Heritage Auctions

Heritage Auctions
Founded1976; 44 years ago (1976) in Dallas, Texas, U.S.
FounderSteve Ivy, founder and CEO
Jim Halperin, co-founder
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
ProductsAntiques and collectibles

Heritage Auctions is an American multi-national auction house based in Dallas, Texas. Founded in the 1970s and 1980s 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.[1] In 1967, Ivy dropped out of the University of Texas at Austin to form Steve Ivy Rare Coin Co. in Dallas, Texas.[2] 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[1] from his earlier, smaller business. The two bitter 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.[2][3] Besides Ivy, Halperin, Rohan, and Emory, the company includes four other partners: Paul Minshull, Ryan Carroll, Todd Imhof, and Cristiano Bierrenbach.[2]

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.[2] 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.[1] In 2010, Heritage launched its luxury items division, which includes jewelry, handbags, and other accessories.[4] In some instances, rare items from these auctions have sold for over two hundred thousand dollars.[5] 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.[6]


On June 1, 2020, Heritage Auctions consolidated three Dallas-area locations to a new world headquarters in Dallas, located at the northwest corner of West Airport Freeway and Valley View Lane near Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.[7] The 160,000 square foot facility is located in the DFW Airport international trade zone and will house 450 of the company's 600 employees.[8] The company also has offices in New York located on Park Avenue.[2] Its New York operations are mostly geared towards the fine arts industry.[9] Heritage has a West Coast location in Beverly Hills, California, located on Olympic Boulevard.[2] In 2011, Heritage acquired Greg Martin Auctions in San Francisco, California, forming the auction house's division specializing in weapons and armament.[10]

Heritage expanded operations by adding an office in Hong Kong in 2015.[11] In spring 2017, the company formed a Florida branch with offices in Palm Beach.[12] In January 2017, company opened an office in Chicago. Three years later, the base operation was moved from downtown Dallas to a location near the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport as a cost-cutting measure.


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.[13] 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.[14] In December 2015, an auction brought in more than $3 million for memorabilia from Sylvester Stallone's personal collection.[15]

A baseball-themed print by American illustrator Norman Rockwell was sold by Heritage Auctions in August 2017 for $1.6 million. The work was a study of Rockwell's Tough Call.[16][17]

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.[18][19][20] 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.[19] About 3,000 items were up for auction[21] and, as of October 2019, the auctions have brought in about $12 million.[20]

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.[22][23] 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.[24][25][26] 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.[27] 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.[28]


  1. ^ a b c Wilonsky, Robert (April 27, 2006). "History for Sale". Dallas Observer. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Pate, Steve (November 2011). "Rich Heritage". D Magazine. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  3. ^ Channick, Robert (January 19, 2017). "Heritage Auctions brings its paddles to Chicago". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  4. ^ Gustines, George Gene (December 6, 2010). "Market Watch: Bidding on Luxury". T Magazine. The New York Times. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
  5. ^ Fitzpatrick, Tommye (December 3, 2012). "First Look: Heritage Auctions's Holiday Luxury Items From Chanel, Hermès, and Louis Vuitton". ELLE. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
  6. ^ Simek, Peter (May 21, 2013). "This Week Heritage Auctions Offers A Brief Look at a Trove of Modern and Contemporary Art". D Magazine. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
  7. ^ "Dallas-Based Heritage Auctions Relocates World Headquarters to New, 160,000 Square-Foot Campus". Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  8. ^ Montes, Bianca R. (June 3, 2020). "Dallas-Based Heritage Auctions Relocates World Headquarters to New, 160,000 Square-Foot Campus". D Magazine. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  9. ^ Cascone, Sarah (September 23, 2015). "Heritage's First New York Modern Art Auction". Artnet News. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  10. ^ Smith, Scott S. (April 24, 2013). "Sold! Steve Ivy Lifts Heritage Auctions To No. 1". Investor's Business Daily. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  11. ^ Voien, Guelda (June 25, 2015). "Heritage Auctions Expands to Hong Kong". Observer. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
  12. ^ Valverde, Miriam (March 23, 2016). "Heritage Auctions expands operations in Florida". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
  13. ^ "John Wayne auction rustles up $5.4M". CBS News. Associated Press. October 11, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  14. ^ Silverleib, Alan (December 2, 2011). "Super price for Superman comic". CNN. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  15. ^ "Sylvester Stallone's film memorabilia fetches $3 million at auction". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press. December 22, 2015. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  16. ^ Richter, Marice; Herskovitz, Jon (August 21, 2017). Maler, Sandra (ed.). "'Print' on Texas family wall is original Rockwell, sells for $1.6 million". Reuters. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  17. ^ "Norman Rockwell baseball painting sells for $1.6 million at auction". The Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. August 21, 2017. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  18. ^ "Neil Armstrong memorabilia fetches $7.5 million at auction". NBC News. Associated Press. November 4, 2018. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  19. ^ a b Stuckey, Alex (November 2, 2018). "Neil Armstrong memorabilia brings more than $4 million in first day of Dallas auction". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  20. ^ a b Saker, Anne (October 23, 2019). "Get your bids ready: Fourth auction of Neil Armstrong's belongings begins Oct. 25". Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  21. ^ Chang, Kenneth (September 28, 2018). "Neil Armstrong Walked on the Moon. To These Boys, He Was Just Dad". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  22. ^ Zetlin, Minda (July 18, 2019). "These valuable pennies are worth up to $200,000—and they might be in your pocket". CNBC. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  23. ^ Simon, Darran (January 10, 2019). "Rare 1943 copper coin fetches a pretty penny in auction: $204,000". CNN. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  24. ^ Kim, Allen (June 11, 2019). "Tintin original cover art bought at auction for more than $1 million". CNN. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  25. ^ Cascone, Sarah (May 30, 2019). "The Original Drawing for the First-Ever Cover of Tintin, the Beloved Belgian Comic, Could Fetch More Than $1.3 Million at Auction". artnet News. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  26. ^ "'TinTin' artwork sells for $1.1 million at auction". Deutsche Welle. June 9, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  27. ^ Ervin, Mack III (November 29, 2019). "Sacramento artist Thiebaud's Blueberry Custard fetches $3.225 million at auction". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  28. ^ Genovese, Daniella (November 22, 2019). "Marvel Comics 1 torches record with $1.26M sale at auction". FOXBusiness. Retrieved February 20, 2020.

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