On May 21, 2020, almost out of nowhere, Wizards of the Coast announced a brand new set now known as Double Masters. With it came five high-profile previews, and each had at least one incredible piece of traditionally painted artwork.

Each was offered in a different format stretching over the weeks following, and more than half of the works were eventually sold.

The first work to be offered and subsequently sold was the Showcase version of Atraxa, Praetor’s Voice by Kev Walker.

Atraxa, Praetor’s Voice, watercolor and acrylic, approx. 12 in in height

Atraxa was offered by the artist’s agent at 1:18pm on May 21st. At 1:23pm a Buy It Now price was set at $15,000. At 1:44pm the work was sold, less a half hour from when it was posted. This was one of the fastest sales of a newly released card, and based on the results from the following auctions, may have sacrificed a maximum price realized for expediency.

Blightsteel Colossus by Wayne Reynolds, acrylic on 3mm artboard, 11.5″ x 15″

The next work that came to the auction block was the Showcase artwork for Blightsteel Colossus by Wayne Reynolds. This auction was run by Vorthos Mike, acting as agent for the artist for the first time. The short four-day auction was full of consistent bidding action, starting at $8,000 and climbing all the way to a towering $17,500 by the final bell at 9pm EST on May 24th, 2020.

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Following Blightsteel Colossus was the Showcase art for Kaalia of the Vast, marking the return of legendary artist Scott M. Fischer to a major Magic expansion.

Kaalia of the Vast by Scott M. Fischer, acrylic ink and acrylagouache on cradled gesso panel sealed with Gamvar varnish, 24” x 36”

This sale of this monumental work was handled by Phil Li, who fielded private offers beginning on Thursday, May 21st. At 10:45am the following day the post turned into a short auction that would end on May 23rd at the stroke of midnight. Those interested did not skip a beat, and when the dust settled Kaalia was sold privately for an exceptional $40,000!

Art and artist.

Two previewed works remained, and they marked yet another return of a classic Magic artist to the game. Ron Spencer was commissioned the Showcase versions of both Doubling Season and Mana Crypt, and longtime art collector Adam St. Pierre brought these works and their associated sketches to market for the artist.

Doubling Season (Left) and Mana Crypt (Right) by Ron Spencer, each pens, pencil, and acrylic on cardstock 7.875 x 10.75” with .25” border.

Each final work required a $12,000 opening, both of which went unsatisfied during the duration of both auctions. Although many comments and even more private messages inquired, neither had been sold as of the writing of this article and will remain with the artist for the time being.

Each illustration also included a used and unused sketch. For both works, the used sketches, each pencil on tracing paper measuring 7.875” x 10.75” needed $2,000 to open. The used sketch for Doubling Season went unsold, but a considerable amount of late private bidding on the final sketch for Mana Crypt sent this piece of pencil work to a new collection for $2,275.

Both unused sketches would find homes as well. These were works of pencil on tracing paper measuring 8” x 11” and opened at only $500 each. The Doubling Season unused sketch sold for $575

And the Mana Crypt unused sketch sold for $775 after a bidding battle not unlike the one for the final used sketch for the same card.

Over these few weeks we had five important cards resulting in five fantastic works, sold using five different methods with five different final results. This variance is one of the things that make tracking the Magic Art Market so exciting, and I think we are in for even more thrilling auction action by the time this set officially releases on August 7th, 2020. Stay tuned!

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