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Headlines and Highlights: Week of August 18th

Headlines and Highlights: Week of August 18th
August 18, 2023
Keenan Flack

BAYC Collectors Sue Sotheby’s Over NFTs Sale

The Art Newspaper

The News: A group of investors sued Sotheby's for "misleading promotion" in the 2021 auction of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs. They allege that the auction house inflated the value of the NFTs, selling 101 of them for $24 million, well above the $12 to $18 million pre-sale estimate.

Why: The plaintiffs claim that Sotheby’s endorsement of the NFTs helped their creators, Yuga Labs, gain legitimacy among traditional collectors, misleadingly indicating a crossover to mainstream audiences. This allegedly induced additional purchases of the NFTs. The lawsuit also names stars like Paris Hilton, Justin Bieber, Jimmy Fallon, Madonna, and digital artist Mike “Beeple” Winkelmann as defendants.

What’s Next:  The lawsuit against Sotheby's could shape the future of the NFT market. Its outcome may impact how NFTs are promoted and sold, influencing investor trust and regulation in the world of digital art. The case is seen as a key milestone that may affect legal norms and market trends for NFTs going forward. THEARTNEWSPAPER

Sotheby's and Christie's Fight for Fisher Landau Estate

Photo by Billy Farrell, ©Patrick McMullan.

The News: Both Christie's and Sotheby's are competing to acquire the estate of the late art collector Emily Fisher Landau. The collection, which includes works by famous artists such as Mark Rothko, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cy Twombly, and Andy Warhol, is estimated to be worth between $375 million and $500 million.

Why: Christie's and Sotheby's are vying for the estate to recover from recent weak sales in the art market. The big houses fight tooth and nail for estates like these, especially one as large and prestigious as Fisher Landau’s. Christie’s and Sotheby’s will look to negotiate down fees on the collection in exchange for a significant bump in their top line for the year.

What’s Next: With neither Christie’s nor Sotheby’s responding to inquiries, the industry awaits who will land the estate and what impact it might have on the broader art market. The collection's auction may be a turning point for the struggling art market. ARTNETNEWS

Altan Content

Alts and Ends was sent out this Wednesday with three stories about the vintage market, Davey Day Trader collectibles, and the upswing in grading of music cards. Read here.

Collectible Happenings:

A 1958 Mickey Mantle Game Worn New York Yankees Jersey is up for auction, notable for its significant history and being matched to multiple photos from the season. With bidding already at $3.25 million, the jersey will be one of a few jerseys that have sold at auction this year in excess of 7 figures. HERITAGE

With RMSotheby’s Monterey going on this weekend, the house decided to announce the sale of a Ferrari 250 GTO, with an estimate of $60 million. The house sold a similar car in 2018 for $48 million. SOTHEBYS

Fanatics filed a motion to move Panini’s antitrust suit to New York from Florida. Fanatics also filed a motion to stay, putting things on hold until a decision is made on the location. The court ordered Panini to respond by August 21st, so, according to Paul Lesko, it is likely that the court is considering granting the stay. TWITTER

Pickleball, the fast-growing sport that is equal parts tennis, badminton, and Ping-Pong, is getting its first trading card set. Leaf Trading Cards is releasing the "2023 Leaf Pickleball Premier Edition" this September, highlighting players like Ben Johns and Anna Leigh Waters, with every five-card box containing an autographed card. SPORTSCOLLECTORSDAILY

Peter John Higgs, a veteran curator at the British Museum, has been caught red-handed (or should we say gold-handed?) for allegedly stealing artifacts and selling them on eBay since 2016. The museum is now left with a serious security breach, big questions about its ability to guard its treasures, and probably a job opening for a curator who doesn't have a side gig on eBay. THEARTNEWSPAPER

The Wall Street Journal profiles collectors across categories that have had to sell off pieces when in need of cash. WSJ

Market Decipher releases report on signed sports memorabilia. The report claims that the sports memorabilia market will reach $227 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 21.2% until 2032. Also, that 80% of signed memorabilia will be authenticated by 2033. MARKETDECIPHER

Joe Daley from Bowling Green, KY has modernized trading card vending machines by offering state-of-the-art machines that sell packs and boxes of cards. His growing business now has machines in eight states and on four cruise ships, and he has begun licensing the concept to others. SPORTSCOLLECTORSDAILY

Sotheby's U.K. reported a 24% drop in profit for 2022, recording an after-tax profit of £26.2 million, down from 2021's £34.5 million, with Brexit cited as a likely cause for the increase in costs and global uncertainties affecting the art market. Despite this decrease, overall turnover was down only 2%, and the auction house noted that the data does not represent the full global enterprise, highlighting that Sotheby's London reached its highest consolidated sales since 2018. ARTNETNEWS

Last week Artnet released their mid-year art market report. It is free to download and has plenty of insights on this 2023’s shaky market. ARTNET

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