Rival auction houses Phillips and Poly join forces

The Phillips and Poly auction houses are to collaborate on modern and contemporary sales in Hong Kong this autumn, a move that sees the London company, which has had offices in Hong Kong since 2015, seeking a greater footprint in Asia.

Zao Wou-Ki, 22.6.63, 1963, oil on canvas 146 x 89 cm. Sold for HK$54.3m (£5.3m) by Phillips this Spring. Courtesy Phillips

Poly, which is owned by the Chinese state, is the third biggest house in world, quickly followed in sales by Phillips. The Asia market has seen a dip in energy recently however, with transactions on the Chinese mainland falling by six percent last financial year, according to the UBS/Art Basel report, and sales down 24 percent at Poly. While Poly cancelled auctions this spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Phillips pressed ahead with HK$272 million (£26.5m) in sales of modern and contemporary work.

Jiang Yingchun, chairman of Poly Auction, said in a press statement: ‘The art auction industry is currently undergoing significant changes and we are witnessing a constant stream of breakthrough innovations and exciting collaborations. The Poly Group has high hopes for this collaboration between two auction industry giants. Each play an influential role in their respective region and stand to benefit from the cross-regional advantages and enhanced influence.’

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