Global Upsurge in Auctions of Luxury Collectibles

Heritage Auction house accounts a record $1.45 Billion and India’s non-art auction sector reported a surge of 1,153% in sales of Collectibles
Global Upsurge in Auctions of Luxury Collectibles

In 2022, non-art categories proved to be major contributors to auction house businesses. According to a report published by auction house Heritage sold a total US$1.45 billion across 40 categories this year, a record that just tops the more than US$1.4 billion sold in 2021. The auction house has long been known for its coin and currency sales—which are still crucial to its business—but CEO and co-founder Steve Ivy said in a news release on Wednesday that its “expeditious evolution into the world’s leading collectibles auctioneer is something we do not take for granted.”

Heritage’s sales of sports memorabilia totaled US$157 million noting the highest revenue for the sale of a 1952 Mickey Mntel baseball card for for US$12.6 million. While dramatic, the sports category was surpassed by US$310 million in sales of U.S. coins, a 21% gain from a year earlier. The total included the August sale from the Bob R. Simpson Collection of a 1927-D Double Eagle US$20 gold coin for US$4.44 million. The coin was graded MS66 by the Professional Coin Grading Services, meaning it was never in circulation. At the end of September, an 1821 Half Eagle from the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Core Collection sold for US$4.62 million. Half Eagles, mostly gold with a US$5 face value, were minted largely from 1795 to 1921. Jewelry is another category that experienced a big jump in sales for Heritage this year, rising 22% to US$27.38 million. The star lot was a 1.21-carat “fancy orangy” red diamond that sold for US$1.755 million, nearly 12 times a presale estimate. 

India’s non-art auction sector in 2022 was estimated to be at INR 55 crore. In 2017, its non-art category posted sales of INR2.95 crore and reported 1,153% sales growth over the year earlier in 2022 to INR37 crore. Astaguru auction house saw a significant jump in sales of categories such as horologe timepieces, precious jewellery and opulent collectables. The company seeks to scale its non-art category business to ₹200 crore in the next four to five years. In FY21, it posted sales of ₹270 crore, with nearly ₹30 crore contribution from watches and jewellery.

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