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Headlines and Highlights: Week of March 1st

Headlines and Highlights: Week of March 1st
March 1, 2024
Keenan Flack

Collectors Holdings Acquires Top Grading Competitor in SGC

Collectors Holdings, the parent company of PSA, has announced its acquisition of SGC, a competitor in the trading card authentication and grading market. This move brings two of the top four brands in the sector under one umbrella but intends to operate them independently with SGC's existing management team intact. SGC President Peter Steinberg emphasized that SGC will continue as an independent brand and looks forward to leveraging Collectors' resources to enhance their services and offerings, especially in modernizing and innovating within the grading space.

PSA holds a significant portion of the grading market, with recent figures showing PSA graded approximately 291,000 trading cards in a week, overshadowing SGC's 32,000. Despite SGC's smaller scale, it has a strong foothold among vintage card collectors and has been actively expanding into the modern card segment with competitive services. The acquisition by Collectors Holdings is expected to bolster SGC's capabilities and offerings, potentially speeding up service times for PSA through resource sharing and technical expertise provided by PSA to SGC.

The acquisition follows Collectors Holdings' previous strategic moves in the collectibles industry, including the purchase of auction company Goldin and the analytics platform Card Ladder. With a significant investment in technology and expansion, including opening an office in Japan, Collectors Holdings aims to enhance the products and services across its brands. SCDAILY

Christie’s and Elton John Bring in $20 Million After Week Long Sale Schedule

The Christie’s auction series featuring items from Elton John’s collection ended on a high note, bringing in a total of $20.5 million, more than double the low estimate. The auction, which included a vast array of items ranging from paintings and photographs to custom-designed clothes and fine jewelry, saw collectors vying for pieces like Banksy’s Thrower Triptych and a pair of silver leather platform boots belonging to Elton John, fetching prices far above their estimates. Among the 900 items auctioned, John’s extensive photography collection stood out, with works by Richard Avedon, Steven Meisel, and Irving Penn, underscoring the artistic and personal significance of the auctioned pieces.

Christie’s international head of photographs, Darius Himes, remarked that the auction not only showcased valuable artistic and personal items but also cemented the cultural legacy of Elton John, one of the world’s most iconic figures. The sale highlighted John's diverse taste and contributions to the arts, with significant sales like an Avedon silver print fetching $201,600. This auction series has successfully reflected the depth of John's collection and his impact on the cultural and artistic landscape, leaving a lasting legacy that goes beyond his music career. ARTNEWS

Check out our post in partnership with The Realest digging into the Elton John sales and celebrity provenance ALTAN INSIGHTS

Collectible Happenings

Heritage Auctions sold a rare, full case of 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee hockey cards, which may include an estimated two dozen Wayne Gretzky rookie cards, for a staggering $3.72 million. This sale, marking the highest for a hockey card case, notably surpassed the previous record set by an unopened case of 1986-87 Fleer Basketball, and highlighted the growing interest and value in sports memorabilia. SCDAILY

Topps Series 1 Baseball first cards were apparently released without the “First Card” designation, says Topps. Collectors who received these cards can contact Topps for them to be stamped. TWITTER

KolleXor, initiated by three childhood friends, has entered the market with a $3.5 million valuation, aiming to redefine the collecting experience by focusing initially on sports memorabilia with plans for rapid expansion. The platform intends to foster a community for collectors to showcase, trade, and connect, emphasizing accessibility and interactivity for collectors of all levels, with ambitions to extend into entertainment memorabilia. YAHOO

Despite having no physical card shops, Ireland's passion for sports and collecting paved the way for Enzo Patriarca and Jason Flynn, co-founders of Soccer Cards United, to host "The International" card show in Dublin, inspired by America's The National. The event, exceeding expectations, attracted 1,500 attendees and featured 110 tables, showcasing a mix of sports cards, memorabilia, and international vendors, solidifying Dublin's place in the global collecting community and hinting at further growth in the European market. SCDAILY

Collectors Holdings, the parent company of PSA, has acquired SGC, marking a significant consolidation within the sports collectibles grading industry. While the terms and future implications of the deal for collectors remain under wraps, the move is seen as a strategic play by Collectors Holdings to bolster its position in a competitive market, potentially in anticipation of moves by other major players like Fanatics. The acquisition could leverage SGC's loyal customer base and experienced grading team, aiming for synergies and expanded services within Collectors Holdings' growing empire, valued at over $4 billion. SCDAILY

Artnet released their “The Intelligence Report”, wherein they share deep insights and data on what is driving the global art market. ARTNET

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