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The Heritage Auctions App with barcode scanner.

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The Texas-based fine art and collectables specialist reported a house record of $815m in total sales for 2017, of which $438m (53.7%) was transacted online.

This online total was up 26% year-on-year and represents the highest figure in terms of online sales in the art and antiques auction industry.

Christie’s equivalent figure for all digital sales (including lots sold via online bidding) in 2017 was $214.5m.

High-value lots

The key areas that generated high volumes of internet sales at Heritage were sporting memorabilia, vintage comic books and comic art.

However, a number of high-value individual items selling to online bidders also made a significant contribution, including baseball legend Jackie Robinson’s 1947 jersey, which was bid to $2m, and a Norman Rockwell study that made $1.6m.

“No other auction house in the world is doing this much business online,” said Jim Halperin, co-founder of Heritage.

The company al so announced a number of new developments to the Heritage App last month, including one-touch mobile bidding and an extension to the barcode scanner for coins.

Previously the app allowed users to scan the barcode labels given out by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), and link the item to auction results for comparable coins.

Now the app will also access data on coins graded by rival grading company Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS).

Meanwhile, in the UK, Heritage was also present at the latest London Coin Fair held at the Holiday Inn in Bloomsbury on February 3. It followed the company’s takeover of the dealership London Coin Galleries in September.

Before the event, managing director of Heritage in London Max Tursi told ATG: “We are not bringing stock, we will just display catalogues, leaflets and merchandise/marketing material. We aim to meet old and new clients and to talk about the new office.”

Read our Q&A about the Heritage Auctions app here