Sotheby’s Bored Ape NFT Auction: A Test of Market Resilience

On June 18, Sotheby’s will auction a curated selection of Bored Ape Yacht Club-centric Ethereum NFTs from Yuga Labs. This auction aims to gauge the fine art community’s interest and the lasting value of Ape-themed digital assets. The highlight of the auction is Ape #8552, a Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) profile picture (PFP) NFT adorned with a leather work vest and sushi chef headband. The rarity and unique characteristics of Ape #8552, such as its solid-gold fur and its previous ownership by the now-bankrupt Three Arrows Capital (3AC), add to its appeal.

Gold-Furred Ape NFTs: Rare and Valuable

The auction also includes two gold-furred NFTs from Yuga Labs’ Mutant Ape Yacht Club collection. Gold-furred Apes are extremely rare, with only 46 of the 10,000 Bored Apes minted featuring this trait. The rarity of gold-furred Apes has consistently driven their value higher in the market. The last gold-furred Ape sold for $933,000 (247 ETH) in March. Additionally, nine of the 12 highest Bored Ape sales tracked by OpenSea have involved gold-furred Apes. Sotheby’s has previously experienced success with gold-furred Ape NFTs, facilitating a record-setting $3.4 million sale of a gold-furred Bored Ape in 2021.

Michael Bouhanna, Sotheby’s head of digital art and NFTs, has referred to Bored Apes as “2021 relics,” emphasizing their historical significance in the NFT market. The NFT researcher known as Punk9059 highlighted that 3AC paid 106 ETH (approximately $401,000 by today’s prices) for their collection of Ape and Kennel Club NFTs in July 2021. While prices for ultra-rare Bored Apes remain high, the market for more common Bored Apes has seen a significant decline. The floor price for Bored Apes has dropped from nearly $430,000 in April 2022 to $47,500 (12.6 ETH) over the past year. This decrease reflects broader market trends and fluctuations in Ethereum’s value.

Market Implications of the Auction

The upcoming auction at Sotheby’s will be a significant event for both the fine art and NFT communities. It serves as a crucial indicator of the staying power and market value of Bored Ape NFTs amid changing market conditions. The inclusion of rare, gold-furred Apes and their historical connections to notable collectors like 3AC adds an intriguing dimension to the auction. Collectors and investors will be closely watching the results, as they could influence future valuations and the overall perception of NFT art within the fine art world.

Final Thoughts

Sotheby’s auction of Bored Ape Yacht Club-centric NFTs on June 18 is set to be a landmark event. With rare and valuable pieces like Ape #8552 and gold-furred Mutant Apes on the block, the auction will test the market’s demand and set a precedent for the future of NFT art sales. As the fine art community engages with these digital assets, the outcomes will provide insights into the evolving dynamics of the NFT market and its integration into the broader art world.


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