Heritage Auctions

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Heritage Auction Galleries
Founded Dallas, Texas, 1976
Headquarters Dallas, Texas
Key people Steve Ivy, CEO & Co-Chairman[1]
Jim Halperin, Co-Chairman[2]
Greg Rohan, President[3]
Paul Minshull, COO[4]
Services Auction House
Employees 450+[1]
Website http://www.ha.com/

Heritage Auction Galleries is an auction house established in 1976 in Dallas, Texas by Steve Ivy and Jim Halperin.


Heritage Auctions is a privately owned company, with headquarters in Dallas, Texas and offices in New York, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, and Houston, and locations in Germany, Switzerland, Holland, and France.


Heritage combines both proxy and live Internet bidding with traditional floor auctions. In both 1999 and 2001, www.HeritageCoin.com, the predecessor to www.HA.com, was chosen by Forbes Magazine as one of the 250 best sites on the Internet. According to Internet traffic measurement site Compete.com, HA.com receives significantly more traffic than Sothebys.com and Christies.com combined.[5] Heritage hosts separate website sections for each type of collectible they support and each lot's web listing contains third-party pricing and rarity data.

Auctions held through the firm include the Nicolas Cage comic book collection, which sold for $1.6 million in October 2002[6] as a part of the largest comic auction ever according to Guinness,[7] the highest grossing numismatic auction (over $65.1 million at the 2007 Florida United Numismatists auction, not including currency), the highest grossing currency auction (over $14 million for the auction held at the Long Beach Coin and Collectibles Expo in September 2006), and the highest price for an action figure ($200,000 for Don Levine's original G.I. Joe prototype in July 2003).

Auctions in the media[edit]

  • In April 2005, Heritage offered the microphone used by long time The Tonight Show host Johnny Carson on the show. Inscribed “Johnny’s Mic… Not Ed’s… Not Fred’s”, this relic of late night TV sold for $50,787.50.[8] Six months later, Carson’s desk from the show appeared in a subsequent Heritage auction and sold for $38,837.50.[9]
  • A twenty dollar bill, printed in error over a Del Monte Banana sticker realized $25,300 in a Heritage auction in January 2006.[10]
  • The Buddy Holly Collection, personal artifacts consigned to Heritage from Holly's wife Maria Elena, were offered in February 2006. A watch worn by Holly when his plane went down realized $155,350 in this auction.[11]
  • Peter Fonda's American flag patch from the movie Easy Rider sold for $89,625 in a 2007 Heritage Auction.[12]
Peter Fonda's American Flag Patch, sold for $89,625 in 2007
  • In October 2007, Heritage sold the flight log of the Enola Gay’s navigator for $358,500.[13]
  • The largest four tusk mastodon skull ever found realized $191,200 in a January 2008 Heritage auction, benefiting the Mt. Blanco Fossil Museum in Crosbyton, TX.[14]
  • In February 2008, a collection of the earliest US cents, 301 coins assembled by collector Walter J. Husak and minted between 1793 and 1814, brought in $10.7 million.[15]
  • Heritage has sold two examples of the 1804 silver dollar. The Mickley-Hawn-Queller example, graded proof 62 NGC, realized $3,737,500 in April 2008,[16] making it the third most valuable coin ever sold at auction according to A Guide Book of United States Coins. The Adams-Carter specimen, graded Proof 58 NGC, realized $2,300,000 in April, 2009.[17]
Title page of the first printing of the Federalist Papers (1788)
  • Capt. Nathan Harlan, a soldier stationed in Iraq, owned a first edition volume of The Federalist that he had found at a garage sale. Heritage waived its seller's commission because of Harlan's service.[18] This book, originally estimated at $8,000-$12,000, realized $95,600 when the hammer finally fell in June, 2009.
  • Heritage handled the estate of art collector Charles Martignette. The collection contained 4300 paintings from the likes of Alberto Vargas, Gil Elvgren, and Norman Rockwell.[19]
  • On July 25, 2009, Heritage Auctions sold a Double Derringer belonging to John Dillinger for $95,600, more than double the pre-auction estimate of $35,000-$45,000.[20] Subsequently, Dillinger's sister's family consigned their keepsakes, including many iconic items, which were auctioned by Heritage in 2009 and 2010.
  • A Babe Ruth game-used bat dating to the 1918 season sold in October 2009 for $537,750 in an auction held by Heritage Auctions. This bat served as the model for every future bat made for Ruth by the Hillerich & Bradsby factory.[citation needed]
  • In January 2010, the Olson Specimen of the 1913 Liberty Head nickel was sold through Heritage Auctions for $3,737,500.[21]
  • In February, 2010, the highest CGC-graded copy of Detective Comics #27, the first Batman comic book, was offered in a Heritage Comic Books/Comic Art auction. It realized $1,075,500, the second highest price a comic book has ever been sold for (and the highest price ever at auction), more than tripling the previous auction record for any comic book. The entire auction realized almost $5.6 million, also an all-time record.[citation needed]
  • In 2010, the Max Factor Family in collaboration with Heritage Auctions of Beverly Hills held sales of important items in their private collection featuring jewelry, artwork, and silver. Proceeds from these sales were divided among several Los Angeles area organizations including a large endowment to benefit Beverly Hills High School's music program.[22]
  • Original artwork by Hugh Joseph Ward, a piece called 'The Evil Flame' from the cover of the August 1936 Spicy Mystery Stories, sold for $143,400, setting a record for the highest price ever realized for a pulp magazine cover in an August 2010 Heritage auction. In the same auction, pieces from Norman Saunders and Robert Fuqua also broke price records for the artists, at $50,788 and $27,485 respectively.[23]
  • A selection of John Wayne's memorabilia consigned by the actor's family brought more than $5.4 million in an October 2011 Heritage Auction. Wayne's beret from The Green Berets sold for $179,250, and a cowboy hat worn in Big Jake and The Cowboys sold for $119,500.[24]
  • A 1793 Chain Cent, the Eliasberg specimen, set a record for any United States copper coin when it sold for $1.38 million in an auction conducted by Heritage Auctions in January 2012.[25]
  • Seth Swirsky sold his 250 piece, historic collection of baseball memorabilia on May 3, 2012 through Heritage Auctions for close to 1.5 million dollars. The ball that went through Bill Buckner's legs in the 1986 World Series sold for $418,250.[26][27][28]
  • A 75% complete Tarbosaurus which was alleged to have been illegally exported from Mongolia was sold, contingent on court approval, for $1,052,500 on May 20, 2012,[29] alongside other possibly looted artifacts[30] despite protests from the Mongolian government,[31] an online petition against the sale,[32] claims by paleontologists that it was stolen,[33] and perhaps in violation of a court order.[34][35] Heritage Auctions was reported to suggest it had proof of the dinosaur's legal importation.[36][37][38] Heritage and the Government of Mongolia later jointly announced their cooperation in investigating the origin and ownership of the dinosaur.[39]
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Colonel Sanders' white suit and black clip-on bow-tie was auctioned for $21,510 by Heritage Auctions on June 22, 2013. The suit was given to Cincinnati resident Mike Morris by the Colonel, who was close to Morris' family. The suit was purchased by Kentucky Fried Chicken of Japan president Maseo “Charlie” Watanabe. Watanabe put on the famous suit after placing the winning bid at the auction event in Dallas, Texas.[40]


The Great Big American Auction, featuring Ty Pennington aired as a special on ABC on December 8, featuring experts from Heritage Auctions.[41]


Heritage Auctions operates a charity auctions division for causes that have included the North Texas Food Bank and St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters. Profits generated from Heritage Charity auctions are donated to charities selected by Heritage employees.[42]


Antiques and memorabilia dealer Gary Hendershott has filed lawsuits against Heritage, including a May 2009 Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) lawsuit alleging Heritage utilized shill bidding to increase prices, and failed to pay him commissions for auction sales he had facilitated for the firm. Heritage denied the claims,[43] and the lawsuits were dismissed, without prejudice, by three different judges and sent to arbitration[44][45][46]

In early September 2009 a similar RICO complaint was filed against Heritage by Chris Kortlander, a businessman from Montana who had once hired the firm.[43] On September 25, 2009, all of Kortlander's claims were dismissed with prejudice.[47]

On September 16, 2009, Heritage filed a motion asking for sanctions against Hendershott and his attorneys for misconduct.[48]

On September 30, 2009, Heritage filed a lawsuit against Hendershott and his attorneys alleging defamation and civil extortion.[49]

On April 7, 2010, U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis entered a permanent injunction ordering Hendershott and anyone acting on his behalf to remove from the Internet all previously published false, misleading and/or disparaging statements regarding Heritage and enjoining them in the future to desist from making or distributing such statements.[50] The RICO lawsuit and all claims against Heritage were also dismissed with prejudice.[51]


  1. ^ a b Bounds, Jeff (3 February 2012). "Heritage Auctions Makes Hong Kong Its Next Move". Dallas Business Journal. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Schefler, Erik (4 February 2011). "Interview With Jim Halperin, Co-Chairman of Heritage Auction Galleries". Coin Update. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  3. ^ Pate, Steve (19 October 2011). "Rich Heritage". D Magazine. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Demasters, Karen (3 May 2010). "Pennies Saved, Millions Earned". Financial Advisor. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  5. ^ United States. "ha.com 724,931.0 UVs for January 2012 | Compete". Siteanalytics.compete.com. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  6. ^ Susman, Gary (2002-10-01). "Book Value". EW.com. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  7. ^ "Guinness World Records - News - Going, going, gone". GuinnessWorldRecords.com. Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  8. ^ "Johnny Carson microphone sells for $50,787US | CTV News". Ctv.ca. 2005-04-23. Retrieved 2012-02-21. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Johnny Carson Sat Here". CBS News. 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  10. ^ MATT JOYCE (2006-01-06). "Collectors Go Bananas for Flawed $20 Bill". Sfgate.com. Archived from the original on 2008-03-28. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  11. ^ [1][dead link]
  12. ^ Tribune (2007-10-10). "Fonda auctions `Easy Rider' memorabilia - East Valley Tribune: Home". East Valley Tribune. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  13. ^ "Kyodo News". Home.kyodo.co.jp. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  14. ^ "W. Texas museum hopes for turnaround with skull's auction | WFAA.com | News: Local News". Wfaa.com. 2008-01-15. Archived from the original on 2009-06-06. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  15. ^ [2][dead link]
  16. ^ Dan Hersam. "1804 Silver Dollar Fetches $2.3 Million - Coin Collecting - The Hobby of Kings". US: Coincollector.org. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  17. ^ "1804 Dollar Sold for ,737,500 at Heritage's Million Auctions | latest news | news". Dig4coins.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-10. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  18. ^ "$7 ‘Federalist’ book could be worth $100K - books - TODAY.com". MSNBC. 2009-06-15. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  19. ^ Press, Associated (2009-07-14). "Hoarded art by 'quirky' collector could net millions | KPIC CBS 4 - News, Weather and Sports - Roseburg, OR | - Roseburg, Oregon | National & World News". Kpic.com. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  20. ^ Serjeant, Jill (2009-07-26). "Dillinger pistol sold at U.S. auction for $95,600". Reuters. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  21. ^ "Olsen-Hawn 1913 Liberty Nickel Sells for $3,737,500 : Coin Collecting News". Coinlink.com. 2010-01-08. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  22. ^ "Max Factor Heirs Auction Off Goods". Flashnews.com. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  23. ^ "Record prices smashed in Heritage’s latest Illustration Art auction". Bignews.biz. 2010-08-24. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  24. ^ "John Wayne auction fetches more than $5M". Acn.liveauctioneers.com. 2011-10-10. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  25. ^ "1793 penny fetches $1.38M at U.S. auction". Usatoday.com. 2012-01-07. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  26. ^ Buckner ball sells for $418,250[dead link]
  27. ^ "Bill Buckner ball sells for $418,250". Espn.go.com. 2012-05-04. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  28. ^ "Auction record for Buckner Ball". Sports.ha.com. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  29. ^ "Tyrannosaurus Brings $1,052,500 At Heritage Auctions New York Event". Ha.com. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  30. ^ Barford, Paul (2012-05-20). "Heritage Auctions Prevented From Selling Mongolian Fossil". Paul-barford.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  31. ^ "|title=President of Mongolia is concerned that T-Rex skeleton may belong to Mongolia". President.mn. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  32. ^ "Heritage Auctions: Stop the auction of illegally collected Mongolian dinosaur fossils". Change.org. 2012-05-20. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  33. ^ "Tyrannosaurus auction protested by Mongolia". Content.usatoday.com. 2012-05-19. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  34. ^ "Firm secures restraining order to stop Tyrannosaurus auction in New York City". Painterfirm.com. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  35. ^ "Шүүхийн захирамжаар Үлэг гүрвэлийн араг ясны дуудлага худалдаа 10 хоногоор хойшлогдлоо". Mass.mn. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  36. ^ Steven Morris (2012-05-16). "Tyrannosaurus skeleton to be auctioned in New York". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  37. ^ Switek, Brian (2012-05-19). "Stop the Tarbosaurus Auction!". Wired.com. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  38. ^ "$1,052,500 Tyrannosaur sale proceeds despite court order". Content.usatoday.com. 2012-05-21. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  39. ^ "Joint Press Statement from the President of Mongolia and Heritage Auctions". Heritage Auctions. May 29, 2012. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  40. ^ Compiled from The News Star (Gannett Company) and Associated Press Jun. 22, 2013 1:03 PM
  41. ^ "‘The Great Big American Auction,’ with Ty Pennington and Heritage Auctions, set to air Thursday, Dec. 8 on ABC". Dallasartnews.com. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  42. ^ "Heritage Charity Auctions". Ha.com. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  43. ^ a b Tully, Judd. “Texas WranglingArt+Auction, November 2009.
  44. ^ "Order: Gary Hendershott v. Steve Ivy, et al." (PDF). United States District Court, Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. 2008-10-29. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  45. ^ "Court order dated 5-12-09" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  46. ^ "Court order dated 5-19-09" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  47. ^ "Kortlander's Notice of Dismissal with Prejudice" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  48. ^ "Motion for Sanctions" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  49. ^ "Defamation Lawsuit" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  50. ^ "Injunction" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  51. ^ "Dismissal" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-08-05. 

External links[edit]