Bonhams

Bonhams is an auction house with headquarters in the UK. It operates two London salerooms as well as others in Edinburgh, New York, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong.

In 2000, Bonhams was merged with Brooks, a specialist Classic Car auctioneer, and Phillips Son & Neale not long after. US auctioneers Butterfields joined the group in 2002.

In September 2018, chairman Robert Brooks stepped down after selling the company to private equity group Epiris.


For Attwood on Edward II – read Hubert

30 January 2002

THOUGH not a first class copy, a 1632 edition offered as part of this first Bath sale of the year at Bonhams was still a highly desirable and scarce item and brought the day’s top bid of £17,000 from Maggs.

Beauty before age as later craftsmen take the top prices

29 January 2002

CONTINUING the tradition of the old Phillips network, the Sevenoaks branch of new owners Bonhams moved to Ramster, the Surrey stately home for a winter event offering some of the better pieces consigned to the company’s various rooms in the South East.

Minton boxed – Doulton sell museum collection

15 January 2002

Bonhams are to sell the impressive collection of Minton ceramics from the Minton Museum, Stoke-on-Trent in their New Bond Street rooms this year. The collection will be dispersed in two instalments, with the first 400-lot dispersal scheduled for April 30.

Half of the earliest English nursery rhyme book rates £40,000 in Knightsbridge

14 January 2002

Blackamoor, Taunymoor, Suck a Bubby; Your Father’s a Cuckold, Your Mother told me ....not the most familiar of nursery rhymes, nor indeed one likely to find much favour in the present century, but that rhyme, illustrated right, is only one of 37 found in the second volume of Tom Thumb’s Pretty Song Book, many of which are much more familiar, if not always in quite the same form as we know them now.

Beilby and Berlin bring dealers over border

09 January 2002

This Edinburgh sale of ceramics and glass on 30 November was notably well attended from the South of England, with dealers from London, Nottingham and Gloucestershire on the floor of the saleroom.

Brooks aims for February 1 for revamp

12 December 2001

Robert Brooks, who is in the middle of negotiations concerning the restructuring of Bonhams, says he is working to a target date of February 1 to complete his plans.

Not only here for the beer

05 December 2001

Whitbread archives provide Knowle with a trophy consignment: The Midlands branch of the Bonhams empire, the former Phillips salerooms at Knowle, has not previously been known for regular breweriana sales but their reputation for selling collectables saw them win a 356-lot consignment from the Whitbread archives.

Bath tile with all the qualities to justify a £6000 pricetag…

05 December 2001

Two weeks after Christie’s and Bonhams’ Knightsbridge sales, Bonhams’ (15/10% buyer’s premium) offered a small 110-lot selection of antiquities along with a dozen lots of icons in their Bond Street rooms on November 27.

“No Captain can do very wrong if he places his Ship alongside that of an Enemy”

30 November 2001

The secret memorandum that Nelson sent to all of his captains on the eve of the Battle of Trafalgar, outlining his plan to divide the fleet into three squadrons and thus be able to direct at least 24 ships against any part of the enemy’s line, has become one of the more celebrated documents in the history of naval warfare.

Market-fresh flask tempts buyers

28 November 2001

As fresh, quality private consignments become ever scarcer, the competition for such works must make it difficult for auctioneers nationwide to put sales together. Although Bonhams’ (15/10 buyer’s premium) 400-lot Fine Asian Art sale on November 12 had fewer top quality works to tempt buyers than at Sotheby’s and Christie’s, the modestly estimated and fresh-to-the-market tea dust-glazed moonflask, Qianlong seal mark and period, saw buyers jostling for ownership.

£27,000 Rayner is put in her place

28 November 2001

One of the advantages of being an auction house with offices and salerooms spread around the country is that items with regional associations can be sold in the areas with the relevant local interest. This is precisely what happened on November 8 when the signed Louise Rayner (1832-1924) watercolour that had originally been consigned to Phillips Bath came up for sale 120 miles and one corporate take-over away at Bonhams Chester (15/10% buyer’s premium).

Manchester gallery secures Light of the World after all

28 November 2001

Manchester City Art Gallery, the underbidder at auction for the lantern which was the original model for Holman Hunt’s The Light of the World, have secured the piece after all. The gallery underbid the lantern, pictured right, when it was sold to a private collector for £46,000 (plus 15% buyer’s premium) on November 1 at Bonhams Knightsbridge.

Irish reattribution boosts military portrait

16 November 2001

PORTRAIT miniatures are one field that has been performing strongly in recent seasons, an area of the market where the private buyer is very much in evidence.

Treasury silver withdrawn from sale

07 November 2001

Four of the six lots of antique silver from Her Majesty’s Treasury due to be sold by Bonhams & Brooks on October 30 were withdrawn from auction the day before the sale.

‘The Man Who Drew Cats’ was unbalanced, both in his book-keeping and in his state of mind

28 September 2001

Fewer than half of the 128 lots that made up The Cat Sale at Bonhams & Brooks on September 12 found buyers, but while demand was distinctly patchy and only 10 of 22 works by one of the foremost contemporary exponents of feline portraiture, Anne Mortimer, found buyers, there was no stopping Louis Wain.

Sailing against the trade winds

26 September 2001

“One of their less distinguished sales. There were one or two decent things, but there was no heavyweight stuff...an example of too many auctions of marine things with not enough stock to go round.” Such was the assessment of one leading West End specialist dealer of Bonhams & Brooks (15/10% buyer’s premium) September 5 sale of Marine Works of Art.

Indian venture for ex-Bonhams pair

18 September 2001

CHRISTOPHER Elwes, former managing director of Bonhams, and Indian art expert Patrick Bowring have broken new ground by opening India’s only specialist fine art auction house. They will hold their first sale in Delhi on November 5 and aim to create a network of offices to service the Indian market.

Ceramics keep the heat on cooler summer days

14 August 2001

UK: CERAMICS expert at Bonhams & Brooks’ Honiton outpost, Lucy Lanning, believes ceramics and glass to have a much stronger following than brown furniture at present – a belief borne out by buy-in rates in the two sections.

Bonhams and Phillips merge

13 July 2001

BONHAMS & BROOKS confirmed on Friday evening that they are to merge with Phillips de Pury & Luxembourg, ending a week of speculation that this move was imminent.

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