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The New York Art Auctions presented an avenue for the Ultra-Rich to pack their wealth, resulting in record-breaking sales for the two weeks of art sales.
According to Pi-eX, an art data and analytics firm, the fall art auctions hit an All-Time High (ATH) of $2.6 billion as global growing wealth, inflation fears, and the continuous demand for collectibles fueled the record milestone.
The three major auction houses including Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Philips had impressive record sales all totaling $2.65 billion. While the total sales at Christie’s came in at $1.14 billion, Sotheby’s recorded a total of $1.34 billion and Phillips raked in more than $170 million. According to the Pi-eX data, a record 20 works were auctioned for a total of $20 million while another 54 works sold for more than $10 million.
“Art market sentiment is sky high at the moment,” said Evan Beard, head of specialty segments at Bank of America, “driven by low interest rates, stock market wealth effect, inflationary monetary policy, and new crypto wealth that needs to be parked somewhere.”
The sale of the Cox Collection at Christie’s raked in a total of $332 million. The collection, according to a CNBC report, was formerly owned by Edwin L. Cox, a Dallas oil tycoon, and business magnate included Vincent van Gogh’s 1889 masterpiece “Cabanes de bois parmi les oliviers,” which was auctioned for double its quoted value at $71.4 million. Another van Gogh went for six times its estimate. The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles bought Gustave Caillebotte’s “Young Man at His Window” for $53 million.
The Macklowe’s Collection at Sotheby’s also made the ranks as it was given off for a total of $676 million. The collection was inspired by developer Harry Macklowe’s bitter divorce and the most prominent sale therein was Mark Rothko’s “No. 7,” which went for $82.5 million.
New York Fall Auctions: Crypto Figures Featuring Prominently
Despite the failed attempt of a group of investors organized as ConstitutionDAO to secure the original copy of the US Constitution, big names in the crypto collectible niche were prominently featured in the New York fall art auctions.
While ConstitutionDAO lost their bid to billionaire hedge-funder Ken Griffin, who paid $43.2 million for the piece of history, Tron Blockchain Founder, Justin Sun successfully won the bid for Alberto Giacometti’s Le Nez sculpture which went for $78.4 million.
The popular crypto art and Non-Fungible Token (NFT) creator, Mike Winkelmann (aka Beeple) also sold a sculpture modeled as a 3D, 7-foot-tall digital lightbox made of four LED screens that shows an astronaut strolling through ever-changing landscapes for $29 million.
The piece now ranks as the second-most expensive NFT related artwork sold with the first being Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5000 Days that was auctioned at Christie’s for over $69 million back in March. The 3D Sculpture was won by Ryan Zurrer, a Switzerland-based Venture Capitalist who took to Twitter to praise Beeple for the “visionary innovation, amazing new energy and hilarious positive vibes that you’ve brought to both crypto and art.”