New York–Phillips auction house has hired Susan Abeles, who spent the last eight years at Bonhams, to head and develop its jewelry business in the Americas.
She will be based out of the company’s New York headquarters, and will work closely with Terry Chu, head of Phillips’ jewelry department in Asia; Myriam Christinaz, managing director, Geneva; Sarah O’Brien, international business development director for jewelry in London; and Nazgol Jahan, an international specialist in New York.
In her new role as head of jewelry for the Americas and senior international specialist, Abeles will create and implement a strategy for Phillips’ jewelry business in the region. She also will be responsible for building a team in New York, working with new and existing clients on consignment opportunities, and creating cross-marketing opportunities within the auction house.
Abeles joins Phillips from Bonhams, where she was director of jewelry for the U.S. and cultivated a network of collectors, dealers and curators.
Prior to that, she worked at high-end contemporary and vintage jewelry retailer Lee Siegelson and, before that, spent seven years at Christie’s as vice president of jewelry.
The development of the jewelry department comes as part of Phillips’ expansion in recent years. It plans to hold its first auction under Abeles in the fall.
“There is tremendous opportunity to build a highly competitive jewelry business with a modern sensibility in today’s auction market,” said Myriam Christinaz, managing director of Phillips Geneva. “Susan’s creativity, dynamism and experience will help us grow in this important category and present our clients with a well-rounded offering of exceptional jewels.”
Phillips held its first New York auction in October 2017, where the highlight was the much-celebrated Rolex Cosmograph Daytona that once belonged to Paul Newman. It sold for $17.8 million, becoming the most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction.
Next month, Phillips will host “Lauren Adriana, Jewels Now,” a selling exhibition of the contemporary jewelry designer’s work. Comprised of more than 50 jewels and accompanying design “paint-ups,” the travelling exhibition will be an immersive experience exploring the artistic and creative aspects of jewelry, the auction house said.
It will be open to the public in New York from March 8 to 14 at 450 Park Ave. After that, it will travel to London, where it will be on view from March 20 to 25 at 30 Berkeley Square.