Super Mario-Inspired NFT Fetches Over $240K at Sotheby’s Auction

Sead Fadilpašić
Last updated: | 2 min read

Major auction house Sotheby’s first inscription auction has been a success, closing with nearly $451,000 raised.

Between December 6 and 13, Sotheby’s New York held an online sale of select BitcoinShrooms from the Bitcoin ordinals project by Shroomtoshi.

Per the company’s website,

“Elegantly weaving the nuanced tapestry of Bitcoin’s history, culture, and core technicalities, each unique, pixelated, and hand-crafted piece forms part of a masterful, yet playful guide to the revolutionary realm of Bitcoin.”

The auction featured three images from the unreleased pixilated collection, seemingly inspired by Super Mario. These include the S shroom (the “S” stands for Self-Sovereignty), the Sovereign Individual, and the BIP39 seed from which all “Bitcoin addresses and their corresponding private keys are ultimately derived.”

The initial estimate for each of the three pieces was $20,000-30,000.

As the auction closed, the results were in:

  • the S shroom sold for $241,300;
  • the Sovereign Individual sold for $107,950;
  • the BIP39 seed sold for $101,600.

In total, the price for the three was $450,850. This is five times more than the highest total estimated price of $90,000.

Pixelated Recap of Bitcoin’s 13 Years

Sotheby’s describes Shroomtoshi as a technically inclined digital artist and a trailblazer in “the booming Ordinal ecosystem” with an encyclopedic knowledge of Bitcoin.

The artist commented that,

“The BitcoinShrooms collection is a pixelated recap of the first 13 years of Bitcoin, a homage to the 8-bit style of art that expresses a slight nostalgia for the 90s, a way to soil 10s of thousands of SSDs spread across the world with my art (->next level cyber-vandalism), a tool to raise awareness about Bitcoin and what I personally view as its core principles, an ironic way to vent at what I see as its annoying pop elements and aberrations. it is a thank you to those I worked with and learned from, to those who are not around anymore but whose name should not be forgotten. it is knowledge condensed and a journey for the curious.”

Ordinals are the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) of the Bitcoin ledger.

The auction house noted that ‘inscriptions’ and ‘ordinals,’ though often used interchangeably, have different meanings. An ordinal is the asset – the unique, serialized satoshi that its owner may transfer. An inscription is the encoded media content that is embedded within the ordinal.

Meanwhile, Sotheby’s is not new to the NFT realm.

The auction house sold digital collectibles owned by the bankrupt Singaporean crypto hedge fund  Three Arrows Capital (3AC) for a total of $10.9 million in June.

In May, Sotheby’s launched an NFT secondary marketplace. It allows users to buy curated NFTs on the Ethereum and Polygon networks.


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