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. In 2022, the firm went on a buying spree purchasing US auction house Skinner, Swedish saleroom Bukowskis, Danish saleroom Bruun Rasmussen and then French outfit Cornette de Saint Cyr.


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Whose Hieroglyphica Mexicana?

22 June 2004

VALUED at £1000-1500 in a June 29 sale at Bonhams is a bound manuscript entitled ‘Hieroglyphica Mexicana, or, an Introduction into the Origin, Nature and Meaning of the Ancient Paintings by the Semi-Civilized Nations of America, with Sketches of their Languages, History, Arts & Sciences’.

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Chinese-taste wares dominate at Bonhams

22 June 2004

IN the last three years Bonhams have bagged several large quality Chinese consignments such as the Cunliffe collection of blue and white and the De Boulay collection sold last November, but this June there were no such dispersals to spark bidding battles between dealers or collectors in their 465-lot auction on June 8. Although few entries flew, there was demand for the best-quality Chinese-taste works and entries with mainland Chinese appeal.

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Silver is the star on a day of Deco

15 June 2004

BONHAMS Chester hosted a 484-lot collectable ceramics and applied arts sale on April 27.

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Extra-etched and bound

10 June 2004

THIS punting scene by Whistler is one of some 3000 additional original and reproduction etchings and engravings, mostly full-page and many mounted and titled in ink as well as being mounted, where possible opposite the relevant text, that were to be found in an extra-illustrated 1880, third edition of Philip G. Hamerton’s Etchings & Etchers seen at Bonhams on May 6.

An unfinished Chaucer

10 June 2004

IN an unfinished craft binding of crushed red morocco with full doublures, the lower cover with borders of inlaid blue and gilt pointillé cornerpiece, a paper copy of the Kelmscott Chaucer of 1896 was sold for £17,000 to an American dealer in a May 6 sale held by Bonhams.

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Anthropology attracts the greatest interest

09 June 2004

THE emphasis in two photograph auctions held last month was very much on 20th century material, although at both events the big money spinner came from their smaller 19th century sections in the form of collections of anthropological interest.

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Specialties of the house pull in the offbeat enthusiasts

09 June 2004

THE way Bonhams’ (17.5% buyer's premium) empire has adapted to the received wisdom that specialisation is a key to today’s macro auction environment is to have niche markets catered for at different outposts. Among the areas catered for at the Midlands branch at Knowle are such widely known ones as mechanical music and railwayana and, in ascending degree of arcane nature, wireless sets, optical instruments, firemarks, truncheons and tipstaffs.

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Bonhams makeover raises their Bond Street profile

09 June 2004

IF you’ve walked through the glazed doors at Bonhams in Bond Street in the last month, you can’t have failed to notice the major effects of the six-month facelift to the premises. The international headquarters are now up and running with only a few finishing touches left to be made.

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Vampires take first bite in Bath

02 June 2004

FOLLOWING relegation, the on-running saga of Leeds United’s finances no doubt will mean that the club will end up selling more of their players over the summer. However, spare a thought for Crouch End Vampires F.C., one of the longest established amateur football clubs, that literally ended up selling the family silver at Bonhams Bath (17.5% buyer premium) back on March 15.

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Condition is nine-tenths of the law

02 June 2004

CONDITION is nine-tenths of the law in toy collecting and that explains the remarkable level of interest in this No.2 Special Pullman train set, pictured right, which turned up at Bonhams Edinburgh (17.5% buyer premium) on March 25.

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Snatched from the jaws of defeat at £7500

01 June 2004

WILD beasts, and tigers in particular, loomed large in the late Georgian imagination. They appear in a range of guises, from the fearful symmetry of William Blake’s Tyger to the almost cuddly features of the big cats modelled by Staffordshire potters for popular consumption.

Lotto proves lucky for King Street

26 May 2004

SALES of antique and decorative carpets traditionally accompany London’s Islamic series and all three participating salerooms offered selections last month. Christie’s King Street had the biggest and most expensive sale: a 269-lot gathering on April 29 that netted £1.78m. It also recorded the highest selling rates, although at 68 per cent by volume and 81 by value, they were not quite as strong as for the works of art offering two days earlier.

A downed Fokker takes off again

19 May 2004

Pictured right is a Fokker cylinder from a WWI German triplane that made £3600 at Bonhams Oxford (17.5% buyer’s premium) sale of arms and militaria on April 13.

On the streets, on the roads and on the run from press gangs...

13 May 2004

THE opening map and atlas section of the Bonhams Bath sale of April 26 included a copy in rebacked contemporary calf of the first and only published volume of the 1675 first edition of John Ogilby’s Britannia with its general map and 100 engraved strip road maps, at £7000.

In Chinese, a surprise can be predictable...

12 May 2004

THE Bonhams empire has embraced the notion of niche markets in pragmatic fashion, each of the various outposts having its own speciality – while the Scottish branch, which sells across the range of the market, breaks its sales into single specialist offerings. On March 18 Bonhams Edinburgh (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) offered 375 pieces of jewellery and silver with the following day’s sale comprising 198 items of Asian art, ceramics and glass.

Pocket-sized appeal of history on a grand scale

11 May 2004

RUSSIAN interest in their own heritage propelled the prices of two Imperial Russian subjects in the Albion collection, sold at Bonhams' (19.5/10% buyer's premium) New Bond Street rooms on April 22, to very high levels.

Sashes with youthful dash

11 May 2004

STUDIES of children tend to be one of the most popular subjects for miniature collectors, and there was plenty of choice in the Albion collection sold at Bonhams' (19.5/10% buyer's premium) New Bond Street rooms on April 22, enough indeed for the room to demonstrate some distinct preference.

But older prints need the Nelson touch

28 April 2004

UNLIKE the market for oil paintings, where traditional images appear to be going through something of a mini-revival, print auctions show signs of being a sector where the critical mass of demand has shifted permanently towards Modern and Contemporary.

Gershwin’s musical sketch book is a $100,000 hit in California

28 April 2004

ONE notable item from the Bonhams & Butterfields sale of March 23 was a rare copy of Jacques Gautier d’Agoty’s colour printed Anatomie de la Tête of 1748 that made $19,000 (£10,220) – but not the top price lot, a Gershwin sketchbook that made $100,000, or indeed several other interesting items.

The Old Rectory at Banningham

28 April 2004

BOOKS, manuscripts and photographs from The Old Rectory, at Banningham in Norfolk, provided a separately catalogued section of a three-day March 21-23 contents sale conducted by Bonhams and represented 70 years of collecting by the owner, picture restorer Bryan Hall, and his father, the Rev. William Hall, who was at one time Vicar of Barton Turf and Smallburgh.

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