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.


Gnomeman oak dining room suite

18 April 2001

UK: Mouseman – the name resounds beyond the world of arts and crafts furniture.

Bleeding bowl sets pulses racing on a quiet Leeds day

17 April 2001

NOT one of the best silver and jewellery sales ever to have been held at Phillips, Leeds – most entries sold at under £1000 – there was nevertheless some keen buying with a very satisfactory 89 per cent success rate and the occasional prized item.

The Countesse of Pembroke’s Arcadia – the first public reading

09 April 2001

UK: OFFERED at Phillips on March 30 was the former Houghton copy of the 1590 first edition of The Countesse of Pembroke’s Arcadia.

Carbon print of the Terra Nova at Cape Evans

09 April 2001

Showing the Terra Nova at Cape Evans, this large, green toned carbon print is an example of the largest format photographs offered by the Fine Art Society in their 1913-14 exhibition of photographs taken by Herbert Ponting on Scott’s last expedition (this one measuring 2ft 6in x 23in – 75 x 58cm) and it sold for £5000 (Grigor Taylor) in the Bonhams Knightsbridge sale.

Barry’s fireworks make a record bang

02 April 2001

UK: LEVELS of demand at Bonhams & Brooks’ (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) March 22 sale of Modern and Contemporary British and Continental Art were less impressive than the Phillips event of March 20.

Samson shows surprising strength

19 March 2001

UK: THIS quarterly sale of ceramics, glass, and works of art at Phillips’ Midlands branch included private collections of cameo glass, Meissen and Royal Worcestershire, plus a smattering of Oriental entries which contributed to the £111,000 sale tally that was nearly 90 per cent sold by lot.

For the home decorator with everything

12 March 2001

UK: “I HAVE never understood why stools make so much money,” said one dealer after the seeing this late 19th century Chippendale-style pair, left, go under the hammer at Phillips Knowle sale. “They never seem to be used for anything but piling up newspapers in sitting rooms.”

Not so coy with the bidding

12 March 2001

UK: THE best-seller of Phillips’ 19th century sale came from the selection of sculpture in the shape of this 20in (52cm) high bronze of a crouching nude by the French sculptor Aimé Jules Dalou. Dalou, a fierce Republican, who spent a period of exile in England in the 1870s, is as well known for his terracottas as for his bronzes, both executed in highly naturalistic style.

Traditional eclecticism with specialist threads

05 March 2001

Ceramics – The Jack Hacking Collection UK: THE JACK Hacking collection of English ceramics, offered by Phillips’ Bayswater (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) rooms back on January 23, was a less academic, more eclectic property than Norman Stretton’s. But it was not by any means a general collection since it had quite specific areas of interest.

Alexandre Iacovleff’s Dessins et Peintures d’Afrique

26 February 2001

UK: ONE of 50 coloured illustrations from Alexandre Iacovleff’s Dessins et Peintures d’Afrique of 1927, which sold for £800. One of 100 copies, it comprised a text volume in leather-backed satin covers painted with an African design and a pigskin portfolio containing the loose plates.

Another cursed by the Midas Touch

26 February 2001

UK: WHAT is so extraordinary about a stuffed fish, you might ask? Well, in the annals of piscatoria, they do not come much rarer than this golden roach – taken from the River Frays on October 8, 1911 and offered at Phillips Bayswater on February 20, 2001.

Job lots with a difference

26 February 2001

UK: GETTING on for 100 lots in the Phillips sale of February 16 comprised books from one private English collection that were characterised by smart and expensive bindings. Job lots were common but I have illustrated one lot that contained just two books, on a related theme and in matching bindings, and have picked out a few others that presented only one or two of the more valuable books each, but which were unfortunately not to be found among the composite illustrations used in the catalogue.

Dracula’s issue and more Hobbits found in New Bond Street

26 February 2001

UK: THE FIRST Phillips sale of the year gets a largely pictorial treatment here, but not everything that I selected for report was illustrated in the catalogue and a number of other highlights are described elsewhere (see "Job lots with a difference", above).

Wellington – soldier of the right fibre

26 February 2001

UK: SUCH has been the surge in popularity of English samplers and related textiles over the past few years (driven largely by American collectors who can no longer afford their own folk art) that any picture with even a hint of natural fibre is guaranteed to attract interest at auction.

Via Crucis

26 February 2001

UK: ONE of the scarcer plate collections in the Phillips sale was Via Crucis, novellamente eretta nell’ Atrio del Santissimo Crocifisso della chiesa parochiale, e collegiata di S.Polo. Engraved throughout, this small quarto Venetian volume of c.1780 comprises 16 full-page illustrations of the Stations of the Cross by Leonardis after Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, plus 29 pages of text.

Furniture buyers bid on only the better pieces

19 February 2001

American connection revolutionises a jug’s prospects UK: LOOKING at current trends in the furniture market, auctioneer Patrick Toynbee remarked on the reluctance among buyers for “run of the mill” pieces, with the preference now being for high-quality attractive pieces.

The magic of Rackham

12 February 2001

UK: IN 1905, the Leicester Galleries, regular show place for Arthur Rackham R.W.S. (1867-1939) introduced Rackham to J.M. Barrie and as they say, the rest is history.

£14,000 tables to choosy bidders’ tastes

05 February 2001

UK: A SUBSTANTIAL offering of furniture, most of it 19th century and brown, received a mixed response from the Scottish and North of England trade at the last Phillips sale in Edinburgh before Christmas.

Closures encourage trend for smaller auction houses

01 February 2001

UK: PROVINCIAL auctions have come full circle with the increasing re-emergence of smaller auction houses from the shadow of the big four.

Dealers assemble for tea-time in Suffolk

22 January 2001

UK: “THAT is a heck of a lot of beverage, even for me,” said one dealer looking over the 64 lots of tea and coffee pots, some shown here, at Phillips (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) sale in Bury St. Edmunds on December 6-7.

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