My Name is Paul Young I am the Managing Director of Charles Phillips and Sons of Edinburgh and if you do not know us already here is a brief history.
The company was established in 1985 by Charlie Williams auctioneer and Phil Course a very successful RAF pilot. Charlie is now preparing for retirement this year and Phil sadly passed away a few years ago, the end of a great and extraordinary partnership.
Since I started with the company almost 30 years ago it has gone through many changes from the original concept. Charlie and Phil got together purely by accident, Phil was looking to sell some art that he had restored, he always done this as a hobby during his flying days, but as his collection grew, he was forced to dispose due to family pressures.
Phil met Charlie at one of Charlie’s Auctions while he was clearing a warehouse full of bone China, Charlie’s expertise was selling large consignments of what he would always term “luxury goods” although he had no experience in the Art World. He decided to busk it and give Phil’s consignment an individual auction. To his surprise (and Phil’s) he sold every piece, and a new partnership was born.
When I started with company as business development manager and trainee auctioneer, I introduced a procurement service for interior designers and individual clients who wanted different items that were not mainstream. My background was in retail, and I got the opportunity to travel the world seeking out unusual artistic items to facilitate a rapidly growing home market.
We gathered customers from all genres and progressed to multiple contracts auctioning exclusive handmade furniture from the manufacturers and partisans, Persian carpets direct from weavers, diamond and precious stone jewellery direct from the makers, porcelain and bronze sculptors etc. Closer to home we were closely connected with major art publishing houses and still have some of these generational contracts to this day.
We have sold thousands of one-of-a-kind items for our overseas clients over the years but retained many unusual pieces for our home clients. We inevitably had to expand our premises and bought a former hotel premises on a 10 acre site just outside Edinburgh where our collection and showrooms are still housed to this day.
Due to the recent world activities of the last two years, we have decided to downsize our operation and concentrate only on the art market.
Our premises are currently earmarked for a new development, so we intend to bring this current chapter of our company to an end by selling off all our showroom inventory at hugely discounted prices along with our current contract items which is currently standing at about 18,000 plus items.
Our raison d’etre was always to serve our clients well and we hope we have achieved this. We have had tremendous feedback over the years from clients who have gained great upside from purchases made and we will continue to respect our buyers by hopefully always offering something unusual and different.
The key thing to any purchase is getting enjoyment and satisfaction from your acquisition, but if you are selling on again, it is also a great feeling to obtain a good return on the original purchase price paid! We hope our unrivalled selection of goods has helped customers achieve this and we will continue to offer our future art consignments for sale under the same criteria.