In the glamorous and secretive world of art, Simon de Pury is the ultimate insider. Having elevated the auction into performance art, he is the most famous of all auctioneers. He has been chairman of the global auction house Phillips de Pury, challenging the duopoly of Sotheby’s and Christie’s. Before that, he was director of the Thyssen Collection, one of the world’s greatest private art collections, then the chairman of Sotheby’s Europe. For his style, his longevity and his unprecedented success as an auctioneer Simon has been called the Mick Jagger of the art world, but he is also a major collector and dealer in his own right, and a consultant to heads of state and heads of corporations.
The Auctioneer gives us a brilliant behind-the-scenes look at the multi-billion-pound international art dealing world – where on a single night a major auction can rack up sales totalling more than £100 million; artists rub shoulders with some of the wealthiest and most powerful people on the planet; and sometimes the buyer really should beware.