Philippe Schuler, raised in Egypt, attended primary school and the gymnasium in Switzerland. Shortly after completing his studies, the lawyer discovered during a traineeship that this field of activity did not appeal to him. Looking for a new occupation, he found his vocation at Edgar Mannheimers «UTO-Auctions», where he worked as an all-rounder from 1975 to 1977. After this, Philippe Schuler switched to Koller Tiefenbrunnen, where he learnt the profession of auctioneer from the bottom up. In 1979, Pierre Koller entrusted him with the task of setting up a branch in St.-Gallen, which he directed till it was closed down. Although the young man was jobless, he had gathered a wealth of experience.
Therefore Philippe Schuler decided in 1984 to realize the dream of having his own auction house. Together with two employees, he opened the «Philippe Schuler Versteigerungen AG» at Seestrasse 341 in Zürich-Wollishofen. The auctioneer has remained faithful to the business philosophy that he coined for himself at the time: «each item has its value and is worth being handled with care». The first auctions already showed that the widely varied range of goods offered by the young auction house met with much interest. Pieces of furniture, furnishings, arts and crafts and jewellery found buyers just as paintings, Helvetica and books.
The Zurich auction house, that soon deployed its activity in the whole German-speaking part of Switzerland, even extended its operations to the French-speaking part of Switzerland with a representative in Geneva. In addition, the expert days in Basle, Lucerne and in Ticino made it easier for potential sellers from these regions to consign their art objects and paintings. In the meantime, the Swiss auction market could no longer be imagined without Schuler Auctions and its wide range of services. It owes its good name to the untiring entrepreneurial spirit of Philippe Schuler, to 25 competent experts and, as the highest reward, to the word-of-mouth propaganda of satisfied customers.
Further details on the history of the auction house as well as a selection of interesting highlights on all the subject areas covered by Schuler Auctions can be found in our 25th anniversary publication issued in November 2009.