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.


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.

A satisfactory sitting

18 February 2004

PORTRAIT MINIATURES: At just under £92,000 for 287 lots, Bonhams Bond Street’s (19.5/10% buyer’s premium) first portrait miniature sale of the year on February 3 was essentially a middle-ranking offering.

“One of the world’s greatest portrait miniature collections”

18 February 2004

What Bonhams are billing as “one of the world’s greatest portrait miniature collections” will go on sale in their Bond Street rooms on April 22. The 175 English and Continental miniatures, which have been on loan to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery for the past three years, date from the 16th to the 19th century and are estimated to fetch in excess of £1m.

Card rarities that come with a wealth warning

13 February 2004

CIGARETTE CARDS AND POSTCARDS: The cigarette and postcard auction is one of those corners of the collectables market where sales are keenly awaited by a specialist clientele and where very little tends to get left without a buyer.

Picture specialist takes top Knightsbridge post

09 February 2004

BONHAMS have appointed Pippa Stockdale as managing director of the company’s Knightsbridge saleroom. Formerly the head of the pictures department at Knightsbridge, Ms. Stockdale joined Bonhams as a cataloguer in 1989 following time at Capes Dunn in Manchester.

Strategies to attract new buyers to the middle market pay off

05 February 2004

MUCH of the saleroom activity in London over the past month has been of a fairly low key nature – routine sales of furnishings and objects. However, routine needn’t mean unsuccessful. Sales held at this traditionally thinly served period of the auction year can yield strong results, as customers home in on what little is around in the Capital. In the middle of the month, from January 13-15, Christie’s South Kensington held the first of their At Home weeks for 2004.

Teddies win thanks to Steiff competition…

23 January 2004

There was healthy competition for the most unusual or best quality entries in London’s December round of five toy sales at Christie’s South Kensington (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) and Bonhams Knightsbridge (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) and some of the highlights are pictured right.

New chief wanted for Bonhams Knightsbridge

12 January 2004

UK: BONHAMS are advertising for a new managing director for their Knightsbridge rooms following the announcement that James Knight is now to head their Bond Street operation. The vacancy has been created as part of a wider reshuffle to allow group managing director Malcolm Barber to concentrate on building business in the United States.

Slim pickings make for tasty morsels as demand outstrips supply

08 January 2004

ENGLISH POTTERY AND LATER ENGLISH CERAMICS: The mixed-owner, all-English sale held by Bonhams Bond Street on December 10 covered a much broader canvas than the Billie Pain collection. It ranged from early delftwares to 20th century Royal Worcester, with examples of most other ceramic categories in between.

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Beswick rides high in the Potteries

27 December 2003

Prior to the sale of two record-breaking lots of Beswick at Bonhams’ October 28 sale – a colour trial Galloway Bull (£8800) and the Spirit of Whitfield (£9500) – the auction record for Beswick could well have been the £3500 paid for this rare figure at Potteries Specialist Auctions on October 22.

The great bird flies again – at auction

16 December 2003

TWO nations, two auctions, one plane. The French and English charity auctions of Concorde parts and memorabilia, held by Christie’s and Bonhams in Paris and London respectively, both attracted audiences of over 1000 and passed off as complete sell-outs, with no shortage of estimate-crushing prices for components and souvenirs from the now retired iconic aeroplane.

Billie Pain’s legacy proves its worth with £31,000 jug

05 December 2003

IT was one of those landmark events that generated a perceptible buzz of expectation and drew the English porcelain collecting fraternity out of the woodwork en masse. Bonhams’ November 26 auction of the collection of the late Billie Pain pulled a capacity crowd to their Bond Street rooms and saw the trade and private collectors contest the 341 lots of prime early English porcelain to almost £782,000, getting on for twice the pre-sale predictions.

Christie's and Bonhams hold Concorde souvenir auctions

11 November 2003

Just as Concorde was an Anglo-French initiative, so the entente cordiale continues with its dismantling. Two auctioneers on either side of the Channel: Christie’s in Paris and Bonhams in London, are holding Concorde souvenir auctions devoted to technical elements and mementoes from the iconic aircraft. In both cases the sales will benefit the respective airlines’ chosen charities.

Withdrawn Canadian views go home

11 November 2003

WITHDRAWN from sale at the eleventh hour, a recently-discovered portfolio of late 18th century topographical watercolours of Canada have been sold by private treaty to Library and Archives Canada and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec.

A wreck is raised by Old Glory

24 October 2003

London marine sales can be routine affairs, but there was a frisson of speculative interest in this unsigned and unattributed 19th century canvas, right, which ended the 171-lot picture section of Bonhams’ (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) October 1 marine offering in Knightsbridge.

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Strong turnout for Harvey’s vintage selection of drinking glasses

11 October 2003

In terms of collecting focus, much of the pre-sale attention for the Harvey’s Wine Museum sale at Bonhams centred on the October 1 glass and ceramics auction.

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Wine Label Circle expand their sphere of influence

11 October 2003

If antique glass was the focal point of the celebrated Harvey’s Wine Museum collection, sold in three parts by Bonhams in the last month, then the first purchase for the fledgling museum in the mid 1950s had been the Pratt collection of silver wine labels.

Snuff mulls of uncommon interest

09 September 2003

The snuff mull is one of the most common Scottish silver forms – but shown here are three examples that proved a few cuts above the norm. Top right: favourite Victorian entry at Bonhams’ Scottish Sale was a ram’s head table snuff mull by Mackay & Chisholm of Edinburgh, 1880.

Still in the Fab Four’s shadow

05 September 2003

Rock and Pop memorabilia: Memorabilia relating to The Beatles may routinely command the highest prices in the Rock and Pop collectors’ market, but Bonhams Knightsbridge (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) gambled that the Fab Four’s enthusiasts would also be interested in the 95 lots relating to Stuart Sutcliffe, the fifth Beatle, in their 505-lot entertainment auction on July 29.

£4200 picture of contentment

26 August 2003

The strong collecting base for miniatures has cushioned this market from the wider economic vagaries that have affected other more trade-dependent fields such as furniture and silver. Bonhams Bond Street (19.5/10% buyer’s premium) specialist Emma Rutherford reckoned around 80 per cent of entries sold privately in their 193-lot routine miniature and silhouettes sale back on July 1. “Our buyers tend to be retired and tend to have their money readily accessible,” she said.

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