Phillips is the destination for international collectors to buy and sell the world’s most important contemporary works of art. By focusing specifically on the defining aesthetic movements of the last century, we’ve set ourselves apart as the most dynamic and forward-thinking auction house. Our considered approach and specialized knowledge lead clients to seek our guidance on contemporary collecting trends. This finely-honed expertise is evident in all aspects of our business, from the caliber and quality of our sale catalogues, events and exhibitions, to a superior level of individualized client service.
Headquartered in New York and London, with offices throughout the world, Phillips conducts sales in a select number of categories: Contemporary Art, Photographs, Editions, Design, and Jewelry. Additionally, our core art business includes special exhibitions, private sales, advising private estates and corporate clients, museum services, and consulting.
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.
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. In 1882, 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 luxury retail company, acquired majority share of Phillips de Pury & Company to further enable the company’s expansion, including the opening of its flagship galleries at 450 Park Avenue.
Where #ModernMasters and #20thCentury & #ContemporaryArt meet: Hanging inside #JeanProuvé’s demountable house is #AlexanderCalder’s ‘Two Red Petals in the Air’, flying in to our #NewYork Evening Sale this May! Follow us to stay up to date on our busy auction season and check back for more 20th Century & Contemporary Art updates.
20th Century and Contemporary Art
Day Sale 17 May, 11AM / Evening Sale 18 May, 5PM
Join us at 450 Park Avenue, New York for our public viewing 4-18 May or preview the sale on phillips.com.
The construction of a #JeanProuvé house as told by @cerealmag. There's still time to stop by our #ModernMasters and #Design preview to see the house before it heads to auction on 26 April! You can read about the house and see #BTS shots from the shoot via link in bio. 📷: @rvstapleton for Cereal Magazine
Good afternoon #London! Our #ModernMasters & #Design previews are up at 30 Berkeley Square until tomorrow ahead of the sales on 26 & 27 of April. Don't miss modern icons #JeanRoyère, #JeanProuvé and #AlbertoGiacometti alongside contemporary designers like #RonArad, #JorisLaarman, #YoungSookPark and many more.
"I don't paint to live. I live to paint." Happy Birthday #WillemdeKooning! Born in 1904, de Kooning worked as a house painter before moving to New York. Check back for more updates on the artist as we welcome his work, 'Untitled II' to our #NewYork #20thCentury & #ContemporaryArt Evening Sale.
#WillemdeKooning, coming soon to our #20thCentury & #ContemporaryArt Evening Sale! 'Untitled II', seen here, will join us in #NewYork for our spring auction this May. Stay tuned for more exclusive updates as we head into our exciting spring season!