Bonhams are to move their specialist oak and vernacular furniture and sporting memorabilia sales to Oxford from Chester as part of a further review of their regional operations.
Sales as a whole will cease at Chester at
the end of November - the last will be a multi-discipline fine art
and antiques sale on November 21 - but it will remain as an
important consignment centre.
While the region remains a strong sourcing
ground for art and antiques, Bonhams say the larger part of
business in the North West region is now derived from transferring
items to salerooms in London and elsewhere.
The development of their large new modern
auction facility at Oxford in 2008, which hosts collectors' car and
motorcycle sales in addition to auctions across the spectrum of
main disciplines, meant that in the long run the company were
unlikely to need other large salerooms in the north.
The Knowle saleroom closed at the end of
2011 with operations transferring to Oxford, and Bonhams now
operate from four UK salerooms: Edinburgh, Oxford and two in
While there are no immediate plans to move
from the Chester showroom - a former Art Deco cinema with room for
four salerooms - it will be sold when new premises, suitable for
sourcing, a valuation office and a team of around five regional
representatives, have been found.
Bonhams say most of the specialists,
including oak and vernacular specialist David Houlston, are staying
with the company.
Separately, Bonhams are to close their
Southport satellite office - also at the end of the year - and
transfer the business to their Manchester office.
The company have also announced that they
are changing the thresholds of their buyer's premium, effective
from September 30. This follows similar changes by Christie's and
Sotheby's earlier this year which, for the first time in recent
years meant that there are now differences between the two.
Bonhams have chosen to match the main structure selected by
Sotheby's, which now stands at 25% on the first £50,000/$100,000,
20% from £50,001/$100,000 to £1m/$2m, and then 12% above that.