If you thought British auction house Phillips de Pury was reserved for aging aristocrats, think again: The 215-year-old art dealership is having an ultra-modern moment with its new Park Avenue flagship store and auction space.
The boutique is like a grown-up toy store--and a welcome departure from the antiques one traditionally associates with Phillips de Pury (there's not a piece of 19th-century furniture in sight). We love the sleek backgammon boards crafted by father-and-son team Ara and Jack Peterson ($3,500), Tauba Auerbach's geometric-print card decks ($175) and the gorgeous chess set whittled from a single slab of wood by English artist Peter Marigold ($575). Beautiful books by modern artists, like Ryan McGinley, are also for sale.
The price tags may be steep, but everything in the shop is a one-of-a-kind, keep-forever work of art. Best of all, store manager Katherine Walters will personally walk you through every item for sale and tell you about the artist behind it.
Frequent auctions are held on location, with to-be-sold pieces on display in an airy exhibit space. Up next is a photo auction on April 9 featuring prints by legendary fashion shutterbugs Peter Lindbergh and Irving Penn, and Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat.
Phillips de Pury & Company, 450 Park Ave. (at 57th St.); 212-940-1380 or phillipsdepury.com