Bonhams Home and Interiors sales
A room-setting view of Bonhams’ new Home & Interiors sales. The late 17th or early 18th century oak dresser base pictured here features in the first sale, to be held on February 23, estimated at £700-1000.

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The new packaging will take the place of the Period Design sales that were the previous multi-discipline auction vehicle at Knightsbridge.

They will incorporate all the furniture, silver and decorative arts previously sold at Knightsbridge as well as some of their Asian works plus other elements such as some tribal and Russian works of art.

The sales are accompanied by new large-format magazine-style catalogues and are headed up by Mark Wilkinson, who joined Bonhams last year from Christie's South Kensington, where he masterminded their longstanding 'shopping style' Interiors sales.

There are similarities between the new-style sales at Bonhams and Christie's Interiors concept, although Wilkinson says "there are some subtle differences too".

Catalogue Branding

Aimed to appeal to buyers familiar with looking at things online, the catalogue layout is slightly more grid-like - with "the emphasis very much on illustrations rather than overdwelling on description" - while each cover will feature a celebrity in an interior setting.

"We wanted to get a person on each cover, not necessarily antiques related but more somebody in their home and how they live with art and antiques," adds Wilkinson.

A refurbishment at Knightsbridge has included foldout dividers to allow for the creation of room sets.

"We are trying to group things in sections and give a little bit of a theme," says Wilkinson. The first sale, scheduled for February 23, has what he describes an "an Old Master feel to it" while the second has 180 lots of Asian works of art and the third will have a strong 20th century theme.

Asked who the sales were aimed at, Wilkinson says: "First of all we hope to appeal to shoppers and second to interior designers as a one-stop shop."

The same formula will be used in Bonhams' Edinburgh rooms where they will be holding four Home & Interiors sales a year. The first of these takes place on February 24 and features the local author Ian Rankin on the front cover.