Heritage Auctions Reports 2019 Sales of $824.7 Million

The auction house achieved strong results with many high-profile, world-record setting sales in several departments.
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The very first published Tintin cover ever offered at auction: The Adventures of Tintin Vol. 1: Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, by Hergé (1907-1983). This original cover art, ink on paper, which sold for $1.1 million, is one of the notable lots that sold at Heritage Auctions in 2019. Hergé, whose real name is George Remi, is considered the star of European comics and his success is global.

The very first published Tintin cover ever offered at auction: The Adventures of Tintin Vol. 1: Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, by Hergé (1907-1983). This original cover art, ink on paper, which sold for $1.1 million, is one of the notable lots that sold at Heritage Auctions in 2019. Hergé, whose real name is George Remi, is considered the star of European comics and his success is global. 

DALLAS – Strong results and several high-profile, world-record setting sales in comic art, coins, sports memorabilia and other departments, helped push Heritage Auctions’ total sales for 2019 to nearly $825 million.

Heritage Auctions, HA.com, reported that it recorded sales of $824.7 million in the 2019 calendar year, comprised of $559,931,610 in auction sales and $256,991,331 in private sales. Total sales online reached a company record of $483,857,445, or 58 percent of all sales, the highest dollar volume and percentage of sales of any auction house in the world.

“We set several world records last year and our overseas offices continue to grow at a steady pace, all of which helped our sales hold strong amidst a choppy economy,” said Heritage Auctions co-founder Jim Halperin. “These results and our long-term investments in the business have positioned us for a strong 2020.

The most expensive original piece of comic art, Egyptian Queen, by Frank Frazetta, sold in May 2019 for $5.4 million. “This result elevates Frank Frazetta’s art into the stratosphere of visual narrative art on a par with the likes of Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish and other luminaries,” said Heritage Auctions Vice President Todd Hignite.

The most expensive original piece of comic art, Egyptian Queen, by Frank Frazetta, sold in May 2019 for $5.4 million. “This result elevates Frank Frazetta’s art into the stratosphere of visual narrative art on a par with the likes of Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish and other luminaries,” said Heritage Auctions Vice President Todd Hignite.

” The firm’s core category, rare U.S. coins, generated $181.3 million in auction sales, giving Heritage 55 percent of the world’s auction market for U.S. rare coins. Heritage sold the market’s most valuable U.S. rare coin in 2019: the finest-known 1885 Trade dollar, graded NGC PR66, which realized a record $3,960,000. Additional records include three other seven-figure coins, as well as the April sale of a 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar, which sold for a world record $108,000, making it the most expensive coin of its type.

One of the most valuable U.S. rare coin in 2019 that Heritage sold is this finest-known 1885 Trade dollar, graded NGC PR66, which realized a record $3,960,000.

One of the most valuable U.S. rare coin in 2019 that Heritage sold is this finest-known 1885 Trade dollar, graded NGC PR66, which realized a record $3,960,000.

High-profile sales in World and Ancient Coins surpassed $59 million. Heritage said that continued investment in the category recently offered clients a new online feature that displays high-quality photographs of world and ancient coins taken by independent third-party grading companies, whenever they are available for internet auction lots.  

Auction sales through the firm’s Comics & Comic Art Department soared to a record $79,332,770, with sell-through rates exceeding 99 percent as measured both by value and by number of lots. The total was the highest in the 18-year history of the department and represented a jump of more than 35 percent above the department’s previous record of $58,544,323 set in 2018.  

The most notable world record to come from the department was the $5.4 million sale of Frank Frazetta’s 1969 masterpiece, Egyptian Queen, which now holds the world record as the most expensive piece of original comic art ever sold at auction.  

Sales of sports collectibles and memorabilia exceeded $70 million from more than 23,000 lots. World records include the most expensive post-war baseball jersey following the $2,580,000 auction sale of Lou Gehrig’s 1937 game-worn New York Yankees jersey. A record price for a Heisman Trophy was set in October when bidding for the trophy awarded to Ricky Williams closed at $504,000.

The world record for most expensive post-war baseball jersery went to Lou Gehrig’s 1937 jersey he wore while a New York Yankee. It sold for $2,580,000 in August 2019.

The world record for most expensive post-war baseball jersery went to Lou Gehrig’s 1937 jersey he wore while a New York Yankee. It sold for $2,580,000 in August 2019.

A significant contributor to sales was the number of private collections Heritage said it brought to market in 2019. Among them, The Neil Armstrong Family Collection recorded by far and away the world’s most expensive Gold Robbins Medal offered at auction. Armstrong’s personal, module-flown medal sold in July to a private collector for $2,055,000.  

Fine art sales surged $10 million to $60.4 million, a 20 percent increase over 2018. Notable sales included Blueberry Custard, 1961, by Wayne Thiebaud, which set a house record for its most expensive piece of Modern and Contemporary Art at $3,255,000.

Heritage said it continues to see growth of its client base, last year reaching the milestone of 1.25 million registered online bidder-members, who use HA.com, Heritage’s online platform, to buy and sell collectibles across its more than 40 collecting categories.  

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains locations in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong. For more information, visit HA.com.https://entertainment.ha.com/itm/vintage-guitars-and-musical-instruments/duane-allman-s-circa-1961-1962-gibson-sg-cherry-solid-body-electric-guitar-serial-15263-owned-and-played-by-graham-nashandlt-/a/7201-89103.s?ic4=ListView-Thumbnail-071515

Blueberry Custard, 1961 by Wayne Thiebaud (b. 1920) set a house record as the most expensive piece of fine art sold at Heritage Auctions, after it sold for $3.2 million in November 2019.

Blueberry Custard, 1961 by Wayne Thiebaud (b. 1920) set a house record as the most expensive piece of fine art sold at Heritage Auctions, after it sold for $3.2 million in November 2019.

A notable piece of music memorabilia was Duane Allman’s circa 1961-62 Gibson SG electric guitar that sold for $591,000 in July 2019. It was from the private collection of Graham Nash, singer/songwriter and member of the folk group Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

A notable piece of music memorabilia was Duane Allman’s circa 1961-62 Gibson SG electric guitar that sold for $591,000 in July 2019. It was from the private collection of Graham Nash, singer/songwriter and member of the folk group Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.