Phillips 2022 | Best Year Ever

Phillips 2022 | Best Year Ever

$1.3 Billion — The highest annual total in company history for the second consecutive year.

$1.3 Billion — The highest annual total in company history for the second consecutive year.



Sailing Forward on a Whirlwind of Momentum

In 2022, Phillips outdid our stellar performance of 2021, setting new house records across the board:

Total global sales: $1.3 billion

  • Strongest year in company history

  • Our second straight year crossing the billion-dollar threshold

Top performing auction: $226 million

  • Our May Evening Sale of 20th Century & Contemporary Art in New York was the top performing sale in company history

  • Nearly double the total for the same sale one year prior

Highest price for a single work of art: $85 million

  • Basquiat’s Untitled, 1982 is the top lot sold in company history



These phenomenal numbers are a testament to a resilient market — and Phillips’ strong place in it. As evidenced by our top three auctions falling within 12 months of one another, the momentum is with us.

Our offerings in 2022 were a potent mix of prominent works by Modern Masters who rule the canon and emerging artists still creating today. Our dedication to younger talents and collectors continues to set us apart, with an influx of first-time and online bidders.

This year, we strengthened our presence across the globe, from Scandinavia and Seoul to Texas and the West Coast, where we made headlines for launching the company's new outpost in Los Angeles.



Auctions Performed Across All Divisions and Regions

It was a year of never-ending excitement, punctuated by one triumph after another:

  • Three best sales in company history fell within three consecutive seasons

  • Across online and live auctions, 47% were first-time buyers

  • Nearly a third of buyers were millennial collectors

  • We debuted 148 artists at auction this year, confirming Phillips’ role as tastemaker in emerging art


Private Sales Up 20% Over 2021

Our worldwide selling exhibitions continue to contribute significantly to our success, remaining an important part of what we do:

  • $250 million in total sales

  • Among the highest grossing of all was our museum-quality exhibition The Virtues of Rebellion: Modern & Contemporary Surrealisms, which notably resulted in an important institutional placement for Kay Sage’s Voyage to Spark


More Big Strides in Asia

Our continued investment in the region as a cornerstone of our business paid off handsomely in 2022:

  • 0ur 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale this November had the highest sell-through of any auction house in Hong Kong this Fall

  • We achieved US $11.4 million for Richter’s Abstract Bild (774-1) alone — the highest price achieved by any auction house in Hong Kong during the week of sales

  • 34% of our all Phillips auction sales were to clients based in Asia

  • Inroads with Millennials — 40% of all buyers

  • We welcomed Minhee Suh as the company’s new representative in South Korea, where we were proud to host an exhibition for the first time

  • COMING SOON: Building on the success of our Hong Kong sales in recent years, we laid the groundwork to launch our spectacular new headquarters designed by Herzog & de Meuron and LAAB Architects in the city’s West Kowloon museum district




20th Century & Contemporary Art

Our 20th Century & Contemporary Art team had one success after another:

  • The monumental Basquiat in the May Evening Sale achieved the third highest price for a work by the artist

  • Sale of Chagall’s La Père for $7.4 million set an auction record for one of his early works in the recent market

  • The annual Evening Sales sell-through rate was 96%

  • Andy Massad joined the team as Senior International Specialist, 20th Century & Contemporary Art



In 2022, Phillips reaffirmed our place as the global market leader:

  • Total sales of $227 million

  • A unique, historically important wristwatch by George Daniels achieved a record $4 million this November in Geneva — more than four times the estimate

  • Stunning two-year streak of 100% sell-through across Geneva, Hong Kong, and New York — an unprecedented feat in the industry



Phillips Jewels presented a spectacular array of treasures to eager collectors and first-time buyers at sales in New York and Hong Kong, as well as online. Among the many successes:

  • Our Hong Kong Jewels sale this fall saw a 125% increase over the previous year

  • New York's December sale was up 155%

  • The top lot, an Exceptional and Impressive Diamond of 26.12 carats, was among the year’s highlights, hammering in at $2.5 million (US)

  • We saw strong prices throughout for diamonds, colored diamonds, exceptional gemstones, and signed pieces



Phillips demonstrated a strong command of the market again this year, featuring an especially notable selection of key offerings that included:

  • £809,000 for Avedon’s quartet of epoch-defining portraits of The Beatles — a world auction record and our highest price ever in London Photographs

  • Success with contemporary artists in London’s ULTIMATE series included a collaboration with Ellen von Unwerth to premiere her Polaroids —  which were 100% sold at 223% over the estimate

  • Excitement for 19th century photographers including Gustave Le Gray (at £327,600) and George Robinson Fardon (at $189,000, an auction record)

  • High marks for masters across the board: Steichen (£346,666), Eggleston, ($176,400), Bernd and Hilla Becher ($151,200), and Peter Hujar ($69,300)

  • Works from premiere collections: the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, the family of Dorothea Lange, and the estate of esteemed educator and photo historian Peter Bunnell



Our Design sales in London, New York, and Hong Kong saw fervent bidding and a demand for exemplary property, resulting in an impressive sell-through rate of 91% across all sales:

  • Modern and Contemporary ceramics continued to achieve extraordinary prices, with an exquisite vase by Magdalene Odundo achieving £302,400, a Hans Coper bottle fetching £340,200, and a Jennifer Lee vase setting the artist’s new record price at $94,500

  • We offered stunning examples of Italian design in our sales, and many of the results exceeded their high estimates and set new auction records, such as the unique low table by Gio Ponti and Paolo De Poli which soared to £163,800

  • Contemporary design gained momentum this year, with Shiro Kuramata’s “Miss Blanche” chair fetching a new world record for the artist at $516,600

  • The desire for exquisite examples of French design was evident with Jean-Michel Frank’s rock crystal table lamp selling for £403,200 and a pair of Alberto Giacometti wall lights for $617,400



Editions this year achieved $40 million in sales, their highest total in company history with a steady profusion of star Modern and Contemporary prints and multiples in NY and London:

  • One of the many highlights was a suite of Warhol’s Flowers, 1970, which sold for $1,482,000

  • Sell-through rate of 95% by lot is the highest in the industry

  • 46% of lots sold above high estimate —best in the industry

  • Expanded sale calendar with 3 additional live sales this year to accommodate burgeoning demand






As important as the art we offer is who we are. This year, Phillips took concrete steps to further our commitment to diversity with a series of initiatives that include a comprehensive hiring process-and-practices review in partnership with members of the Hispanic Alliance of Colleges and Universities.



Charities and foundations that benefited from sales at Phillips this year include:

  • The Children’s Heart Foundation

  • The George Daniels Educational Trust

  • The Alliance of British Watch and Clockmakers

  • The Swiss Institute

  • Print Center New York

  • The Galápagos Conservancy, Inc.

  • The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College


Museum Exhibitions

International landmark exhibitions sponsored by Phillips in 2022 include:

  • Jean-Michel Basquiat’s: King Pleasure presented by the artist’s family in Chelsea, NYC

  • Alice Neel: People Come First at the de Young Museum in San Francisco

  • Edward Hopper’s New York at the Whitney in NYC

  • Isamu Noguchi at Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern

  • Aichi Triennale 2022, one of the largest international art festivals in Japan

  • A series of Contemporary art exhibitions at X Museum in Beijing

  • Hong Kong’s M+ Gala celebrating Yayoi Kusama’s major retrospective


Recommended Reading

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Phillips 2022 | Your Favorites >