The year 2011 proved to be a great one overall for Heritage Auctions (HA.com), as the company posted a gross total of more than $806 million, a number that represents its best performance ever. “The bottom line is that service and value will always sell, and Heritage specializes in the very best of both,” said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. “Collectors respond to that. They know us and they know we understand them. The result has been a decade of tremendous growth.”
U.S. Coins continue to be the backbone of the company with the category registering an impressive $196 million auction total, including Weekly US Coin Internet-only auctions, which realized $22 million – a new record for the subset and an 80% increase over 2010 – and Gallery US Coin auctions, which accounted for $5,340,889, another record total for the subset and a 70% increase over 2010.
Heritage’s World Coins category continued to prove itself a juggernaut, with a record total of $39.45 million – an increase of 60% over its 2010 record performance – while the Vintage Comics and Comic Art bore direct witness to the evolution of the category into a true investment quality asset, posting north of $26 million, a 13% improvement over 2010, which had already set the record for any auction house.
“World Coins and Comics are emblematic of Heritage’s continued growth,” said Rohan, “among the several categories that continue to perform well for us. Collectors and investors alike, from some non-traditional corners, are all taking a close look at these categories.”
Heritage Jewelry Auctions continued to see an explosion in sales, ringing up a record $17.4+ million in all (more than double the category’s 2010 record total).
Fine Wine made its debut at Heritage in 2011 and quickly proved to be a profitable force to be reckoned with as it brought in nearly $11.4 million in total prices realized. Heritage’s continued dominance in Illustration Art was re-asserted by an $11.1 million total, the category’s second best year.
Heritage made the decision in 2010 to spin off its musical instrument auctions from its Music & Entertainment auctions to create a brand new category, which proved to be a smart decision, as collectors lined up for a variety of stringed and other instruments to give the category a $10.5 million debut. The decision also proved a good one for Heritage Music & Entertainment auctions, which, even without Guitars in its total, realized $8.6 million all told, the best year the category’s seen and more than double what it saw in 2010.
One of the year’s most significant changes at Heritage was the acquiring of the assets of Greg Martin Auctions of San Francisco, creating a separate Arms & Armor category for Heritage for the first time. With $9+ million realized in just three auctions, Arms & Armor proved itself a category to watch.
Decorative Arts & Silver also posted its best year ever, with $7.43 million sold at auction, the category’s best year yet by almost double, while Heritage Movie Posters auctions posted an in impressive $6.2+ million total, including $1.8 million in Weekly Internet auctions, a new record for the Web-only offerings and a 15% increase over 2010’s record total. The amount pushed the category lifetime total for Heritage Movie Posters past the $50 million mark since it started in November 2001.