Sotheby’s Is Selling a Mother Lode of 37 More NFTs From the Collection of Bankrupt Hedge Fund Three Arrows Capital


In an event Sotheby’s is touting as the largest ever live sale of digital art, the auction house will sell 37 NFTs that were once the property of Three Arrows Capital, the Singapore-based crypto hedge fund that went bankrupt in July 2022.

The auction will take place in New York on June 15 with Sotheby’s estimating sales will achieve more than $5 million.

Back in April when Teneo, the hedge fund’s liquidator, chose Sotheby’s to auction off Three Arrows Capital’s NFTs, it promised to maximize the money recouped with a series of sales throughout the summer. It has stayed true to this pledge by selling off the “Grails” collection—”grails” being NFTs that maintain value—in strategic installments.

The first seven NFTs, which were sold by Sotheby’s in May as part of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Day Auction, all exceeded their pre-sale high estimates, taking in more than $2.4 million. In recent weeks, another cluster of works from “Grails” has been sold privately by Sotheby’s, bringing in a further $3 million and pushing the total north of $6 million.

Sotheby's NFT Grails

Matt DesLauriers, (2021). Photo courtesy Sotheby’s.

In addition to its crypto activities, Three Arrows Capital set about amassing a vast collection of NFTs with a particular eye for foundational generative works. In February, Teneo released a notice that listed more than 300 NFTs greenlit for sale. To date, Sotheby’s has sold work by some of the leading creators of generative digital art including Tyler Hobbs, Dmitri Cherniak, and Larva Labs.

Although the latest edition of the sale will include further work by Hobbs and Cherniak—Teneo’s notice listed 30 Hobbs and 17 Cherniak —it broadens the pool of artists significantly.

Notable additions are from Matt DesLauriers, works that conjure the contours of possible geographies in fine brushwork, as well as pieces from Jeff Davis’s “Construction Token” series in which monochromatic artworks, somewhat reminiscent of Mondrian’s intersecting straight-line work, are created by algorithm.

?GRAILS Sale Series (3AC collection) Recap?

?Private sales: ~$3.7M?
8 works sold including:
– Larva Labs, Zombie Cryptopunk 6649
– Tyler Hobbs, Fidenza #31
– Dmitri Cherniak, Eternal Pump 5 & 16

7 works sold: $2.4M

?Total realized so far : ~$6.1M?…

— Michael Bouhanna (@michaelbouhanna) May 31, 2023

“Presenting this curated group of works in a live auction in Sotheby’s storied sale room will, for the first time, showcase the range of generative art as an art form and bring digital art to a whole new audience of collectors,” Michael Bouhanna, Sotheby’s head of digital art and NFTs, said in a statement.

Sotheby’s will honor artist resale royalties in the “Grails” sale, a promise it also made when adding its secondary marketplace to Sotheby’s Metaverse.


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