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, it bought US auction house Skinner and Swedish saleroom Bukowskis.


Irish private bidders put a much higher value on puppy love

26 March 2003

PICTURES of dogs are big business as Bonhams’ & Doyle’s sale of Dogs in Art in New York on February 11 highlighted. And an artist frequently featured in these New York sales brought James Adam (15% buyer’s premium) of Dublin success on March 12.

What a corker!

28 February 2003

The now-defunct firm of Hedges & Butler (est.1667) was one of the oldest wine merchants in England, originally based by the Thames on a site now occupied by Charing Cross Station. The name of the company has now disappeared, but what its own publicity described as “our very interesting collection of old Viniana” provided an eye-catching highlight for Bonhams’ (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) otherwise fairly routine mixed sale of art and antiques in Knowle.

Success when private price is right

20 February 2003

PRIVATE pictures with reasonable estimates proved a recipe for success at Bonhams (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) on February 3 where 75 of the 101 lots found buyers at the £823,130 sale.

Overseas buyers make curate’s egg taste better…

20 February 2003

IF THERE is one objet d’art that best characterises the antiques market at present it is the curate’s egg – good in parts, but bad overall. The flawed ovum’s brighter regions encompass most low-value collectables – ceramics included.

Victorian library steps sell for £1,800

12 February 2003

To date this year Bonhams (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) have held five sales of furniture and carpets. These weekly sales are making a return to their Knightsbridge rooms for the first time in around 20 years after a recent peripatetic period of moving from Chelsea – their long time abode – to Bayswater and briefly back to Chelsea again.

The writer’s friend

05 February 2003

It’s QUESTIONABLE how much influence a piece of furniture could have upon the writer using it, but certainly when the writer in question is Graham Greene, a writer of that fame can certainly influence the fate of a piece of furniture.

Silver with a Magic touch

05 February 2003

Twenty one lots in Bonhams’ marine sale on January 22 came from the collection of the late John Foster, celebrated yachtsman and yachting enthusiast. The bulk of these were paintings but there were also three non-pictorial entries: a pair of carved wooden Prince of Wales feathers from Edward VII’s yacht Osborne, which fetched £1100, and the two silver racing trophies pictured here, which represented significant mementoes of racing history from both sides of the Atlantic.

Bonhams will undercut rivals in battle for London market: No vendors’ commission in Bond St on lots over £70,000.

04 February 2003

AS Christie’s and Bonhams followed Sotheby’s in announcing new commission structures last week, Bonhams emerged with the most attractive terms for buyers and added a new incentive for sellers at their Bond Street rooms.

Bonhams total $304m in 2002

28 January 2003

JUST as Phillips announce their cutbacks, Bonhams have unveiled annual sales for 2002 of $304m. This announcement completes Bonhams’ first full year of trading after the November 2001 merger in which they combined with the UK interests of Phillips Son and Neale.

US dealer awakes a Suffolk sleeper

28 January 2003

Sleepers are something of an endangered species at UK picture sales, but this small 6 by 5in (15.5 x 12.5cm) oil on board still life, right, by the Danish/American painter Emil Carlsen (1853-1932) certainly made the room sit up when it sold to a US dealer on the telephone at £17,500 against an estimate of just £1000-1500 at the Atheneum Sale in Bury St. Edmunds held by Bonhams’ (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) on December 17.

Pewter feels the decorative effect

28 January 2003

LARGE quantities of antique pewter are rarely seen at auction these days but even so, the supply of ordinary material is hardly met with rampant demand. As such, prices were kept down for the majority of the 122 pewter lots that Bonhams had impressively gathered for their Chester sale on 17 January.

Lost Renoir sketch discovered in vault

14 January 2003

A watercolour drawing by Renoir and inscribed by Emile Zola has been discovered by Bonhams in the vault of London diamond merchants I. Hennig & Co. The c.1877 drawing had been lost for almost 20 years and is thought to be one of the few recorded works by Renoir intended for book illustration.

‘Instructions to Mothers on the... Cutting of Teeth in Children’

10 January 2003

Seen here are two lots from the Ronald A. Cohen collection of Books, Prints and Objects illustrative of the History of Dentistry and Teeth, a 674-lot sale held by Bonhams on December 10.

El Greco studies – small is not so beautiful

09 January 2003

In an Old Master week when major-name masterworks were in short supply, the appearance of two of only four known drawings by El Greco (1541-1614) at Bonhams’ (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) December 9 Old Master Drawings sale understandably attracted plenty of attention.

Astbury-type dragoons make £10,000

08 January 2003

Ceramics: November/December saw a whole slew of ceramics sales take place in the London rooms either devoted entirely to British or to Continental material or a mix of the two. One of the last to take place was Bonhams’ indigenous selection offered in their Bond Street rooms on December 11.

Now Baddeley joins Bonhams as director

08 January 2003

BONHAMS have appointed Jon Baddeley, pictured right, to the new role of group head of the Collectors’ department with effect from Monday, February 3.

Reflections on a Glasgow mirror at ten times estimate

08 January 2003

Unsigned Arts & Crafts metalwork has lately been getting the sort of high prices normally reserved for attributable material and this copper-mounted mirror, right, was no exception – the sleeper of Bonhams’ (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) sale of Decorative Arts at Glasgow School of Arts on November 28.

Barber to head up Bonhams’ West Coast operation and London

06 January 2003

BONHAMS will call their newly merged American company Bonhams and Butterfields from January 1 and are sending out group managing director Malcolm Barber from London to San Francisco to run it.

Golf lightens Scottish gloom

18 December 2002

WHILE the Irish picture market continues to boom, the Scottish market showed serious jitters at Bonhams Edinburgh (17.5% buyer’s premium) on the evening of December 5.

Sales stay low key as collectors hold on to their Old Masters

18 December 2002

A combination of vendors reluctant to consign the best quality goods and cautious bidding from the trade created a fairly low-key atmosphere at London’s traditional pre-Christmas round of Old Master picture sales.

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