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At Sotheby’s, Vera Molnár NFT Auction Collects $1.2M

On Wednesday, an NFT collection by Vera Molnár sold out within an hour at Sotheby’s, generating 631 ETH (Ethereum coins) or $1.2 million.

Vera Molnár is a Hungarian artist who is well known for pioneering digital art. Active since the 1960s, the 99-year-old artist has been part of various groups looking to integrate technology into art. “Themes And Variations”, the series that went for auction, is a collection of 500 NFT works that she made with artist and programmer Martin Grasser. Martin was responsible for creating the code that included the specifications set by Molnár. The result was a series of generative works with themes around the letter ‘N’, ‘F, and ‘T’.

The auction is also pivotal because this is the first time that Sotheby’s has used the Dutch auction format since its founding in 1744. Usually, Sotheby’s (and most auction houses) uses the English model – where bidding starts with a set low amount. Every new bid is incremental until the last bid goes unchallenged. The Dutch model, however, starts with the highest amount set by the auctioneer. From there, the amount is decreased gradually until someone places a bid. Whoever places the first bid wins the item. In this case, each auctioned NFT started with a ceiling price of 20 ETH or $37,506.

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Themes And Variations #1, the first piece of the series, was also the highest seller of the evening. The work, which depicts the multiple letters of ‘N’ against a red background, was sold for 19.84 ETH ($37,205) – almost immediately as the bidding began. Other works were not so lucky, as most were sold for under $10,000. However, it would seem that the buyers the employing the strategy of “buy low, sell high” in the secondary market. Just hours after the auction, one of the works – Themes And Variations #444 – was sold for 10 ETH ($18,753) on OpenSea, the popular NFT marketplace.