Over the past few weeks, there has been much publicity surrounding the single lot CryptoPunk sale at Sotheby’s. In a tweet, they stated:
“CryptoPunks get the Sotheby’s treatment. Our next #SothebysMetaverse sale ‘Punk It! 104 CryptoPunks. 1 Lot.’ will be a landmark LIVE Evening Auction on February 23. A truly historic sale for an undeniably historic NFT project.”
The lot, owned by a collector who goes by the Twitter handle 0x650d, was estimated to bring $20-30M. The evening began with a panel discussion about the history and significance of CryptoPunks. The sale was to start at 7 p.m., and according to reports, the room was crowded. Well, about 25 minutes later, Sotheby’s announced that the owner decided not to move forward with the sale. You can bet there were a lot of disappointed attendees, not to mention the auction room!
So, you might be wondering why did the owner pull the lot? After hearing about it through a tweet by art critic Katya Kazakina, I replied, “No interest? Stock market falling. Crypto values dropping. Probably did not want to start an NFT market correction.”
In an article Katya posted on Artnet that evening, “By 7:38 p.m., any mention of the auction had vanished from Sotheby’s website. “Withdrawn lots are routinely removed from the website,” a Sotheby’s spokesman said, but declined to comment further on what caused the withdrawal of the lot.” Guess their policy of only showing sold works makes them look good to the unwitting people who surf their site.
A post-sale party went ahead as scheduled with free drinks and a DJ – wonder what they were celebrating? I also wonder if they are charging the seller a fee for withdrawing the lot?