AUCTIONEER: ADVENTURES IN THE ART TRADE


AUCTIONEER: ADVENTURES IN THE ART TRADE

SIMON DE PURY & W. STADIEM    Book Number: 84437    Product format: Hardback

Flamboyant television auctioneer Simon de Pury, nicknamed "the man with the golden gavel", tells his own diamond-encrusted story. Realising he will never make a creative artist himself, he finds employment with Sotheby's and eventually becomes their European chairman, focusing on contemporary art because "there aren't any more Old Masters for dealers and auction houses to sell". In 2001 de Pury sold Damien Hirst's ashtray of cigarette ends for $600,000 dollars, a sum that has been far surpassed since. At Sotheby's his mentor was Peter Wilson, a man who "understood the nexus between art and money". In the fifties Wilson was battling to undercut the rival auctioneer Christie's and managed to grab the handling of a major charity auction, turning it into a huge event by hiring the best Mad Men in the business and attracting the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen herself, who attended a private view with Prince Philip, Princess Margaret and a vast retinue. De Pury learnt from this technique and assiduously played on the public fascination with auction records throughout his high-flying career. As art adviser to Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza, de Pury moved in fabulously rich circles such as the Onassis family and became embroiled in their personal relationships. At Phillips de Pury, an auction house that briefly bore his name, he transformed the once-stuffy enterprise into a cutting-edge beacon of contemporary art, but when it was bought out by Mercury in 2012 the de Pury name disappeared, to his chagrin. 228pp, colour photos. Remainder mark.
Published price: $25.99
Bibliophile price: £3.25


Additional product information

ISBN 9781250059789
Browse these categories as well: Lucky Dip Clearance, Art & Architecture, Biography/Autobiography, Collectables/Antiques, Sale

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