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A Mark Rothko painting owned by Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) co-founder and billionaire Paul Allen helped boutique auctioneer Phillips sell $132 million worth of art, capping two weeks of marathon sales in New York.

Estimated at $50 million to $60 million, “Untitled (Red, Blue, Orange)” attracted bids yesterday from four staffers competing on behalf of clients. August Uribe, senior director and worldwide co-head of contemporary art at Phillips, placed the winning bid of $50 million, or $56.2 million with fees.

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Edward Dolman, the former Chief Executive and Chairman of Christie’s, has announced that he will leave his current post as Executive Director and Acting Chief Executive of the Qatar Museums Authority. Dolman will return to the auction world in July when he assumes the role of Chairman and Chief Executive of Phillips.

During his three-year tenure with the Qatar Museums Authority, Dolman oversaw the construction and opening of several new museums. He also presided over the state’s collections, spearheaded new acquisitions, and organized exhibitions.

Phillips, which sells contemporary art, design, photography, limited edition prints, and jewelry, was founded in 1796 by former Christie’s employee Harry Phillips. The auction house is currently owned by the Russian luxury goods company, the Mercury Group.

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Monday, 24 December 2012 11:15

Simon de Pury Leaves Phillips de Pury & Company

On December 23, Swiss auctioneer and art collector, Simon de Pury, stepped down as Chairman of the New York-based auction house, Phillips de Pury & Company. The announcement was a shock to many as de Pury has helmed the business for the past twelve years. The Russian firm, Mercury Group, recently completed the acquisition of de Pury’s remaining shares in the company.

Phillips’ CEO, Michael McGinnis, said, “Simon has served as a tireless ambassador for the Company and a compelling presence at the podium. We thank him for his spirited enthusiasm, leadership and dedication.”  

Beginning in the New Year, the auction house will revert to its original name, Phillips, from its founding in 1796. The company, which specializes in contemporary art and design, has operated under the name Phillips de Pury and Company for the past eight years. In addition, starting in February 2013, the auction house will begin the expansion of its Manhattan headquarters on Park Avenue, adding more gallery and office space.

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