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.


Phillips make a first Impression

22 May 2000

US: A concerted push into the market by Phillips meant that there were three major players on the Impressionst and Modern auction scene in New York last week.

Rare football programme stirs memories of Munich air crash

17 April 2000

UK: MANCHESTER United may be the most successful football team in the world at present, but it was a reminder of the most tragic event in the history of the club which stirred bidders at Phillips sale of the Leslie Millman collection of team programmes and memorabilia at Old Trafford on April 10-11.

Phillips scoop the big two over major paintings

10 April 2000

UK & US: PHILLIPS’ traditional reputation as the permanent poor relation of Sotheby’s and Christie’s at the top end of the international art market could be turned on its head by a clutch of high value consignments soon to be offered in London and New York.

Turnover of $2.3bn each for Christie's and Sotheby's

20 March 2000

CHRISTIE'S and Sotheby's announced a substantial increase in turnover for 1999, each registering total sales in the world art market of $2.3 billion (£1.46bn).

LVMH buy Tajan

21 February 2000

FRANCE: PHILLIPS' new owners, luxury goods group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, are to acquire Tajan, the leading French auction house.

17th century ivory figure

31 January 2000

UK: LARGELY ignored by the English and Continental trade at Phillips' Edinburgh sale, this 17th century ivory figure of an unknown Dutchman was so desired by two competing Scottish dealers that it brought £11,500 against a £2000 top estimate.

Victorian oak dining table

10 January 2000

UK: SEVEN telephone bidders swooped on this Victorian oak dining table, 6ft 6in by 3ft 7in (2.00 x 1.10m) offered with an estimate of £1800-2200 at Phillips Edinburgh on December 17.

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.

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