Sotheby's Second 3AC NFT Sale Nets $10.9M, With 'The Goose' Alone Netting $6.2M

Ringers #879, a seminal NFT artwork often referred to as "The Goose," far outpaced estimates and sold for $6.2 million.

AccessTimeIconJun 15, 2023 at 9:25 p.m. UTC
Updated Jun 16, 2023 at 4:35 p.m. UTC

On Thursday, Sotheby's concluded another sale of non-fungible token (NFT) artwork seized from bankrupt crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC), bringing in over $10.9 million in sales.

The live auction took place in New York and included pieces from the "Grails" collection. In total, there were 37 works from generative artists like Dmitri Cherniak, Tyler Hobbs, Jeff Davis and more.

Highlights from this lot included Dmitri Cherniak's Ringers #879 (often referred to as "The Goose" for its resemblance to the bird), estimated to sell for $2-3 million. 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.

3AC co-founders Su Zhu and Kyle Davies had purchased "The Goose" 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."

In a statement, 6529 said that The Goose held cultural significance within the NFT community.

"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."

Other highlights included Tyler Hobbs' Fidenza #479, which sold for $622,300, Snowfro's Chromie Squiggle #1780, which sold for $635,000, Larva Labs' Autoglyph #218 and Kjetil Golid's Archetype #397, both of which sold for $330,200 each. Nearly all the NFTs in the auction sold for higher than their estimates.

Last month, Sotheby's began its multi-part sale of NFTs from Three Arrows' extensive NFT collection, formed as part of 3AC's asset portfolio primarily in 2021. The Singapore-based hedge fund filed for bankruptcy in July and its liquidator Teneo has outlined its intention to sell the expansive list of NFTs estimated to be worth millions in order to recoup funds.

In the first Grails auction, Sotheby's said it brought in nearly $2.5 million. Another group of works from the Grails collection was also recently sold privately for a combined total of over $3 million.

So far, the Grails collection liquidation sales have brought in nearly $17 million.

Sotheby's has said that the Grails collection contains "some of the most significant digital artworks ever assembled."

"From groundbreaking works that have transformed the art world to culturally significant pieces, this collection is poised to redefine the way we think about and appreciate digital art," the website reads.

The upcoming Sotheby's sales are not related to Starry Night Capital's impressive NFT portfolio, which was set up by 3AC in partnership with well-known NFT collector Vincent Van Dough in August 2021.

Edited by Toby Leah Bochan.


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Rosie Perper

Rosie Perper was the Deputy Managing Editor for Web3 and Learn, focusing on the metaverse, NFTs, DAOs and emerging technology like VR/AR. She has previously worked across breaking news, global finance, tech, culture and business. She holds a small amount of BTC and ETH and several NFTs. Subscribe to her weekly newsletter, The Airdrop.

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