Heritage Auctions

Last updated

Heritage Auctions
Type Private
Founded1976;45 years ago (1976) in Dallas, Texas, U.S.
FounderSteve Ivy
(founder and CEO)
Jim Halperin
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
ProductsAntiques and collectibles
Services Auctioneer
Website ha.com

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, as a cost-cutting measure, Heritage Auctions consolidated three Dallas-area locations to a new world headquarters in Irving, 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.

Notable auctions

In 2009 Heritage Auctions was sued by former employee Gary Hendershott who alleged that the company engaged in fraud by using a shill bidder under the name "N.P. Gresham" to drive up bidding prices which violated anti-racketeering laws in the process. [36] [37] The lawsuit was later settled out of court, though James L. Halperin said in sworn testimony that "N.P. Gresham" did not exist before later admitting that they did.

In 2016 Heritage Auctions sued Christie's along with its subsidy Collectrium for copyright infringement claiming that Collectrium database employees signed up for multiple accounts and used data-scraping software to steal some three million listings over a period of two years. At the time, Collectrium was just bought by Christie's in 2015. [38] [39] In 2019 a judge ruled that Collectrium had to pay Heritage Auctions close to $1.8 million over the claims, which was a small fraction of the $49 million Heritage initially sought, dismissed Heritage's claims of trespassing, unfair competition, and civil conspiracy and also ruled that Collectrium was the only company found to have any liability. [40]

In August 2021 YouTuber Karl Jobst released a video that claimed that Heritage auctions, along with the grading company Wata Games, had artificially created a collectable bubble in the sealed video game market outlining a series of conflict of interests between the two companies and also accused Heritage Auctions of engaging in fraudulent actions. [41] [42] In a statement to Video Games Chronicle released following the video's publication, Heritage Auctions denied engaging in any illegal or unethical practices. Wata Games also denied the claims made in the video. [43] [41]

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