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Press Release - March 12, 2019
World Records, Special Collections Push Heritage Auctions to $826.4 Million in 2018
The Neil Armstrong Family Collection™ , sports, fine art, and vintage comics, comic art pace annual sales
"Our strategic plan embraces technology, expertise and unrelenting focus on building win-win relationships with bidders and consignors," said James Halperin, Co-founder of Heritage Auctions. "The results have been consistent world records and customer satisfaction across fine art, rare coins and paper money, comic books and comic art, and sports. Heritage remains the industry leader by wide margins in most of those categories, as well as in total online sales."
Nearly 60 percent of 2018 sales – $487,632,348 – was transacted through the internet, a healthy 11 percent increase over 2017, when internet sales revealed a 26 percent increase against 2016 sales totals.
Auction sales of U.S. Rare Coins climbed by 11 percent, from $169,101,766 in 2017 to $187,825,708 in 2018. Heritage outsold all of its U.S. Coins competitors combined last year, dominating the hobby with a market share of nearly 54 percent, according to an independent survey by the Professional Numismatists Guild. Among the hobby's annual sales, Heritage ranked with the $2.64 million sale of an elusive 1804 Dollar, often dubbed "The King of American Coins."
High-profile sales in World & Ancient Coins surpassed $54 million, a 10 percent increase over 2017. An investment in a new comprehensive world and ancient coins database provides collectors comparable auction results and graded population guide was added to HA.com to serve the auction house's fastest-growing categories.
In addition, Heritage set more than a dozen world auction records across several categories and special collections:
· Its Sports Department set the world record price paid for any post-World War II card with the sale of a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 for $2.88 million. The department set two records for one lot: the most expensive post-war baseball jersey jumped by $550,000 when Jackie Robinson's 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers Rookie Jersey sold for $2.6 million through Heritage's "Make Offer to Owner" program, about five months after it first sold for $2.05 million.
· Sales for the Comics & Comic Art Department at Heritage Auctions soared to a record $58,544,323. The department claimed the world record for the most expensive piece of comic art when Death Dealer 6, (1990), by artist Frank Frazetta, sold for $1.79 million in May. The artwork was first published in 1996 as the cover for Verotik's Death Dealer #2 comic book.
· A world artist record for the most expensive Gerald Brockhurst was set when his alluring 1937 portrait of movie star of Merle Oberon sold for $360,500, almost twice the previous price paid for the work, when it sold in the firm's Fine European Art Auction.
· Rapid growth in American Art is recording more records every season: G. (Gerald Harvey Jones) Harvey's When Cowboys Don't Change, 1993, sold for $516,500, smashing the previous world record for a painting by the artist.
· Heritage has established itself as the No. 1 auction house for Urban Art, setting multiple ceiling prices for artists such as KAWS, when 50 records were set when The Toy Collection of Ronnie K. Pirovino sold KAWS Companion Karimoku Version, 2011, for $62,500, more than double its previous record.
Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world's largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.
The Internet's most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has over one million registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.
Eric Bradley, Director, Public Relations