Post-War to Present sale achieves
its highest total: $34,409,820

New York | 1 October

On 1 October 2021, in a historic first for a leading auction house, Christie’s accepted live bids in the cryptocurrency Ether, selling the first lot of the Post-War to Present sale, Curio CardsFull set of 30 cards plus 17b. for ETH393 ($1,267,320). This set of 31 NFTs is considered to be some of the oldest artworks on the Ethereum blockchain. The auction achieved its highest total of $34,409,820, with strong depth of bidding of 145% hammer above low estimate.

The sale, which brought together leading examples of contemporary art, NFTs, and design saw strong participation throughout its entirety. It was led by two abstract paintings from the post-war era, that each sold for $2,670,000; Helen Frankenthaler’s Warming the Wires, and Philip Guston’s The Clock II. Guston’s work surpassed its presale estimate of $280,000 – 350,000 by nearly tenfold, selling for 954% of its low estimate.

Isabella Lauria, Christie's Specialist, Head of Post-War to Present Sale, remarks: “The overwhelming success of today’s sale is mainly a result of having the privilege of offering top quality artworks at attractive estimates, appealing to clients across the globe and drawing incredible depth of bidding on lots at all price points, as we saw with works by Guston, Benglis and Frankenthaler far exceeding their high estimates and setting new market benchmarks. We are particularly thrilled to have represented the legacy of Ernie Barnes in his long overdue debut on a worldwide sale platform.”

Auctioneer Rahul Kadakia sells Curio Cards for ETH393

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Special event

Virtual panel: NFTs, Race, and the Art Market
Thursday, 30 September | 2pm EDT | Live via Zoom

As the art world continues to reevaluate its relationship with and definition of race and gender, Christie’s is proud to offer a platform to encourage an open dialogue on intersectionality within the art market. Presented globally in New York, London, Hong Kong and online, our new discussion series Social Engagement and the Art Market invites scholars, artists and market professionals to foster a deeper examination of social issues as they relate to the art market.

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