Heritage: Two Sales in Beverly Hills
By Bruce McKinney
Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas, the ascendant auction house rising from the flat lands of Texas, is entering the west coast collectibles auction market - bringing its unique combination of meticulous cataloguing and marketing to California and offering its first sales in the category during the week of the ABAA Book Fair - February 11th and 12th. The firm recently took over the Beverly Hills gallery previously occupied by Superior Coin & Stamp. Heritage ventures onto a complicated stage set by the ABAA which has, in past years, discouraged auction houses from selling to the audience they attract from around the world for their biennial Los Angeles show. In recent years there have been, despite disapproval, two or three auctions during 'fair week.' Anymore, both dealers and auctions seem to benefit from proximity.
Heritage is a serious player in collectibles and its entry into the West Coast book, manuscript and ephemera field via the opening of a showroom in Beverly Hills, evidence that its appetite is increasing. In Southern California Bonhams & Butterfields has been the dominant auction house in recent years although other houses have held "visiting" sales. As well, in northern California Pacific Book Auctions conducts frequent sales and John's Western Gallery, while recently quiet, organized three sales during the past few years on behalf of Glen Dawson and Dawson's Book Shop. In addition to the west coast office Heritage is opening a showroom in New York City later this year. North Dakota may be next!
With Heritage's latest steps the firm, that has risen to prominence with aggressive marketing and sophisticated cataloguing, serves notice it's moving to create a juggernaut that may soon pit a national firm with regional offices selling collectibles across a broad spectrum against hundreds of mostly local auction companies that compete in just a few categories. As auctions prosper when they aggregate audience Heritage's full service collectibles approach gives them an extraordinary advantage in attracting both consignors and bids. The firm conducts auctions in art, coins, comics, currency, entertainment memorabilia, historical material, stamps. jewelry & timepieces, movie posters, natural history, rare books and sports collectibles. They charge a 19.5% buyer's premium for all categories except coins, currency and stamps.
So the opening of their Beverly Hills location and the posting of two sales to coincide with the ABAA book fair serves clear notice that Heritage has come to play. The first sale is 226 lots of Historical Manuscripts & Autographs to be offered February 11th beginning at 10:00 am with an additional 242 documented lots offered only online, by fax and mail.
The second sale is Rare Books Auction., 508 lots to be sold the same day beginning at 2:00 pm with another 317 lots offered online, by fax and mail. All lots are illustrated and described in the catalogues.