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. In 1967, Ivy dropped out of the University of Texas at Austin to form Steve Ivy Rare Coin Co. in Dallas, Texas. 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 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. Besides Ivy, Halperin, Rohan, and Emory, the company includes four other partners: Paul Minshull, Ryan Carroll, Todd Imhof, and Cristiano Bierrenbach.
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. 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. In 2010, Heritage launched its luxury items division, which includes jewelry, handbags, and other accessories. In some instances, rare items from these auctions have sold for over two hundred thousand dollars. 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.