DEFINITION of 'Phillips'

A New York-based auction house specializing in the sale of art and antiques. Phillips was founded in London in 1796 by Harry Phillips, who had previously worked as a clerk for James Christie, the founder of the auction house Christie’s. 


Phillips remained family-owned after Harry Phillips died in 1840. Over the years its name has changed several times - Messrs Phillips & Son (1879), and Phillips, Son & Neale (1882) – before it settled back to its original name in the 1970s. It was purchased by Bernard Arnault in 1999, and the company became Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg. Parts of the company merged with Bonhams in 2001, with the Mercury Group completing an acquisition in 2013.