GRAILS Part I Auctions Exceed Estimates at Sotheby's Contemporary Day Sale

GRAILS Part I Auctions Exceed Estimates at Sotheby's Contemporary Day Sale

The sales at Sotheby's Contemporary Day Sale for GRAILS Part I, a curated selection of digital art from the 3AC collection, exceeded the initial estimates set by the auction house.

📊 By the Numbers

Figures below are from the Sotheby's Contemporary Day Auction page; note that users must create a login to see the auction results.

Lot 979: Tyler Hobbs' Fidenza #725

  • Estimate: 120,000 – 180,000 USD
  •  Sold for 1,016,000 USD

Lot 980: Larva Labs Autoglyph #187

  • Estimate: 120,000 – 180,000 USD
  • Sold for 571,500 USD

Lot 981: Tyler Hobbs' Fidenza #861

  • Estimate: 100,000 – 150,000 USD
  • Sold for 241,300 USD

Lot 982: Dmitri Cherniak's Ringers #375

  • Estimate: 35,000 – 45,000 USD
  • Sold for 95,250 USD

Lot 983: 0xDEAFBEEF's Series 1: Angular - Token 134

  • Estimate: 50,000 – 70,000 USD
  • Sold for 241,300 USD

Lot 984: Dmitri Cherniak's Ringers #194

  • Estimate: 50,000 – 70,000 USD
  •  Sold for 152,400 USD

Lot 985: Larva Labs CryptoPunk #1326

  • Estimate: 80,000 – 120,000 USD
  • Sold for 165,100 USD

❗ Why It Matters

Yesterday's Contemporary Day Sale at Sotheby's New York was a big moment for digital art, and GRAILS Part I included some of the most sought-after works in the space.

In fact, the seven items from 3AC's collection fetched $2,482,850 in total, far exceeding the initial estimates of $555,000 at the low end and $815,000 at the high end. The Fidenza #725 sale for over $1 million was jaw-dropping (as is the piece itself!) and significantly outpaced the estimate range of $120,000–$180,000. Estimates are set by specialists at the auction house and are usually conservative, but the auction outcomes show that there's still meaningful interest at the top end (and perhaps illustrate the disconnect between how traditional evaluators value rare digital artwork).

🖼️ The Big Picture

Auction houses certainly have their pros and cons. As far as cons for prospective buyers, there's a large buyer's premium (26% for purchases up to $1,000,000) that auction winners must pay that they wouldn't on an NFT marketplace like OpenSea or Blur. And there are pros to using an auction house for physical art or trading cards, for example, because then the auction house is also responsible for inspecting the condition of the goods, facilitating the transfer and shipping, and marketing the items to create maximum awareness.

Yet that's not needed for digital collectibles. Nonetheless, items that end up at the biggest auction houses are often the pinnacle of their respective collections, and traditional marketplaces like Sotheby's can promise sellers more exposure as well as a true auction format that drives up competition. So these types of sales at a place like Sotheby's are very positive for the space and something many digital artists ultimately aspire for.

🔜 What’s Next?

More of the GRAILS collection will be unveiled at Sotheby's in the coming months.


🧠 Learn More


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