With final overall 2010 tallies in, adding up to more than $677 million gross, Heritage Auctions is pointing to a record year across several categories of its business including world record totals for any auction house in the Comics & Original Comic Art and Illustration Art categories. Heritage Sports Collectibles used 2010 to put itself in prime position to become the leading sports memorabilia auctioneer in the nation in 2011, with a 2010 Signature Auction and Weekly Auction combined total of $12,809,628 and several high value, prominent lots that captured worldwide attention, including the April auction of hockey legend Bobby Orr’s 1966-67 rookie jersey for $191,200 and the November sale of a rare T206 Honus Wagner baseball card – sold for a group of Baltimore, MD nuns – for $220,000.
“We saw brisk growth in those categories in particular,” said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. “When we combine the weekly comic and comic art auctions with our Signature auctions, the total for the comics category reaches $23,077,321, while Illustration Art, anchored by the Charles Martignette Estate, totaled $14,454,281. We’ve done our research and can’t find another auction firm that has ever equaled those totals in these categories.”
Comics saw several high-profile auctions over the course of the year, with none bigger than the February sale of a CGC-certified 8.0 copy of Detective Comics #27, the first appearance of “The Batman,” for $1,075,500. The comic made national and international headlines, becoming the highest selling comic ever offered at public auction. Illustration art was bolstered by the notable sales of H.J. Ward’s iconic pulp cover, The Evil Flame, for $143,400 in August, while the original Garth Williams cover art for the book Charlotte’s Web brought $155,350 in October.
World and Ancient coins continued its stellar growth at Heritage in 2010, as the combination of Signature auctions, Non-Floor-Session auctions from those events and Internet-only auctions jumped to $25,411,331 for the year, led by sale of the legendary 1936 Canadian Dot Cent in early January, which made front page news across North America when it sold for $402,500.
“Heritage is a constantly growing and changing company,” said Rohan, “and these results, pretty much across the board in all our categories, show that our formula is working. We find the very best material, mix it with the top specialists in their respective fields and market to the top collectors in the world. Growth like this shows that we are indeed reaching them.”
Heritage made especially significant inroads in its Fine Jewelry category, breaking through with a $8,987,397 year, highlighted by the December sale of a breathtaking Diamond, Platinum ring for $388,375. Heritage’s Music & Entertainment category also posted its best single year total to date with $4,298,397 and several prominent auctions, anchored by an extensive trove of Lucille Ball memorabilia offered by Susie Morton, the widow of Gary Morton, Ms. Ball’s second husband.
“There are a lot of factors and a lot of hard work by the Heritage team that led to this growth,” said Rohan, “and we absolutely have to point to our new offices in Beverly Hills and New York as key aspects of that growth. Those locations have exposed us to a massive new base of collectors happy to take advantage of our offerings.”