Sports collectibles were a big contributor as Heritage Auctions tallied up its sales figures for 2020. The Dallas-based company reported over $873 million in total sales despite uncertainty over the impact of COVID-19, travel restrictions and other hurdles.
The sales figure for one of the world’s largest auction houses represents both auctions and private sales across several different categories including sports memorabilia, coins, comics, jewelry and three dozen additional segments.
Whether as an investment or respite, Heritage’s sports clients purchased more than $100 million between online auctions and private sales. That’s the second time Heritage reached the $100 million milestone mark. The company kicked off the year with a record $1,025,000 sale of a 1922-23 Lou Gehrig game used bat. Its four-night autumn collectibles auction raked in over $22 million alone.
Total auction sales surpassed $638 million, with nearly 79 percent of that coming via internet bidding, a new record. A significant portion of Heritage’s 2020 private sales, which exceeded $235 million, also occurred online.
The auction house says it also increased its client base to more than 1.4 million registered online bidder-members.
“Given all of the headwinds we faced last year, from cancelled events and travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic to adjustments to our operations necessary to keep our staff and clients safe, we are extremely proud of our accomplishments in 2020,” said Steve Ivy, Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Auctions.
The year was one of growth for Heritage, despite the pandemic. The firm moved its global headquarters into a new state-of-the-art, 160,000-square foot facility and multi-purpose campus in June. Nearly 450 of Heritage’s more than 600 employees now occupy its new headquarters on a single floor comprising nearly four acres. The consolidation was the most significant expansion in the firm’s history.
In its largest category, numismatics, Heritage sold a total of $278.9 million in U.S rare coins and currency and World & Ancient Coins and Paper Money at auction, easily maintaining its position as the world’s largest numismatic auctioneer by market share. Noteworthy sales and records in that category included a 1927-D Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, which sold for $2.16 million.