips-auctioneers-llc, #picasso-pablo, #rotter-alex, #sothebys, #warhol-andy

New York City Eliminates the Rules That Govern Art and Other Auctions

Auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s will no longer need to be licensed as part of a sweeping package designed to promote a business-friendly climate.

#art, #auctions, #christies, #city-council-nyc, #consumer-protection, #department-of-consumer-and-worker-protection-nyc, #law-and-legislation, #phillips-auctioneers-llc, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #sothebys, #united-states-politics-and-government

A Mural Celebrating Tipu Sultan Is Up for Auction. His Legacy is Contested.

The battle scene depicts a victory over British troops by an 18th-century Muslim, a man India’s current government would prefer was forgotten.

#art, #auctions, #bharatiya-janata-party, #east-india-co, #india, #modi-narendra, #mughal-empire, #muslims-and-islam, #sothebys

Magritte Sets Record With $79.7 Million Sale at Sotheby’s

“L’empire des lumières” (1961), one of a series by the Surrealist, was auctioned during a bustling London art week.

#art, #auctions, #christies, #lempire-des-lumieres, #magritte-rene, #phillips-auctioneers-llc, #sothebys

Sotheby’s NFT Sale, Expected to Hit $30 Million, Suddenly Canceled

The CryptoPunk auction was supposed to set a new benchmark for NFT prices, but instead the consignor bowed out and posted a meme on Twitter.

#art, #auctions, #collectors-and-collections, #larva-labs, #nonfungible-tokens-nfts, #sothebys

Experts Share Some Tips on How to Buy Vintage Jewelry

How do you go about buying online? Should a piece be signed? And what’s good value right now?

#a-la-vieille-russie, #christies, #content-type-service, #jewels-and-jewelry, #luxury-goods-and-services, #new-york-city, #phillips-auctioneers-llc, #shopping-and-retail, #sothebys, #your-feed-fashion

Damien Hirst’s Medium is the Art Market

He might be Britain’s richest artist, but with each attempt to monetize his talent, Hirst’s originality as a conceptual sculptor becomes an ever more distant memory.

#art, #auctions, #claridges-london-england-hotel, #content-type-personal-profile, #gagosian-gallery, #heni, #hirst-damien, #nonfungible-tokens-nfts, #sculpture, #sothebys, #white-cube-gallery, #young-british-artists

Group Raises $20 Million to Preserve ‘Lost’ Brontë Library

The Honresfield Library, which includes rarely seen manuscripts by the Brontës, Robert Burns, Walter Scott and Jane Austen, will be acquired for the British public.

#auctions, #austen-jane, #blavatnik-leonard, #bodleian-libraries, #books-and-literature, #british-library, #bronte-parsonage-museum, #bronte-emily, #collectors-and-collections, #friends-of-the-national-libraries-nonprofit, #honresfield-library, #libraries-and-librarians, #manuscripts, #museums, #scott-walter-1771-1832, #sothebys

Karl Lagerfeld’s Estate Auction Excites Collectors

The designer’s estate is being auctioned in a series of three sales, and collectors are very excited.

#art, #auctions, #chanel-sa, #fashion-and-apparel, #lagerfeld-karl, #monaco, #paris-france, #sothebys, #your-feed-fashion

They Love Crypto. They’re Trying to Buy the Constitution.

How a “financial flash mob” is trying to raise $20 million for a rare copy of the U.S. Constitution.

#auctions, #computers-and-the-internet, #constitution-us, #constitutiondao, #sothebys, #virtual-currency

Frida Kahlo’s ‘Diego and I’ Self Portrait Sells for $34.9 Million

The sale at Sotheby’s on Tuesday was a benchmark for Kahlo and was the most valuable work of Latin American art ever sold at auction.

#art, #auctions, #kahlo-frida, #latin-america, #rivera-diego, #sothebys

Blue-Chip Art From Bitter Macklowe Divorce Brings $676 Million at Sotheby’s

A Sotheby’s executive called the court-ordered sale on Monday night “the most valuable single-owner auction ever staged.”

#art, #auctions, #caillebotte-gustave, #finances, #getty-j-paul-museum, #giacometti-alberto, #rothko-mark, #sothebys, #warhol-andy, #whitney-stanley-1946

The Curious, Astounding Collection of the Magician Ricky Jay

Illusionists, cardsharps, charlatans and human cannonballs enliven a trove of rare books, posters and ephemera now going to auction at Sotheby’s.

#art, #auctions, #beverly-hills-calif, #collectors-and-collections, #jay-ricky, #los-angeles-calif, #magic-and-magicians, #sothebys

At Frieze London, the Art World Inches Toward Normalcy

The fairs, exhibitions and auctions of “Frieze Week” are in-person events once more. But the art world has changed, and so has Britain.

#art, #banksy, #christies, #cohan-james, #collectors-and-collections, #frieze-art-fair, #hauserwirth, #london-england, #myers-christopher, #pi-ex-ltd, #sothebys

Powerful Auction Veterans Aim New Company at Asian Market

Amy Cappellazzo, Yuki Terase and Adam Chinn have joined forces to reach a growing pool of young collectors in Hong Kong and beyond.

#art, #auctions, #cappellazzo-amy, #sothebys

A Leonardo da Vinci the Size of a Post-it Sells for $12.2 Million

“Leonardo is the magic name,” a dealer said as the Renaissance master’s works, and even copies of his works, continue to fetch eye-popping prices.

#art, #auctions, #christies, #da-vinci-leonardo, #london-england, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #sothebys, #tajan-sa

Real estate platform Casafari raises $15M to allow PE to buy single-family homes at scale

Just a Spotify used VC and PE backing to acquire the assets of the music industry so that we must now all rent our music via subscription, rather than own it for life, so a PropTech startup plans to follow a similar strategy for single-family homes.

Casafari, a real estate data platform in Europe based out of Lisbon, Portugal, has raised a $15 million Series A funding round led by Prudence Holdings in New York. But, crucially, it has also secured a $120 million “mandate” from Geneva-based private equity investors Stoneweg, among other PE players, in order to buy-to-let residential and commercial real estate. The startup already has operations in Portugal, Spain, France, and Italy.

Other investors include Armilar Venture Partners (the Portuguese VC behind unicorns Outsystems and Feedzai), HJM Holdings, 1Sharpe (founders of Roofstock), and FJ Labs (Fabrice Grinda, founder of OLX Group), as well as existing investor Lakestar.

Founded by Mila Suharev, Nils Henning, and Mitya Moskalchuk in 2018, Casafari is taking advantage of Europe’s often chaotic real estate data to achieve its goals, due to the lack of a unified Multiple Listings Service (“MLS”).

Casafari plans to aggregate, verify and distribute this data via its platform, hunting down single-family homes as an asset class for institutional investors.

According to Nils Henning, CEO, “CASAFARI has built a unique ecosystem, which connects brokers, developers, asset managers, and investors and enables sourcing, valuation, underwriting and deal collaboration on single units in all asset classes. We are very excited to represent important institutional clients like Stoneweg and others, in deploying their capital into fragmented acquisitions at scale, bringing more liquidity to the market and generating more transactions to the broker clients of our platform.”

Private investors are already using the platform. Since launching in 2018, Casafari has been used by Sotheby’s International Realty, Coldwell Banker, RE/MAX franchises, Savills, Fine & Country, Engel & Voelkers, Keller Williams, and important institutional investors and developers like Stoneweg, Kronos, Vanguard, and Vic Properties.

Mila Suharev, Casafari’s Co-CEO and CPO said: ”There are currently around 70 billion euros in dry powder in Europe that could be allocated in acquiring residential property in a buy to let strategy, and basically there’s no offer available. The property will be collected in portfolios, consisting of single units that pension funds, private equity real estate funds, want to build in Europe as they do in the US.”

What Casafari’s is doing is largely following the playbook of what Roofstock in the US did: an online marketplace for investing in leased single-family rental homes. Roofstock has raised $132.3 million to date.

#armilar-venture-partners, #broker, #ceo, #co-ceo, #coldwell-banker, #economy, #europe, #fabrice-grinda, #finance, #fj-labs, #founder, #france, #geneva, #investment, #italy, #kronos, #lakestar, #lisbon, #money, #new-york, #olx-group, #online-marketplace, #portugal, #private-equity, #property-technology, #prudence-holdings, #roofstock, #sothebys, #spain, #spotify, #stoneweg, #tc, #technology, #united-states

Consortium Aims to Save the Honresfield Library

Sotheby’s has agreed to postpone a highly anticipated auction as a consortium tries to raise $21 million to acquire a “lost” private library for the British public.

#archives-and-records, #auctions, #books-and-literature, #bronte-anne, #bronte-emily, #burns-robert-p, #collectors-and-collections, #friends-of-the-national-libraries-nonprofit, #great-britain, #libraries-and-librarians, #manuscripts, #museums, #scott-walter-1771-1832, #sothebys

Stuart Weitzman’s Treasures Set Records at Sotheby’s

The proceeds from Stuart Weitzman’s “Inverted Jennies,” a 1933 gold piece known as the double eagle and the One-Cent Magenta stamp will go to charitable ventures.

#auctions, #collectors-and-collections, #double-eagle, #inverted-jenny, #numismatics, #one-cent-magenta, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #rubenstein-david-m, #sothebys, #stamps-postal, #stanley-gibbons-ltd, #weitzman-stuart

A Lost Brontë Library Surfaces

A trove of manuscripts acquired from the Brontë family in the 19th century, all but unseen for the past century, will be auctioned at Sotheby’s.

#anne-bronte, #auctions, #books-and-literature, #bronte-parsonage-museum, #bronte-charlotte, #bronte-emily, #gabriel-heaton, #harman-claire, #libraries-and-librarians, #sothebys

Lobus raises $6 million for an art management platform on the blockchain

Reshaping ownership proofs in the fine art markets has been one of the blockchain’s clearest real-world use cases. But in recent months as top auction houses have embraced NFTs and popular artists experiment with the crypto medium, that future has seemed more tangible than ever before.

The ex-Christie’s and Sotheby’s team at Lobus is aiming to commoditize blockchain tech with an asset management platform that they hope can bring creator-friendly mechanisms from NFT marketplaces like SuperRare to the physical art world as well, allowing art owners to maintain partial ownership of the works they sell so that they can benefit from secondary transactions down the line. While physical art sellers have grown accustomed to selling 100% of their work while seeing that value accrue over time as it trades hands, Lobus’s goal is for artist’s to maintain fractional ownership throughout those sales, ensuring that they earn a commission on sales down the road. It’s a radical idea and a logistical nightmare made feasible by the blockchain’s approach to ownership.

“We’re really on a mission of making artists into owners,” Lobus CEO Sarah Wendell Sherrill tells TechCrunch. “We are really leveraging the best of what NFTs are putting out there about ownership and asking the questions of how to help create different ownership structures and interrupt this asset class.”

The startup is encapsulating these new mechanics in a wide-reaching art asset management platform that they hope can entice users of the aging legacy software suites being used today. Teaming robust ownership proofs with a CRM, analytics platform and tools like dynamic pricing, Lobus wants to give the art market its own Carta-like software platform that is approachable to the wider market.

Lobus tells TechCrunch they have raised $6 million from Upside Capital, 8VC, Franklin Templeton, Dream Machine, Weekend Fund and BoostVC, among others. Angels participating in the round include Rob Hayes, Troy Carter, Suzy Ryoo, Rebecca and Cal Henderson, Henry Ward and Lex Sokolin.

A big goal for the team has been removing the complexities of understanding what the blockchain is and instead focus on what their tech can deliver to their network of art owners. While the NFT boom of the past few months has already produced billions in sales, efforts like Lobus are attempting to cross-pollinate the mechanics of crypto art with the global art market in an effort to put stakeholders across the board on the same footing. In addition to having partnerships with around 300 active artists, Lobus has also sold their platform to collectors, artist estates and asset managers.

At the moment, Lobus has around 40,000 art objects in its database, encompassing about $4.4 billion in asset value across physical and digital objects.

#articles, #artist, #asset-management, #bitcoin, #blockchain, #blockchain-art, #blockchains, #boostvc, #cal-henderson, #ceo, #christies, #crm, #crypto-art, #cryptocurrencies, #cryptocurrency, #decentralization, #digital-art, #franklin-templeton, #henry-ward, #software-platform, #sothebys, #tc, #technology, #troy-carter, #weekend-fund

The Cult of CryptoPunks

Last month, hours before news of Beeple’s $69 million NFT sale grabbed the front pages of newspapers across the country, a pair of 24 x 24 pixel portraits of aliens wearing little hats sold separately for around $7.5 million each.

The sales, which occurred within 20 hours of each other, didn’t garner the same headlines that the Beeple auction received, but there was a bit of coverage in the tech press, mostly because one of the aliens was sold by Dylan Field, the CEO of design software startup Figma. In a Clubhouse conversation following the sale, Field said he hoped that a century from now the blocky image he had sold would be seen as the “Mona Lisa of digital art.”

Punk #7804, which recently sold for 4,200 Ether (about $7.5M at the time of sale)

The pixelated alien portraits belonged to an NFT platform called CryptoPunks. In the world of NFTs, the platform is as close to ancient history as it gets, meaning it’s almost four years old. There are 10,000 punks, all of which were procedurally generated and claimed for free when the project launched in 2017.

Since then, the economy built around trading these images has sauntered on with a small but passionate community, at least until a few months ago. That’s when it suddenly exploded, dragging into the fray Silicon Valley CEOs, prominent venture capitalists, famous YouTubers, poker stars and major business personalities. The platform has seen nearly $200 million worth of transaction volume in official deals since launch, according to NFT tracking site CryptoSlam, with 98% of that volume flowing through the platform in the past few months.

The sudden rise in punk prices is owed to an explosion of interest in NFTs largely brought about by climbing cryptocurrency prices, the rise in popularity of Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot and the resurgence of the physical collectibles markets, all of which have made some investors more comfortable with the idea of betting on digital goods.

Today, the cheapest punk you can buy will run you about $30,000 in Ethereum cryptocurrency, while the rarest may be worth just shy of $10 million.

CryptoPunks have captured plenty of attention, but even with all eyeballs on the project, people still aren’t sure exactly what they’re looking at.

“In NFT world, people are talking about selling Jack Dorsey tweets, Top Shots and Beeple in the same sentence right now,” Sotheby’s CEO Charles Stewart told TechCrunch in an interview. “The lines can get a little blurry. When you look at CryptoPunks, are they art? Are they collectibles? Are they… you know, well… what are they exactly?”

Image Credits: Lucas Matney

A ‘more honest’ stock market

Back in early 2017, John Watkinson and Matt Hall were playing with a pixelated character generator they built, and they were pretty enthusiastic about the fun little pop art portraits they had been cooking up. By June, they had created 10,000 characters with different hairstyles, hats and glasses for a project called CryptoPunks that would be hosted on the nascent Ethereum blockchain. Some punks had a handful of attributes, some had none, some were apes, some were aliens. While the creators had a hand in curating some elements, they let their generator take control of the creativity.

They launched to modest interest from a small community of blockchain enthusiasts who only had to pay a few pennies in Ethereum “gas” transaction fees to own their own punk. It was a novel idea, pre-dating the NFT platform CryptoKitties by months and NBA Top Shot by years, but it arrived at the cusp of crypto’s 2017 wave during the early throes of initial coin offerings, where scams were plentiful and attention was hard to come by. Hall said that about 20-30 punks were claimed in the days following launch.

Then a week later Mashable wrote a story about the fledgling crypto art project, and within hours every punk was gone.

Some users went all-in immediately. One user that went by the username hemba has become something of a cautionary figure in the CryptoPunks community, claiming more than 1,000 punks at launch and selling every one of them before the market took off this year, missing out on tens of millions of dollars in profits at current prices. Another user who goes by mr703 claimed some 703 punks in total at launch, hundreds of which they are still holding onto years later in a collection similarly worth tens of millions.

In a Discord chat with the pseudonymous mr703, we asked whether they felt they had enough or if there were any punks they still intended to buy. “I own all the punks I ever really want,” they typed back. Their public wallet shows they paid more than $37,000 for a punk in the minutes in between our question and their answer. They spent $35,000 on another one several hours later.

Some investors who have already gone all-in backing risky cryptocurrencies see NFTs as a way to diversify their crypto holdings. Others see CryptoPunks as more of a game.

CryptoPunks creators Matt Hall and John Watkinson

“I think that with each year that passes the definition of what is gambling and what is investing move closer and closer together,” says Mike McDonald, a 31-year-old professional poker player who recently bought his first punk.

Why are some punks worth tens of thousands of dollars while others are worth millions? Users in the thriving CryptoPunks Discord community have had to decide that on their own, combining objective analysis of the rarity of certain design attributes with the more subjective impressions of punk “aesthetics.”

Things aren’t always predictable. Earrings are the most common attribute for punks, commanding much lower price floors than those with beanie hats, which are the rarest attribute. But hundreds of punks are wearing 3D glasses, yet they tend to earn a hefty premium over those with green clown hair even though fewer of those punks exist. Some attributes gain market momentum randomly; for instance, the market for punks wearing hoodies has been particularly hot in recent weeks.

“Obviously this is a very speculative market… but it’s almost more honest than the stock market,” user Max Orgeldinger tells TechCrunch. “Kudos to Elon Musk — and I’m a big Tesla fan — but there are no fundamentals that support that stock price. It’s the same when you look at GameStop. With the whole NFT community, it’s almost more honest because nobody’s getting tricked into thinking there’s some very complicated math that no one can figure out. This is just people making up prices and if you want to pay it, that’s the price and if you don’t want to pay it, that’s not the price.”

As prices have surged, owning a piece of the CryptoPunks’ finite supply has become a “digital flex” in its own right, especially when used as an avatar on social media sites, several punk owners told us. That has drawn plenty of wealthy buyers outside the blockchain world, including influencers like YouTuber Logan Paul who uploaded a video last month detailing his $170,000 purchase of several punks.

“When you don’t have a punk, the ecosystem seems like this gentlemen’s club of the 10,000 people that can afford these kinds of avatars,” says McDonald.

There is some concern among the community whether all of this outside attention is a sign of an impending crash in prices, though many investors feel reassured by the historical value of CryptoPunks among NFTs. Nevertheless, some of the investors have a hard time convincing those in their lives that what they’re doing is anything but reckless.

After a recent six-figure punk purchase, user Chris Mintern says his girlfriend was exasperated that he had just dropped more money on a punk than her house was worth. “She says it’s all just a bunch of internet nerds who don’t appreciate the value of money. That to them, it’s just a game and numbers on a screen,” he told TechCrunch.

The community surrounding CryptoPunks has largely bloomed on the chat app Discord in a dedicated group where users that are verified as punk owners tend to drive conversations and can gather attention for up-and-coming NFT projects they’re betting on.

“It’s a bit of a cult,” said user thebeautyandthepunk in an interview.

Like many early users, thebeautyandthepunk has stayed pseudonymous since claiming a couple dozen punks at launch, telling us that no one in her life has any idea she’s sitting on an NFT collection likely worth millions — except her accountant. She did recently decide to make it known that she was one of the few female traders who have been present in the overwhelmingly male CryptoPunks community since the beginning.

“I really try to keep my real life and my crypto life completely separate,” she says. “But people need to know that women have been [in this space] for a while and we’re not going anywhere.”

Today, all 10,000 punks are scattered across some 1,889 wallets, according to crypto tracker Etherscan. Some of those accounts are inactive and feared dead, with the punks inside them lost on the blockchain forever. The largest single wallet of punks today belongs to the platform’s creators, holding some 488 punks. It’s their only ownership in a blockchain-based marketplace where most mechanics are already set in stone.

“We’re just users now, too. Nothing about our website is specific to us having created the project,” Watkinson tells TechCrunch. “Our only equity is through the punks we own. We don’t take a cut of the market or anything.”

Image Credits: Lucas Matney

The NFT high-rollers table

Today, CryptoPunks’ creators are working on NFTs full time. While they can’t make any underlying changes to the CryptoPunks contract, they have aimed to improve the website’s marketplace while hopping into the Discord group to keep an eye on the ever-growing community of users.

“It was never our intention for this to sort of be our careers,” Watkinson says.

In 2019, the duo debuted a follow-up project called Autoglyphs, which brought generative art to the blockchain. It didn’t boast the pop aesthetic of CryptoPunks, but it added a new layer to their exploration of blockchain art. Hall and Watkinson have built up a company around their various projects called Larva Labs, and they are in the process of building up a new NFT project that they hope will have a lower barrier of entry than CryptoPunks and Autoglyphs.

“As the CryptoPunks get more and more expensive, they’re just hard to get into,” Hall says.

At around $200 million in official marketplace sales, CryptoPunks’ total lifetime sales volume is about 40% of what Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot has achieved in its past several months. Though CryptoPunks has done so with 0.35% of Top Shot’s total transaction volume, which is fewer than 12,000 trades compared to more than 3.3 million, according to CryptoSlam. Those high transaction numbers spread across millions of NFTs mean much less value per transaction on Top Shot, but a much, much bigger pool of active users.

Last month, Dapper Labs announced they had raised $305 million at a $2.6 billion valuation as they look to expand their private Flow blockchain to other blockchain “games” through more high-profile partnerships. Hall and Watkinson have been watching Dapper Labs’ success, but don’t think Larva Labs will need venture funding to continue exploring what’s next for NFTs.

“Rather than looking at becoming a large company and doing a deal with the NBA or something like that, we’re more just looking forward to kind of just continuing to explore the tech possibilities,” Watkinson said. “What we love about CryptoPunks is the action, and so we’d like to find a way back to sort of that level of action, and our next project is going to try to find ways to sort of keep the deal flow going.”

They have few details to share on the new project, which they said will debut “relatively soon” this year.

Image Credits: Lucas Matney

The origin of the species

CryptoPunks lore is largely steeped in the assertion that they are the oldest NFT project on the Ethereum blockchain. It’s a line that was floated by almost all of the punk owners I spoke with as the main reason they had dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into the platform. In Paul’s recent YouTube video, he justified prices to his skeptical friends by noting, “[CryptoPunks] is the first and that makes it special.”

But over the past few weeks, holes in that narrative have begun to emerge, as “crypto archaeologists” have begun to unearth abandoned NFT projects that were created in Ethereum’s earliest days, with at least one arriving before CryptoPunks. We recently spoke with Cyrus Adkisson, the creator of a project called Etheria, which he debuted back in 2015, just three months after Ethereum’s mainnet went live. The project allowed users to buy up, sell and build on hexagonal swaths of digital land on a large map. It didn’t develop much of a following at launch and sat abandoned for years on the Ethereum blockchain until Adkisson saw the “fever pitch” developing around NFTs and started searching for the passcode to his old account.

“I remember calling my parents toward the end of February, telling them I may be sitting on a goldmine here,” Adkisson told TechCrunch.

After ultimately gaining access to his Etheria account, he then fired off a few tweets from Etheria’s long-dormant Twitter account, detailing that the bulk of the 914 tiles across two externally tradeable versions were still available and could be claimed for 1 Ether each. Adkisson says by the end of that weekend, his previously empty wallet was filled with $1.4 million worth of Ethereum.

Age alone won’t make Etheria a hit; the major challenge from here is building up a community around the project that brings in more users and pushes the prices of land tiles higher. A tile recently sold for nearly $25,000 worth of Ether, but early adopters are struggling to balance waiting out the market’s development with liquidating enough tiles so that new users can get involved and the project can build hype. 

“With these projects, it’s like, yeah, you have the historical context, but now you need to build a solid foundation with your communities because your real measure is not now, but it’s going to be what your community, size and engagement look like in a year,” says Allen Hena, an NFT enthusiast who helped attract attention to the Etheria community last month with a series of blog posts.

 In the days following the project’s resurrection, the young community has already seen plenty of disagreement and infighting as Adkisson aims to maintain some level of control over the platform on which plenty have already pinned their retirement plans. Owners are mainly frustrated by Adkisson’s attempts to make an older version of Etheria externally tradeable, something that would likely make land tiles on the existing contracts considerably less valuable. Since our interview, Adkisson has left Etheria’s Discord server and admins in the group have vowed to continue on without him as he decides which direction he wants to take Etheria 1.0.

While punk owners we talked with are keeping an eye on these newly reemerged projects, they’re also skeptical that Etheria’s older status will do much to impact CryptoPunks’ value to NFT history.

“On paper it looks cool but it didn’t actually do anything for the community,” says user Daniel Maegaard. “CryptoPunks did all the hard work.”

Punk #6487, which Daniel Maegaard recently sold for 550 Ether (about $1.05M at the time of sale)

Maegaard, a 30-year-old crypto investor based in Brisbane, Australia, is more tied up in the value of CryptoPunks than most. He recently sold a particularly rare female “zero-trait” punk for more than $1 million. He’s also the owner of one of the rarest — some argue the rarest — punks, the only one with seven unique attributes, a qualifier that has earned it the nickname “7-atty” and a sacred place in punk lore. When he bought the punk for about $18,000 in Ethereum last year, it was the most anyone had ever paid. He isn’t keen to let it go anytime soon, saying he recently turned down a private offer for $4.2 million from a group of investors that hoped to tokenize the NFT and sell fractional shares of it to other users. Part of holding onto it is the potential for further gains, but the real reason, he says, is that he’s beginning to feel an emotional bond with his collection of digital files.

“These little pixelated faces, it should be easy to give them up. I’ve sold a few punks and I’ve regretted every sale, I experienced that when I sold my zero-trait punk,” Maegaard says. “Like, yeah, a million dollars is nice, but I really liked her.”

#accountant, #blockchain, #blockchain-art, #blockchains, #brisbane, #crypto-art, #crypto-economy, #cryptocurrencies, #cryptocurrency, #dapper-labs, #decentralization, #dylan-field, #elon-musk, #ethereum, #figma, #gamestop, #jack-dorsey, #logan-paul, #matt-hall, #mona-lisa, #national-basketball-association, #nba, #nfts, #player, #sothebys, #tc

He Owns World Famous Stamps and a Prized Coin. Now He’s Selling.

Stuart Weitzman, who made his fortune in shoes, is parting with three of his collecting triumphs, including a block of four “Inverted Jennies.”

#auctions, #collectors-and-collections, #content-type-personal-profile, #numismatics, #sothebys, #stamps-postal, #weitzman-stuart

Sotheby’s Christo Auction, Part 1, Nets $9.8 Million

The 28 most valuable works he and Jeanne-Claude collected and created were offered in a live auction on Wednesday; a timed online sale of another 347 lots will end on Thursday.

#art, #auctions, #christo, #jeanne-claude, #paris-france, #sothebys

Sotheby’s Auctions Botticelli ‘Young Man’ Painting for $92.2 Million

“Portrait of a Young Man Holding a Roundel” dates to around 1480, and its sale is the art market’s biggest test of the new year.

#art, #auctions, #botticelli-sandro, #manhattan-nyc, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #solow-sheldon-h, #sothebys, #young-man-holding-a-roundel

Two Museums Tried to Sell Art. Only One Caught Grief About it.

The Baltimore Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum both planned on selling works last Wednesday at auction, but Baltimore paused the sale after much criticism.

#art, #assn-of-art-museum-directors, #auctions, #baltimore-museum-of-art, #bedford-christopher, #black-people, #brooklyn-museum, #marden-brice, #museums, #pasternak-anne, #pendleton-adam, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #sherald-amy, #sothebys, #still-clyfford, #warhol-andy

Baltimore Museum to Sell 3 Blue-Chip Paintings to Advance Equity

As museum staffs demand social justice in the office, an institution sells off prime works to answer the call. Is this the right way to do it?

#art, #assn-of-art-museum-directors, #auctions, #baltimore-md, #baltimore-museum-of-art, #bedford-christopher, #black-people, #budgets-and-budgeting, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #finances, #marden-brice, #museums, #sirmans-franklin, #sothebys, #still-clyfford, #walker-darren-1959, #warhol-andy

Auction Prices That Take Your Breath Away

Prices for works by some relatively new artists have skyrocketed, seemingly overnight.

#armitage-michael-1984, #art, #auctions, #boafo-amoako-1984, #christies, #curtiss-julie-1982, #davis-noah-1983-2015, #hauserwirth, #party-nicolas, #phillips-auctioneers-llc, #sothebys, #wong-matthew-1984-2019

Senate Report: Opaque Art Market Helped Oligarchs Evade Sanctions

Congressional investigators said companies tied to two Russians under sanctions were able to buy art using shell companies and an intermediary.

#art, #auctions, #baltser-grigory, #baltzer-llc, #christies, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #highland-ventures-ltd, #money-laundering, #moscow-russia, #new-york-state, #portman-rob, #putin-vladimir-v, #rotenberg-arkady-r-1951, #rotenberg-boris-1957, #senate, #senate-permanent-subcommittee-on-investigations, #sothebys, #steamort-ltd, #united-states-politics-and-government

Eastward, Ho! Even Art Is Leaving for the Hamptons

With vacation homes becoming full-time residences because of the coronavirus pandemic, New York galleries are opening outposts to be near collectors.

#art, #collectors-and-collections, #east-hampton-ny, #hauserwirth, #michael-werner, #pace-gallery, #skarstedt-gallery-manhattan-ny, #sothebys, #south-etna-montauk, #van-de-weghe-fine-art-manhattan-ny

Art Auction or Game Show? Sotheby’s Tries Something New

With a “multicamera global livestream” in place of its usual New York sale, the auction house tried breathing life back into a pandemic-numbed market.

#art, #auctions, #bacon-francis, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #sothebys

As the Art World Goes Online, a Generation Gap Opens

Young collectors are still viewing and buying pieces, but they’re spending far less time and money than their older counterparts once did. That’s a problem for the industry.

#art, #art-basel-festival, #christies, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-reopenings, #sothebys

Michael Jordan’s Game-Worn Sneakers Sell for $560,000

A pair of Air Jordan 1s from 1985, signed by the NBA legend, broke an auction record on Sunday.

#basketball, #chicago-bulls, #documentary-films-and-programs, #jordan-michael, #nike-inc, #sneakers, #sothebys

Michael Jordan’s Game-Worn ‘Air Jordan 1s’ Sneakers Sell for $560,000

A pair of Air Jordan 1s from 1985, signed by the NBA legend, broke an auction record on Sunday.

#basketball, #chicago-bulls, #documentary-films-and-programs, #jordan-michael, #nike-inc, #sneakers, #sothebys