On Wednesday May 12, 2021, Chris Rahn’s Tiamat from Adventures in the Forgotten Realms—the upcoming Magic: the Gathering crossover expansion with Dungeons & Dragons—was sold for $65,000 on the MTG Art Market on Facebook. This is a new record for a newly released piece of artwork and for an artwork sold through the Facebook group.

Tiamat by Chris Rahn, oils on cradled Masonite, 24” x 30”

Tiamat by Chris Rahn is a work of oils on cradled Masonite (board) and measures an impressive 24 inches by 30 inches. It was commissioned as new artwork for the much-anticipated Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, the first Magic: the Gathering set that combines both the worlds of Magic and Dungeons & Dragons. This was one of the first previewed cards shown last week, and the set officially releases later this summer on July 23, 2021.

The original artwork was made available for sale shortly after the card was announced and the auction was run on the MTG Art Market with Mark Aronowitz acting as agent for the artist for the first time. Rahn has always placed his original paintings on eBay, and just recently began offering his sketches there as well. This is the first time he’s used a third party agent on the Art Market group, but I’d wager it won’t be his last.

The opening bid ask was Rahn’s traditional $999 start, and several bids were placed in the first few minutes, including one from Magic and fantasy art legend Donato Giancola. However, within ten minutes a $20,000 bid was placed, followed by a $30,000 competing offer, which was then raised to $35,000 privately, then to $42,500 (by the $30K bidder), and once again to $43,000 by another public bidder!

There would be one additional advance to $45,000 before the auction neared its 11 PM close, and as everyone expected, fireworks ensued. Bids began to flow in an hour before close: $45,500, $47,000, then $50,000, then $60,000! A total of three more bids would be placed before the end, and when the smoke cleared and the dust settled, the work was hammered sold for an unbelievable $65,000 to a private bidder. It now stands as the highest result for a newly released piece of Magic artwork, and the highest price realized for a work sold in the Facebook.

Tiamat (Sketch) by Chris Rahn, graphite and white charcoal on toned paper board, 15” x 18.5”

Not to be forgotten, the associated sketch was also offered and closed on the same night for $7,800, also to a private bidder. It’s unknown whether the works have sold to the same collector and will stay together. This is also most likely the highest, or one of the highest prices realized for a sketch where a traditional painting also exists.

It was a record-breaking night for Adventures in the Forgotten Realms artwork, and we’ve seen less than a dozen pieces of what should be hundreds of new artworks. Stay tuned here to Hipsters of the Coast for more Art Market Minutes—it’s going to be a Summer of Legend!

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