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.

  • USA
Objects "Phillips"

Blog posts about "Phillips"

The 10 Most Expensive Watches Ever Auctioned
Who knew it could be so expensive to keep track of time? We’ve listed the world’s ten most expensive wrist and pocket watches, including some that have broken auction records.
Barnebys Acquires ValueMyStuff
The world’s number one art and antiques appraisal website becomes a part of the Barnebys family.
Crazy. Rich. And Crazy Rich.
‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is a film (and book) that everyone’s buzzing about. The movie not only boasts juicy drama and hilarious comedy, but also luxurious glamour – including, most notably, a very, very expensive watch.
Industrial to Individual - The uniqueness of Carlo Mollino
In the 1950s, the creative Carlo Mollino left industrial design behind to pursue more individual pieces, focusing on innovative techniques and materials. Mollino’s philosophy toward singularity in form was a break from the mass-produced objects that were prevalent at the time.
World records pour in as the spring's auction season is summed up
With a few large auctions remaining on the international auction scene, the economic boom in the industry continues even if trends are changing and focus is partly directed towards new categories.

Realised prices "Phillips "

A fine and rare white gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with centre seconds and retrograde date, 1999 – Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe\nA fine and rare white gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with centre seconds and retrograde date\n1999\n18k white gold\n36mm. Diameter\nCase, dial and movement signed Phillips
Hollowed Mass Group II:5, 1984 - 1985 – Roni Horn
Roni Horn\nHollowed Mass Group II:5\n1984 - 1985\nSolid cast lead.\n6 x 10 3/4 x 12 in. (15.2 x 27.3 x 30.5 cm). Phillips
Dancers in the Wings, moths, Paris Opera, Degas, 2007 – Karen Kilimnik
Karen Kilimnik\nDancers in the Wings, moths, Paris Opera, Degas\n2007\nGiclée print. \n15 3/4 x 11 3/4 in. (40 x 29.8 cm).\nSigned on verso. This work is from an unlimited edition. Phillips
A rare, attractive and oversized stainless steel wristwatch with three-tone
IWC\n\nCase, dial and movement signed\n\nDuring the late 1930s, IWC received a rather unusual order from a customer in Portugal, requesting a wristwatch with the same case size and accuracy of a pocket watch. To meet the needs of this client, IWC created an ultra thin and oversized wristwatch. The result was an attractive, precise and particularly large timepiece. While the very first Portugiesers were fitted with the caliber 74, IWC eventually switched to caliber 98 in the 1940s, which we see on the present watch. The present watch is distinguished by its three-tone champagne dial, boldly displaying contrasting silvered and brushed finishes on the dial. The dial condition is rather remarkable, especially since it was only shielded by a non-waterproof snap-on case back. Despite its age, the watch is preserved in excellent condition, with sharp finishes and crisp edges. Research indicates that this watch was delivered to Weinstabl in Bratislava.Absolutely ahead of its time, the Portugieser is today an incredibly iconic watch that is integral to the DNA of IWC. The firm has constantly reinvented this model with a variety of complications, such as a chronograph function. Phillips
Dream Object (an Archie horror comic painting in the style of Matta), 1996 – Jim Shaw
Jim Shaw\nDream Object (an Archie horror comic painting in the style of Matta)\n1996\n Oil on canvas.\n36 x 48 in. (91.4 x 121.9 cm).\nSigned and dated “Jim Shaw 96” on the overlap. Phillips

Find address and telephone number to Phillips

Phillips New York
450 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022
T: +1 212 940 1200
F: +1 212 940 1213
Phillips London
Howick Place
London SW1P 1BB UK
T: +44 20 7318 4010
F: +44 20 7318 4011