Phillips New York

Phillips New York. The auction house will open a Los Angeles gallery later this year.

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Auction sales rose 30% to $590m for the first half of the year and private sales were up 72% to $156m.

The figures are its best ever half year to date and it hopes to be on track to beat its record full year sales total which was set in 2021 with sales of $1.2bn (up 32% on 2019).

The firm said 44% of buyers across online-only and live auctions were first-time buyers at Phillips.

Phillips’ Watch department continued its 18-month streak of selling 100% of lots offered at auction across Geneva, Hong Kong, and New York with watch auction sales hitting $127.2m.

Stephen Brooks, chief executive officer, said: “This has been a season of extraordinary growth at Phillips. From hosting our most successful auction in company history to the announcements of our expansion in Hong Kong and Los Angeles, the momentum from our record-breaking 2021 has held fast this spring.”

Phillips LA

A computer rendering of Phillips Los Angeles. Image: Formation Association.

The new LA gallery will open in the autumn in West Hollywood.

The 2600 sq ft venue at 9041 Nemo Street has been designed by Formation Association and will host exhibitions devoted to travelling highlights from auctions in New York, London, Hong Kong and Geneva, as well as private selling exhibitions specifically curated for the space, panel discussions, and events.

Phillips said that over the past six years it had assembled a team of specialists in LA including Blake Koh, regional director in Los Angeles; Rebekah Bowling, senior specialist and head of 21st century art; and Meaghan Roddy, head of design on the West Coast.