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.


In curators we trust

28 April 2004

SIX lots from Bonhams' (17.5/10% buyer's premium) March 22-24 sale at The Old Rectory, Banningham will be making their way back whence they came, National Trust curators having identified them (Bonhams had only spotted one) as having been bought by the Rev. Hall & Son at the 1951 contents sale of Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk. The house now belongs to the Trust which rescued it from demolition.

Success in miniature

27 April 2004

BONHAMS notched up a clutch of auction records and an impressive £1.28m total for the Albion Collection of portrait miniatures in Bond Street on April 22.

Russia’s new rich set room alight in Nero battle

06 April 2004

EVERYONE is aware of how rich a thin stratum of Russians have become in the post-glasnost years. The buying power of Russia’s new rich was amply in evidence on March 23 at Bonhams (19.5/10% buyer’s premium) Bond Street when the spectacular 3ft 1in x 5ft 8 3/4in (94cm x 1.74m) canvas, Nero’s Torches, by Henryk Siemiradzki (1843-1902) sold at £260,000 at an otherwise fairly predictable 19th Century Paintings sale.

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Zorensky sale covers every angle

03 April 2004

As the most prolific of the 18th century English porcelain-producing factories, there is plenty of scope when it comes to collecting Worcester porcelain. There are few collectors, however, who can match the determination of Jeanne and Milton Zorensky.

The cup that cheers... with Manchester engineers

31 March 2004

YOU don’t see detailed architectural scenes that often on English porcelain. Such pieces are much more the preserve of Continental factories like Meissen, Sèvres or, most notably, Berlin. Their smooth, hard paste provides a better ground for the highly detailed, crisp painting these subjects demand. However, if topography is to be found on English porcelain, it is most likely be encountered on wares from the Derby factory which came nearest to emulating the Continental firms.

Another five-figure bid underlines Jane Vivian as a name to notice

23 March 2004

The well-worn cliché about everyone in the trade wanting to buy the same few pictures was certainly in evidence at the March 9 sale of British and Continental pictures at Bonhams (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) at Knightsbridge when this highly commercial oil-on-canvas view of the Piazzatta, Venice, indistinctly signed Viviani, came under the hammer with a highly tempting estimate of £2000-3000.

Roses’ bloom has faded, but not blown over

23 March 2004

FIFTEEN or so years ago works by the likes of Helen Allingham (1848-1926) and the Stannards of Bedfordshire had the sweet smell of success all over them. However, in more recent times the general consensus is that watercolours of this genre, which I loosely describe as “roses round the cottage door”, have slipped from favour.

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Milton and Jeanne Zorensky collection sold

23 March 2004

Bonham’s had no difficulty dispersing the first instalment of the mammoth collection of Worcester porcelain formed by Milton and Jeanne Zorensky, offered in their New Bond Street rooms on March 16. Just five of the 416 lots were left unsold and even these had all found buyers by the end of the day.

Why 19th century wares are more sought after now

23 March 2004

THE large number of increasingly wealthy mainland Chinese dealers and collectors participating in UK auctions are pushing up the prices in certain sectors of the market, including 19th century Chinese-taste ceramics. In the past this area has largely been overlooked in favour of imperial porcelain from earlier periods, but with the best 18th century mark and period routinely commanding six-figure sums, 19th century ceramics must look good value for money.

The fall and rise of a tragic young man

23 March 2004

ALTHOUGH Derwent Lees (1885-1931) is recorded in reference books, such as the Handbook of Modern British Painting and Print-making 1900-1990, published by Ashgate, he is not that well known outside specialist trade circles.

Bonhams review auction charges: Premium changes shift burden off seller and on to buyer

23 March 2004

From April 1 Bonhams will increase the buyer’s premium in their Knightsbridge rooms to bring it in line with that charged at Bond Street.

The problem of identifying bonafide Boningtons…

23 March 2004

Illustrated in colour on the catalogue cover of Clevedon Salerooms’ March 4 sale was a watercolour described as being by Richard Parkes Bonington (1801-1828).

Sporting highlights serve up a real ace

16 March 2004

BOUND volumes of Manchester United home match programmes from the 1950s seasons were the best sellers in the football section of a sporting memorabilia sale held by Bonhams Chester on January 28, with prices ranging from £520 to £1300 for the volume covering the 1957-58 season that brought the devastating Munich air disaster.

$120,000 revival of Belgian altar fortunes

16 March 2004

ALTAR surrounds and other architectural elements from a 19th century Belgian church proved one of the bigger attractions at a February 8 sale held by in Los Angeles by Bonhams & Butterfields – a sale titled ‘Revival of the Centuries’.

Tackling the export issue

16 March 2004

THERE was quite a lot of frenzied activity at Bonhams (aka Glendinings) in the days running up to their sale on February 24.

Bonhams get middle market mix right

09 March 2004

WITH thousands of middle-class homes being turned into white boxes every week, how on earth can English auctioneers sustain the market for middle-of-the-road Victorian pictures?

Bidders count the rising cost of love…

09 March 2004

BONHAMS Knightsbridge (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) Science and Marine outing on February 25 was hardly awash with blockbuster entries, but their disappointment at not selling John Gould’s cased display of humming birds (estimated to fetch £30,000-50,000 but bought in at £12,500 despite pre-sale collector interest) was somewhat allayed by the healthy bid placed for this Victorian octagonal double-cased shell Valentine (shown here).

Evidence that the Irish market remains firm

09 March 2004

This pair of early 19th century mahogany and brass-bound peat buckets soared to £68,000 plus 19.5% premium – six times their estimate – at Bonhams’ March 2 fine English and Continental furniture sale in Bond Street.

The lions serve up the pride of their collection

02 March 2004

Bonhams are consolidating their reputation for high-profile and prestigious single-owner ceramics collections with another big name to add to the recent roll-call. After Bernard Watney, Norman Stretton, Billie Paine et al come Jeanne and Milton Zorensky, the first part of whose mammoth collection of First Period Worcester is to be offered for sale in Bonhams’ Bond Street rooms this month.

Giving chase, but only where real rarity and quality meet

25 February 2004

SILVER SALES: Although different in size, the 451-lot silver sale at Bonhams’ Knightsbridge (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) sale on February 10 and the 263 lots offered at Christie’s South Kensington (19.5/12% buyer’s premium) on February 17 were both fairly routine affairs by London standards.

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