Sotheby’s Is Launching An NFT-Only Marketplace

Welcome to the Metaverse.

By Shanti Escalante-de Mattei For Artnews 20/10/2021

Last Friday, Sotheby’s launched its NFT exclusive marketplace, Metaverse. It’s the first of its kind among blue chip auction houses, and all NFT sales at Sotheby’s will now take place on this cutting-edge platform. Yesterday, the platform began its inaugural sale.

The platform offers new technical advancements that the traditional Sotheby’s site could not previously implement on their main website. The layout of the Metaverse website, similar in format to NFT-specific platforms such as OpenSea and Nifty Gateway, is designed to display the NFTs so that viewers can easily see the transaction history of any piece. Yet, unlike these other platforms, Metaverse offers a description of each piece’s significance, alongside the artist’s biography. Additionally, those who sign up for Metaverse are gifted a profile picture designed by well-known NFT artist Pak.



MoonCat #183

MoonCat, #183, 2017 Sotheby’s

The inaugural Metaverse sale, Natively Digital 1.2, showcases premier NFTs. The first iteration took place earlier this year, in June. Sotheby’s intends to make Natively Digital its flagship biannual (or twice per year) NFT auction. For this second iteration, the auction house is offering a level of curation not often seen in the NFT scene: they tapped 19 NFT collectors to offer choice selections from their collections. 53 lots in total have been made available, including NFT classics such as Crypto Punks from Larva Labs, sophisticated generative art from Art Blocks and Fingerprints DAO, and collectible Rare Pepe meme trading cards.

RAREPEPE (Nakamoto Card)

Rare Pepe, RAREPEPE (Nakamoto Card), 2017 Sotheby’s

“We wanted to have a very diverse sale in terms of category but also in terms of price point,” Michael Bouhanna, co-head of Sotheby’s Digital Sales says. “We wanted collectibles, gaming NFTs, early NFTs from 2015, 2016, everything.”

The estimated bids ranges from approx. $13,400 to $2.7 million. Bidding will end on October 26.


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