Published: December 26, 2000
LONDON, ENGLAND – The treaty sale firm de Pury & Luxembourg Art is to merge with Phillips, the international fine arts auctioneers, effective January 2001. As a result, the business will be renamed Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg.
and will focus in particular on art market issues and client contact. Phillips is a wholly owned subsidiary of LVMH, or Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the luxury products group.
The merged company, in an attempt to become the leading art sale firm, will combine both public auctions and private sales and will provide specialist advice and client services. De Pury & Luxembourg will continue its activities in Geneva and Zurich, and will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Phillips.
Following the transaction, the existing top management of Phillips will include Lord Powell of Bayswater, who will remain as chairman of the advisory board, and will take on additional responsibilities at LVMH by becoming chairman of LVMH (UK) and advisor to LVMH’s chairman. Chris Thomson will remain as chief executive of Phillips’ businesses in the UK. New appointments to key positions both on the management and specialist side will be announced during the first quarter of 2001.
Simon de Pury is the co-founder of de Pury & Luxembourg Art, created in 1997. Before setting up his own company with Daniella Luxembourg, de Pury worked at Sotheby’s where he was chairman of Sotheby’s Europe and the group’s chief auctioneer. This fall, members of the trade questioned his position as auctioneer for Phillips’ in that firm’s Impressionist are sales, citing a conflict of interest with de Pury & Luxembourg.
Born in Basie in 1951, de Pury studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Tokyo during the seventies. After spending a period at the Bern auctioneers Kornfeld & Klipstein and studying at the Sotheby’s Institute, he joined Sotheby’s and worked in London, Geneva and Monte Carlo. Between 1979 and 1986, he was responsible for the Thyssen-Broemiza collection in Lugano. He returned to Sothebys in 1986 and was promoted to the position of chairman of Sotheby’s Switzerland. In 1994 he became chairman of Sotheby’s Europe.
Daniella Luxembourg became deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Switzerland in 1993, a position she held until she founded de Pury & Luxembourg Art with de Pury. She was also director of Sotheby’s Zurich and director and co-founder of Sotheby’s Israel and has been actively involved with several museums, including being founding director of the Jewish Museum in Vienna, opened in 1992. Born in 1950, she studied History of Art at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. During the seventies, she was founding curator of the New Ethnographic Museum in Jerusalem and curator of the Museum of Israel. Luxembourg was a member of the UNESCO Committee for Historic Monuments between 1976-1982. Between 1976 and 1983 she served as curator and founding member of the Disspora Museum in Tel Aviv. She has also written and contributed to several catalogues for cultural exhibitions and has been a judge for an international prize for contemporary art since 1986.
Phillips has recently teamed up with L’Etude Tajan. Connaissance de Arts and Art & Auction Magazine, two specialized publications, are also members of LVMH. In addition, LVMH has just launched eLUXURY, an online source for luxury goods and services on the Internet.
LVMH shares (LVMH.PA) are listed on the Paris Stock Exchange and NASDAQ in the United States (LVMHY).
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