|Founded||1976Dallas, Texas, U.S.in|
|Founder||Steve Ivy, founder and CEO|
Jim Halperin, co-founder
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
|Products||Antiques and collectibles|
Heritage Auctions is an American multi-national auction house based in Dallas, Texas. Founded in the 1970s and 80s from a partnership between two rival collectors, Heritage is an auctioneer of numismatic collections, comics, fine art, books, luxury accessories, real estate, and memorabilia from film, music, history, and sports.
Heritage Auctions was formed from a partnership between two collectors, Steve Ivy and Jim Halperin. In 1967, Ivy dropped out of the University of Texas at Austin to form Steve Ivy Rare Coin Co. in Dallas, Texas. In 1971, Halperin founded New England Rare Coin Galleries while still a freshman at Harvard University and would also later drop out of school. It was Ivy who first formed Heritage Auctions in Dallas in 1976 from his earlier, smaller business. The two friendly rivals often met at industry trade shows and auctions. In 1982, Halperin sold his Boston-based business and moved to Dallas to join Ivy and Heritage Auctions; with him, he brought Marc Emory, a partner who heads what is now part of Heritage's European operations. Greg Rohan joined the company in 1986 and is now president of the company. Besides Ivy, Halperin, Rohan, and Emory, the company includes four other partners: Paul Minshull, Ryan Carroll, Todd Imhof, and Cristiano Bierrenbach.
In 1996, the company launched a website to allow the sale and purchase of coins in online auctions. This allowed Heritage to grow its list of potential sellers and buyers. At the urging of Halperin, Heritage began expanding its business model to include collectibles beyond numismatics by first including auctions of comic books in 2001. The company launched a memorabilia department in 2003 and its first auction was valued at about $2 million. In the mid-2000s, Heritage entered the music, entertainment, and film memorabilia market. By April 2006, the auction house was holding its third biennial auction of collectibles that once belonged to famous actors, musicians, directors, and other filmmakers. The collections sold at the auctions included many props, set pieces, and apparel from the sets of notable films and television series in history as well as personal effects of several musical artists. In 2010, Heritage launched its luxury items division, which includes jewelry, handbags, and other accessories. In some instances, rare items from these auctions have sold for over two hundred thousand dollars. By 2013, the auction house was also auctioning modern and contemporary art including works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Joan Mitchell, and Edward Ruscha.
As of 2006, the Heritage Auctions headquarters are located opposite Reverchon Park on Maple Avenue in Dallas. The offices occupy five floors including a ground floor auction room. The company also has offices in New York located on Park Avenue. Its New York operations are mostly geared towards the fine arts industry. Heritage has a West Coast location in Beverly Hills, California, located on Olympic Boulevard. In 2011, Heritage acquired Greg Martin Auctions in San Francisco, California, forming the auction house's division specializing in weapons and armament. As of November 2011, Heritage employs about 385 people, most of whom work in its Dallas offices.
Heritage expanded operations by adding an office in Hong Kong in 2015. In spring 2017, the company formed a Florida branch with offices in Palm Beach. In January 2017, Heritage opened an office in Chicago, Illinois, at an Ohio Street location previously held by its competitor Sotheby's.
In October 2011, Heritage auctioned the personal property and movie memorabilia of the actor John Wayne for $5.4 million. The beret he wore in The Green Berets fetched $179,250. The following month, a copy of Action Comics #1, previously owned by Nicolas Cage, sold for $2.16 million, beating the previous record price for the comic of $1.5 million. In December 2015, an auction brought in more than $3 million for memorabilia from Sylvester Stallone's personal collection.
In a continuing series of auctions starting in 2018, Heritage Auctions is auctioning a collection of memorabilia from the estate of Neil Armstrong, who died in 2012. The event was the first ever auction of the astronaut's personal collection and is billed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first landing on the Moon in 1969. About 3,000 items were up for auction and, as of October 2019, the auctions have brought in about $12 million.
In January 2019, a rare 1943 Lincoln cent sold at Heritage auction for $204,000. The copper coin was created in error in 1943, when copper was meant to be reserved for the war effort. An original 1930 ink-on-paper drawing from the first Tintin comic book, Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, was sold by Heritage Auctions in June 2019. On November 20, 2019, Blueberry Custard (1961) by Wayne Thiebaud sold at a Heritage auction for $3.225 million, the second highest price brought in for a piece by the artist from Sacramento, California. The next day a near-mint condition Marvel Comics #1 sold for $1.26 million, setting the record for the most expensive Marvel comic sold in a public auction.