The Maecenas blockchain-based art investment platform has made history by selling Andy Warhol’s ’14 Small Electric Chairs’ in a tokenized sale.
In collaboration with London’s Dadiani Syndicate fine art gallery, the artwork was sold to several participants in a $1.7 million auction. The sale constitutes an investment of 31.5% into the total $5.6 million value of the work.
Maecenas is a platform designed to enable the fractional ownership of artworks using blockchain technology. It’s the first time a piece of fine art has been sold to multiple buyers using Ethereum smart contracts to facilitate the sale of transfer of ownership. The 100 investors are a mix of cryptocurrency enthusiasts and fine art aficionados from across Europe and Asia.
Maecenas CEO Marcelo Garcia marked the occasion in a speech, saying “this is a historical moment for us and the blockchain community.”
Art on the blockchain
’14 Small Electric Chairs’ forms part of Warhol’s 1980 Reversal series and represents a postmodern take on his 1960’s Death and Disaster series. It features two vertical strips each displaying seven prints of electric chairs in various colors.
The tokenization of the artwork involved a virtual division of the piece into fractions stored as digital certificates. These represent secure, tamper-proof smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain that verify ownership in an incorruptible manner. Payments were made in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and ART tokens.
Dadiani Syndicate founder Eleesa Dadiani noted the revolutionary nature of the auction. “This auction was unchartered territory, a new model in an age-old market. [It] has gone a long way to validation our vision of a more democratic and open art investment market.”
UK-based Dadiani Syndicate is a luxury marketplace that offers the sale of exclusive items such as sports cars and crown estate properties in cryptocurrency.
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