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, it bought US auction house Skinner and Swedish saleroom Bukowskis.


Well-pitched football collectables prove they have a large fan base

12 April 2002

While Pelé’s shirt received nearly all the post-sale plaudits, it wasn’t the only piece of football history to go under the hammer at Christie’s South Kensington (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) last week, and CSK was not the only London room offering a sale of football memorabilia.

Miniature marvel, major talent

04 April 2002

This silver novelty bookcase 121/2in (32cm) high, pictured right, marked for George Betjemann & Sons 1907, drew huge interest both before the sale and when it went under the hammer at Bonhams’ Knightbridge rooms on March 12. It left the auctioneers’ £300-400 estimate standing as it was pursued to £4300.

Diary of despair

03 April 2002

The brutality and horror of everyday life in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp can be seen in a collection of pen, ink and watercolour sketches to be offered on April 16 at Bonhams, New Bond Street’s sale of topographical pictures.

The charming children factor

22 March 2002

PORTRAIT MINIATURES: A substantial selection of silhouettes and a collection of wax portraits boosted the content of a 311-lot middle ranking sale of portrait miniatures held by Bonhams on March 12.

Bonhams restructure charges to attract top-end business

21 March 2002

Bonhams increased the buyer’s premium on their lower price tier for purchases this month. From March 1 a new rate applies of 17.5 per cent (plus VAT) on the first £30,000 and 10 per cent thereafter.

Horseless Carriage Trade

15 March 2002

Though not so credited, this coloured lithograph, Grand Prix de l’A.C.F. 1913 (Motocyclettes) has a very Gamy/Montaut look about it. In the literature section of a motoring sale held by Bonhams at the RAF Museum, Hendon, on February 25, it sold at £250.

Sweet Charity...

06 February 2002

New men at the rostrum bow in with aristocratic vendors and trade buyers: Short of a fine sale of antiques, a charity auction on 18 January was probably the best way that Bonhams could celebrate their takeover of Phillips’ old rooms in the capital.

Collectable clout of Nelson and Titanic

05 February 2002

The Maritime sale held by Bonhams (15/10% buyer’s premium) in their New Bond Street rooms on January 16 was a sizeable 400-lot affair divided roughly 50/50 into paintings and maritime artefacts – the latter featuring anything from ship models to scrimshaw, divers’ helmets to sextants.

Samplers sew up major interest at needlework specialist sale

30 January 2002

THE Midlands branch of Bonhams is the clearing house for all sewing pieces offered to the empire’s rooms and showed its worth at this specialist sale on 13 December.

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.

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.

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.

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