Phillips was founded in London in 1796 by Harry Phillips, formerly senior clerk to James Christie. During his first year of business, Phillips conducted twelve successful auctions and soon the business was holding sales for some of the most distinguished collectors of the day including Marie Antoinette, Beau Brummel and Napoleon Bonaparte.
To win business, Phillips combined business acumen with a flair for showmanship, introducing new ways to promote his sales such as elaborate evening receptions before auctions - an essential part of the auction business today. Phillips quickly gained the confidence of British society and remains the only auction house ever to have held a sale inside Buckingham Palace.
When he died in 1840, Harry Phillips's son, William Augustus, inherited a strong and successful legacy and business. In 1879, William changed the firm's name to Messrs Phillips & Son. In1882, William brought his son-in-law, Frederick Neale into the business, the company was renamed again as Phillips, Son & Neale. This name remained through the 1970s, when the company became Phillips. The company had a reputation for strong regional salerooms dotted throughout The British Isles, selling everything from furniture to art and estates.
In 1999, the company was bought by Bernard Arnault, the chairman of the French luxury-goods brand, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey (LVMH). Shortly after the transaction, Mr. Arnault merged with the esteemed private art dealers, Simon de Pury and Daniela Luxembourg who were operating the Impressionist and Modern art gallery, de Pury & Luxembourg in Zurich. The new team at Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg with headquarters on East 57th street held sales in Impressionist, American and Modern works of art in addition to watches and jewelry and design.
In 2002, de Pury & Luxembourg took majority control of the company and in 2003, Simon de Pury moved the headquarters to the Meatpacking District in Chelsea, which at the time was just beginning to sprout as an international art district, with a new remit to focus solely on the sale of the best works of Contemporary Art, Design, Jewelry, Photography, and Editions. In October 2008, Mercury Group, the Russian luxury retail company, acquired majority share of Phillips de Pury & Company to further enable the company’s expansion.
Blog posts about "Phillips"
- How to buy Tracey Emin, Jeff Koons and Jasper Johns for £1 000
- So these artists may hit dizzying heights in the sale room, but did you know you can pick up works by some of today's most expensive living artists for a snippet of their record prices. We've done the searching for you, check out who you can buy now for less than you might think.
- Patek Philippe 1518 smashes world auction record for a watch
- On Saturday 12th November a record for wristwatches was smashed by nearly £3 million at Phillips.
- 20 Pink Maos shine in Phillips 20th Century & Contemporary Art evening sale
- Last night Phillips 20th Century & Contemporary Art evening sale totalled a comfortable £17.9 million against the pre-sale estimate of £14.2 to £20.5 million. From the 28 lot sale, four of which did not find new owners, check out five of the sales from the night.
- From the ashes: Restored fireplaces
- With salvage antiques and architectural pieces making their way into the most stylish of homes, check out Barnebys guide to reclaimed interior design.
- Middle Ages to the Turner Prize: the rich history of tapestry
- The medieval art form of tapestry has a richly woven history...
Realised prices "Phillips "
- Líneas, 1966 – Gego
- Gego\nLíneas\n1966\n18 pages with 13 lithographs on Japanese paper bound in hardcover book\neach 7 3/4 x 15 5/8 in. (19.7 x 39.6 cm)\nThis work is number 9 from an edition of 20. This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by Fundación Gego. Phillips
- Airport in Chita, 1985 – Natalya Nesterova
- Natalya Nesterova\nAirport in Chita\n1985\nOil on canvas.\n119.6 x 113.8 cm. (47 x 44 3/4 in).\nSigned 'Nest [in Cyrillic]' lower left; signed, titled and dated 'Nesterova 1985 Airport in Chita [in Cyrillic]' on the reverse. Phillips
- Rare necklace, C. 1960 – Lucie Rie
- Lucie Rie\nRare necklace\nc. 1960\nEarthenware, bright golden glaze over a carved body.\n15.2 cm. (6 in.) wide Phillips
- REVERSED MIRROR #1, 2008 – Stefan Brüggemann
- Stefan Brüggemann\nREVERSED MIRROR #1\n2008\nmirror, permanent glue\n255 x 217 cm. (100 3/8 x 85 3/8 in.) Phillips
- Woman with Snake, 2003 – Kiki Smith
- Kiki Smith\nWoman with Snake\n2003\nPorcelain multiple with hand-painting,\n11 x 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 in. (27.9 x 8.9 x 8.9 cm)\nincised with initials, dated and numbered 8/13 on the backside, in very good condition. Phillips
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