Phillips Teams Up with eBay for Live Art and Design Auctions

Phillips is expanding not only to London and Hong Kong but also to the internet.

Claire Fontaine's work Capitalism Kills will be on offer via Phillips and eBay on September 17.
Claire Fontaine's work Capitalism Kills will be on offer via Phillips and eBay on September 17.

If you want to buy works by up-and-coming artists like Math Bass, Petra Cortright, and Artie Vierkant at Phillips later this month, get out your laptop, because for the first time, the auction house will offer works live during the sale via eBay.

The September 17 auction “New Now,” focusing on “collectible contemporary art,” inaugurates an ongoing partnership, with the house’s sales of art, design, photography, prints, watches, and jewelry all happening live online. This provides a third way to vie for works on offer, in addition to in-house and telephone bidding.

eBay is reaching deep into the art auction market, having already partnered up earlier this year with Sotheby’s to offer online bidding for art and collectibles.

The house is testing the waters of the online partnership with relatively affordable art at the “New Now” sale; the priciest work on offer, by New York painter Joe Bradley, is tagged at a half a million dollars. Bradley’s current auction record, set in October 2014 at Christie’s London, is $1.6 million.

With sales rooms in New York, London, and Geneva, Phillips is attempting to ramp up its activities in all areas, aiming to compete more seriously with the long-established duopoly of Christie’s and Sotheby’s. It recently hired three Christie’s veterans in a campaign to deepen its bench in the modern and contemporary art department, as well as bringing on former Brooklyn Museum director Arnold Lehman.

All these changes take place under new CEO Edward Dolman, who took the reins in July 2014. Soon after, he announced the house’s expansion to Hong Kong and London.

The announcement marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of eBay, which has a market capitalization of $68.9 billion, according to Forbes, making it the world’s 50th-most valuable brand.

Related stories:

Phillips Beefs Up Its New York Base with Three Big Time Hires from Christie’s

Weighing the Pros and Cons of the Sotheby’s eBay Partnership

Sotheby’s and eBay Unveil Details of New Joint Venture—Will it Work?


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