Yesterday, a two-lot sale of Bored Ape NFTs brought in a combined $26.2 million at Sotheby’s. The total far exceeded the event’s $12 million to $19 million pre-sale estimate, marking a new single-event crypto-art record for the auction house.
Both lots in Sotheby’s “Ape In!” online sale featured a package of NFTs from Yuga Labs, a Delaware company formed in February that has quickly made a name for itself with its Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) series of unique digital primate characters.
The first lot, which realized $24.4 million, was made up of 101 of those apes. The winning bidder—who has not been identified by the auction house—also received six “mutant serums,” allowing them to generate new apes based on those they already own.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club project “has become a major force in pop culture,” said Sotheby’s co-head of digital art Michael Bouhanna in a statement.
“Solidifying their importance,” he went on, “today’s extraordinary result is a defining moment for the NFT market and a testament to the enthusiasm and the strength of the close-knit BAYC community.”
The second lot, meanwhile, comprised 101 Bored Ape Kennel Club NFTs—offshoots of the Yacht Club that are styled as dogs rather than monkeys—and brought in an additional $1.8 million.
Altogether, the sale attracted 23 bidders, many new to Sotheby’s, a representative from the auction house explained. Bidders came from eight countries in North America, Europe, and Asia. Both lots received irrevocable bids.
Bored Apes have skyrocketed in popularity since they were first introduced earlier this year. By seven-day trading volume, the series is currently the third most popular NFT project behind Art Blocks and CryptoPunks, according to Nonfungible.com. (To learn more about both the apes and their Kennel Club companions, read this explainer we published earlier this month.)
Next week, Christie’s will offer a selection of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, along with Meebits, and CryptoPunks, at its “No Time Like Present” sale in Hong Kong.
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