Christie's Records $318 Million Art Sale on a Blockchain

A new milestone in blockchain adoption has been set with the successful recording of a record-breaking art sale on a blockchain.

On November 13, the Barney A. Ebsworth Collection sale at the famous Christie's auction house in New York raised a total of $317,801,250, in the process becoming the most valuable art auction to ever to be recorded on a blockchain. In a press release about the auction, Christie's revealed that the auction was handled in partnership with art-focused technology provider Artory, using its permissioned blockchain to host the auction information.

Record-Breaking Sales Figures

On a night that saw several sales records for American art pieces broken, at least thirteen auction records were set, with Edward Hopper's Chop Suey alone fetching an eye-popping $91,875,000. The auction saw participants from 23 countries bidding for an art collection curated by famous collector Barney A. Ebsworth which had the work of famous artists like Jackson Pollock, William de Kooning, Charles Demuth and Georgia O'Keeffee.

In total, 42 art pieces were auctioned off, with Artory's private Ethereum blockchain implementation recording the details of the sale. The permissioned blockchain known as The Registry logs all significant information in the life cycle of an artwork such as sales, final prices, auction dates, item titles, restorations and thefts. The only information not stored is the identity of owners, which ensures that the privacy of art collectors and investors is strictly respected.

In so doing, all prospective buyers have a secure and immutable digital record of the history artwork they are buying, ensuring that they do not lose money purchasing fakes. Every time the artwork is sold, a digital certificate is generated, which enhances buyer assurance and helps Christie's ensure that only original artworks are auctioned in its premises.

In October, CCN reported that Christie's announced a partnership with Artory to register its artwork sales and increase transparency in the artworks and collectibles auction space. According to information revealed at the time, the Barney A. Ebsworth collection sale, expected to generate more than $300 million will be the first implementation of the partnership, as the 252 year-old auction house looks to build on its impressive 2018 performance that saw it auction an amazing $4.04 billion worth of art in the first half of 2018.

On Thursday, a new batch of 49 pieces from the Barney A. Ebsworth collection - described as the ‘most important privately-held collection of 20th Century American Art’ - are set to go on auction, with Artory's blockchain recording solution set to be utilised again.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Last modified (UTC): November 18, 2018 12:04 PM

Share
David Hundeyin @DavidHundeyin

I am a busy Nigerian writer, journalist and writer with an interest in tech and finance. When I'm not contributing to CCN and traveling around Africa, you can catch me contributing to CNN Africa, or in the writers room at 'The Other News', Nigeria's weekly answer to 'The Daily Show' with nearly 2 million viewers. My work on 'The Other News' was featured in the New Yorker Magazine, and that was then cited in the Washington Post so I'm not sure that counts as a feature but I'll definitely mention it too! I have been nominated by the US State Department to take part in the 2019 Edward R. Murrow Program for journalists under the International Visitors Leadership Program. I also like hamsters. You can reach me on Twitter at _David_Hundeyin

Show comments

News Tip?

tips (at) ccn.com