Phillips

Founded in 1796 by Harry Phillips, the auction house has undergone different incarnations before reverting to its original name in 2013. Previously trading as Phillips de Pury, the company was sold by Simon de Pury to Russian retail firm Mercury Group in 2008.

Now headquartered on Park Avenue in New York and Berkeley Square in London with other offices worldwide, Phillips focuses on contemporary and modern art, including photography, editions, design, watches and jewellery. They also host exhibitions, broker private sales and offer consultancy services.


Scottish delight

03 January 2000

UK: THE Scottish art market has been given a boost of confidence over the past few weeks by the strong performance of three sales in Edinburgh, that turned over £1.5m of antiques from Scottish sources.

Phillips now part of luxury brand group

22 November 1999

WIDESPREAD rumours of the imminent takeover of London auctioneers Phillips were confirmed last week as Bernard Arnault’s luxury goods group Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) paid a reported £70m for the whole of the Phillips Auction Group.

Phillips quiet on Arnault takeover

08 November 1999

Phillips were making no comment last week following confident assertions in the Financial Times that a French takeover of the last of the top three auctioneers under UK ownership was imminent.

Bernard Watney's celebrated collection

27 September 1999

UK: SEPTEMBER 22 was a big day for English porcelain, it saw the first part of Bernard Watney’s celebrated collection of early English porcelain go under the hammer at Phillips. A packed saleroom filled to capacity with collectors and dealers contested the 447 lots to over £665,000, way past the pre-sale predictions.

Ex-Phillips staff to set up as Lyon and Turnbull

29 August 1999

UK: THE rumour that the senior executives who have quit Phillips Edinburgh are to set up a rival auctioneers under the Lyon & Turnbull banner has been confirmed.

Edinburgh boss and four experts quit Phillips

22 August 1999

UK: Rival venture rumoured Five senior staff at Phillips Edinburgh, including the manager Nick Curnow, have resigned and left the company to pursue new interests.

Pair of English 17th century brass candlesticks

16 August 1999

UK: PHILLIPS Cardiff are among the three rooms which will soon close, but they held a good sale on August 4 where this pair of English 17th century brass candlesticks, 61/2in (17cm) high were consigned to the rooms from a private source.

Phillips ‘restructure’ continues as three more salerooms go

09 August 1999

UK: PHILLIPS are continuing the restructuring of their regional sales business with the closure of three more auction rooms: Glasgow, Cardiff and Retford will all shut by the end of September and be replaced by offices for dealing with clients.

Oh yes – I’m the great Pretender’s

19 July 1999

UK: “A piece of the plaid worn by Prince Charles Edward Stuart at the battle of Culloden and left by him at Sir James Mackintosh Moy Hall Chief of the Clan Chatten. Presented by Lady Mackintosh to Sir Thomas Grey.” – so read the handwritten statement which accompanied this tattered tartan fragment, 6in (15cm) square, to Phillips’ sale of textiles in Edinburgh on July 2.

Big changes for Phillips in US

14 June 1999

PHILLIPS have announced the appointment of Mark O. Howald as managing director of Phillips-Selkirk in St Louis as of May 1, 1999.

Lively bidding for dodo

07 June 1999

UK: IT may have been a touch risky for Phillips (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) to illustrate a dodo on the front cover of a catalogue for the sale of 19th and 20th century design in Edinburgh on May 21, but thankfully for the auctioneers it proved to be anything but a dead duck when it came to the bidding.

Blast from the past...

12 April 1999

UK: “PLACE the flattened end of the flagstaff in the socket made for it, then raise the hammer until it catches the base of the flag socket and remains upright: place a cap in the capholder and mount the soldiers along the trench.

Phillips’ plans centre on a move up-market

12 April 1999

Blenheim St to Bond St UK: PHILLIPS’ London headquarters are to be transformed as part of a long-term strategic plan to take the company’s core business up-market.

Web update for Bonhams and Phillips

05 April 1999

PHILLIPS have assigned exclusive live broadcast rights for their auctions to The Auction Channel ... just as Bonhams announce that they have beaten the other three leading auction houses to offer real time bidding via the Internet – again with The Auction Channel.

Illuminated manuscript of religious meditations

05 April 1999

UK: “THE richness of the language in which this manuscript is written speaks redolently of the period, and of the writer himself,” said the Phillips cataloguer of an illuminated manuscript of religious meditations which sold at £4400 to Quaritch.

Byron auction catalogue raises the bidding high

05 April 1999

UK: ONE OF THE principal successes in the printed portion of this sale was a copy of the 1827 Evans auction catalogue of the Library of the Late Lord Byron....

Bidders go Wilde

05 April 1999

UK: SIGNED cabinet photographs of Oscar and Constance Wilde flank one of their younger son, Vivian, which has been inscribed and dated 1891 to the reverse – although the well known portrait of Oscar is known to date from 1889.

Academic alpha minus

30 March 1999

UK: THE art trade generally classifies pictures as being either “commercial” or “academic” and it was generally the later term which best described the quality on offer at Phillips’ (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) March 19 sale of The Lloyd Collection of pictures in Oxford.

Phillips unveil their backers and new plans

15 June 1998

THE FUTURE shape of Phillips following the sudden retirement of former owner Christopher Weston became clearer last week.

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