After achieving record $ 1.2 billion in global sales this year, Phillips plans major new location in Hong Kong


Phillips, who returns to a 2021 record in which he sold $ 1.2 billion in luxury goods globally, up 32% from 2019, and hit the $ 1 billion mark for the first time in its history, is now considering a major expansion in Hong Kong.

Phillips said global auctions rose 35% to $ 993.3 million, from $ 736 million in 2019. Private sales, meanwhile, amounted to $ 208.2 million, up up 21% from the $ 171.8 million in 2019. The company also said it had a 91% sell rate on all sales, with half of its buyers new to the auction house. .

Expansion into Asia is a logical next step, said CEO Stephen Brooks.

“In order for us to take the next step, we need our own premises,” he told Artnet News. “We need to be able to organize auctions throughout the year, without relying on space in hotels. It is a game-changer for us. We will now be able to expand our offers, make sales throughout the year, [and have an] program of exhibitions throughout the year.

Phillips is also looking to provide more sales categories in Hong Kong, including editions, design and photography.

Asia has been the biggest growth region for the auction house. Phillips recorded more than $ 270 million in auctions in Hong Kong in 2021. In addition, nearly 60% of buyers at recent sales of 20th century and contemporary art and design in Hong Kong were under 49 year.

Additionally, buyers in Asia contributed 36% of global spending at Phillips auctions, and five of the world’s top 10 lots sold to collectors in Asia, including Georgia O’Keeffe’s Hawaii Ginger Crab Claw, which sold to the Long Museum in Shanghai in New York in November for more than $ 7.7 million.

Crab’s Claw Ginger Hawaii, sold to the Long Museum in Shanghai. Courtesy of Phillips. “Width =” 864 “height =” 1024 “srcset =”’s-Claw- Ginger-Hawaii-864×1024.jpg 864w,’s-Claw-Ginger-Hawaii-253×300.jpg 253w, https: //’s-Claw-Ginger-Hawaii-42×50.jpg 42w “sizes =” (max-width: 864px) 100vw, 864px “/>

Georgia O’Keeffe, Hawaii Ginger Crab Claw, sold to the Long Museum in Shanghai. Courtesy of Phillips.

The new Asia headquarters will be located in the WKCDA Tower in the West Kowloon Cultural District, making the auction house a neighbor of the recently opened M + Museum and the scheduled Hong Kong Palace Museum. mid-2022.

The new office, overlooking Victoria Harbor, will span over 48,000 square feet and span six floors, including three lower floors for retail, two upper floors for exhibits and one floor for offices. The auction house will be in the same building designed by Herzog & de Meuron that houses the headquarters of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.

Phillips expects the new space to be operational in 2023.

Phillips auctioneer Jonathan Crokett selling Gerhard Richter's Kerzenschein (candle light) at the Phillips and Poly Auction evening sale in Hong Kong in November 2021. Courtesy of Phillips.

Auctioneer Phillips Jonathan Crokett selling Gerhard Richter’s Kerzenschein (by candlelight) at the Phillips and Poly Auction evening sale in Hong Kong in November 2021. Courtesy of Phillips.

But it is uncertain whether Phillips’ partnership with Poly Auction Hong Kong (a sister company of Beijing Poly International Auction, China’s largest public auction house) will continue.

“I see a real prospect of future growth in this partnership,” said Brooks. “But like any partnership, I will want to review it and make sure it works the way we envisioned.”

The auction business had a flourishing 2021. Sotheby’s had a record year with $ 7.3 billion in sales and its owner Patrick Drahi is reportedly considering going public again, according to Bloomberg.

Phillips, which is part of the Mercury Group, Russia’s largest luxury retail company, has no plans to go public at this time, its CEO said.

Phillips is the second major auction house to expand its operations in Asia after Christie’s, which plans to move to a new home in Hong Kong in 2024.

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