Generative artist Dmitri Cherniak's Ringers #879 non-fungible token (NFT) sold for a hammer price of $5.4 million and a full price of $6.2 million inclusive of Sotheby's buyer's premium on Thursday during a live auction at Sotheby's auction house in New York City, blowing past estimates during a time of slower market movement.
The artwork, often referred to as "The Goose" for its likeness to the animal, was the top lot during Sotheby's most recent auction of NFTs from the "Grails" collection seized from bankrupt crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC). The piece was estimated to sell for $2-3 million.
After an energetic bidding war, the sale was met with applause in the room in New York City, as captured in a tweet by Garrett Skrovina:
The collectible was purchased by 3AC co-founders Su Zhu and Kyle Davies in August 2021 for about 1,800 ETH – worth roughly $5.8 million at the time. Michael Bouhanna, Sotheby's head of digital art and NFTs, told CoinDesk that the piece is a major highlight of Cherniak's portfolio and "one of the most significant works from the generative art movement."
After back-and-forth bidding, it ended up selling for $6.2 million to notable NFT investor 6529. In a tweet following the sale, Sotheby's reported it was the second-highest sale of all time for a work of generative art.
In a statement, 6529 said that The Goose held cultural significance within the NFT community and is unique in its execution.
"On-chain long form generative art is an act of faith by the artist and the minter. Once the algorithm is committed to the blockchain, nobody knows what outputs it will produce. The Goose represents this more clearly than any generative NFT. We could have run the Ringers mint thousands of times without producing anything like it again. The Goose has had a historic journey so far through key moments in NFT history and I suspect its journey has just begun."
In total, there were 37 works for sale at auction from generative artists like Dmitri Cherniak, Tyler Hobbs, Jeff Davis and more in the sale. Nearly all the NFTs in the auction sold for higher than their estimates.
So far, the Grails collection liquidation sales have brought in nearly $17 million.
UPDATE (June 15, 19:59 UTC): Updated the sale price of "The Goose" to $6.2 million from $5.4 million hammer price initially reported.
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