Bonhams have announced the location of two major new salerooms – in Edinburgh and New York.
After 176 years at 65 George Street, Edinburgh (first as Dowells, then Phillips and now Bonhams), the company are moving their Scottish headquarters to 21-22 Queen Street.
The new premises, formerly used by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and NHS Education for Scotland, means the auction house will stay in the centre of the Scottish capital and will permit a full schedule of auctions from affordable art and antiques sales to specialist fine sales and The Scottish Sale in August.
Miranda Grant, Bonhams' managing director in Scotland, said it would take some months to complete work on the building required by Bonhams, but she threw down the gauntlet by adding: "When [modifications are] completed I believe that we will have the most impressive saleroom in Scotland." The investment in a "Bond Street standard" saleroom in the city centre certainly shows an ongoing commitment to Scotland in the wake of the sale of the flagship George Street premises for redevelopment and the final sale there in early January.
The first sales at 21-22 Queen Street are not expected until June, although Bonhams plan to hold their Scottish spring sales over one week at a prestigious alternative venue.
Plans in New York centre on the IBM building on the corner of 57th Street and Madison Avenue, where Bonhams are planning a new Manhattan saleroom. Significantly increasing the auctioneer's Big Apple presence - currently sales are conducted from the sixth floor of the nearby Fuller Building - they now have a venue at which to conduct what CEO Malcolm Barber called "a full programme of sales throughout the year".
The move expands Bonhams' presence in New York fivefold. The three ground floors of the building, that includes extensive street frontage, were formerly the home of the Dahesh Museum, whose speciality is European artists of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Bonhams say they hope to be holding their first sales at the new venue in the spring.