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"
- From multi-million pound bids to a few pounds: Online auctions continue to go from strength to strength
- Classic cars, Old Masters to an affordable piece of design furniture - in 2017, we predict online auctions will continue to boost the art, antiques and collectibles market.
- 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.
Realised prices "Phillips "
- Paintbox; and Hommage à Duchamp: To and for Rose Selavy, 1970 and 1972 – Arman
- Arman\nPaintbox; and Hommage à Duchamp: To and for Rose Selavy\n1970 and 1972\nTwo works, including one complete set comprised of a wooden box containing four accumulations of artist’s materials in polyester, two screenprints on Plexiglas, one offset lithograph on Rives BFK paper, and one etching on Arches paper, the full sheets or with full margins, and one set of three accumulations of sliced chess pieces, cigars, and photographs embedded in Plexiglas, in a portable chess board box made of wood,\npaintbox: 16 x 21 in (40.6 x 53.3 cm); Duchamp: 18 x 9 x 3 3/4 in (45.7 x 22.9 x 9.5 cm)\nall paintbox accumulations and prints on Plexiglas incised with signature and annotated `AP 9/10', the prints on paper signed and numbered in pencil (artist's proofs, the edition was 125), edited by Abrams Original Editions and published by The Philadelphia Museum of Art, all Duchamp incised with signature and annotated `AP' (one of 15 artist's proofs, the edition was 90), Duchamp is lacking the leather chessboard and original plastic stands. Phillips
- Ulchiro Project: End Note, 2007 – Ian Kiaer
- Ian Kiaer\nUlchiro Project: End Note\n2007\nink on paper, sugar paper, rubber mat\ninstalled 182.5 x 227.5 x 119 cm (71 7/8 x 89 5/8 x 46 7/8 in.)\nThis work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist. Phillips
- Morning Glories I; II; and III, 1991 – Donald Sultan
- Donald Sultan\nMorning Glories I; II; and III\n1991\nThe complete set of three etchings with aquatint, on Somerset paper, with full margins,\nI. 59 3/4 x 47 1/2 in (151.8 x 120.7 cm); S. 61 1/4 x 48 3/4 in (155.6 x 123.8 cm)\nsigned with initials, titled, variously dated and numbered 60/60, 37/60 and 58/60 in pencil (there were also 13 artist's proofs), published by Waddington Graphics, London, occasional soft handling creases, otherwise all in very good condition, all unframed. Phillips
- Horse Silk, 1993 – Robert Rauschenberg
- Robert Rauschenberg\nHorse Silk\n1993\nLithograph.\n28 1/2 x 20 in. (72.4 x 50.8 cm).\nSigned, dated and numbered lower edge. This work is from an edition of 100. Phillips
- Tension standing lamp, model no. L 78, 1957 – Osvaldo Borsani
- Osvaldo Borsani\nTension standing lamp, model no. L 78\n1957\nPainted metal, brass.\n285.8 cm (112 1/2 in.) high\nManufactured by Tecno, Italy. Phillips
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