Owner Biography

Benjamin D Phillips

Benjamin D. Phillips, 1885-1968
Benjamin D. Phillips, 1885-1968
Benjamin Dwight Phillips (1885-1968) was the scion of the T. W. Phillips family, owners of a large natural gas and oil company in Butler, Pennsylvania.

Phillips started his stamp collection in earnest in 1946, initially with purchases from Warren H. Colson. Within a few years the Weills had gained Phillips as a client and began representing him in auctions.

According to the three-volume inventory of the Phillips collection, many of the Weills’ major purchases in auctions during the 1950’s and 60’s, including the Caspary sales, were made directly on behalf of Phillips.

In 1968 the Weills purchased the entire Phillips collection for $4.07 million, evidently a record for any collection sold up to that time. Phillips died in 1968, and the Weills advertised the purchase as having been made from the estate of an anonymous collector.

However, in a later personal recollection of the acquisition, Raymond Weill told this commentator that he and Roger spent several days at the Phillips home in Butler, valuing the stamps at his request, in order to make a cash offer. When the Weills presented their $4.07 million offer, Phillips was attired in a hunting jacket and cap with a Purdey shotgun slung over his shoulder. Upon hearing the offer, Phillips responded “Sounds good, boys,” and walked out of the room. If this account is accurate, the Weills acquired one of the greatest, if not the greatest, United States collections of all time, and the owner went off to shoot ducks.

Positions Owned

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