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.


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Hunting painting with a touch of fantasy

24 August 2004

THE controversy over whether fox hunting should be banned may rumble on, but, presumably, even the most committed hunt saboteur could not take exception to this intriguing Victorian fantasy painting.

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The remarkable Maria Sibylla Merian

19 August 2004

I HAVE often illustrated plates from the works of Maria Sibylla Merian, but never before a portrait of that remarkable lady herself.

Preview

18 August 2004

One of the most mysterious objects in Bonhams’ Made in Scotland sale from August 18-20, was a fascinating 18th century anamorphic painting – one of a whole class of pictures that required cylindrical mirrors to view the true image.

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Adding gilt to Graham

10 August 2004

GEORGE Graham’s 18th century ebony or ebony veneered bracket clocks are his most traditional and sought-after timepieces, but arguably representing better value for money was this flamboyant ormolu clock offered at Bonhams Bond Street (19.5/10% buyer's premium) on June 8 that housed one of a small number of George Graham’s non-standard movements.

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The quest for consignments

10 August 2004

ON July 14 there was a sale at Bonhams (incorporating Glendinings). The return of this appellation to their catalogues will please the sentimental because there is still world-wide affection for the Glendining name.

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The Cat, the Grinch & Horton

21 July 2004

A Christie’s New York sale of June 9 included a collection of Dr Seuss books, illustrated letters and other ephemera formed by Jed Mattes, who in 1977, following the death of Theodor Geisel’s long-term agent Phyllis Jackson, took over as his representative.

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Speculation surrounding antiquities sale at Bonhams

20 July 2004

ENORMOUS pre-sale speculation surrounded the 25-lot single-owner antiquities sale that came under the hammer at Bonhams Bond Street (19.5/10% buyer’s premium) on July 14, not least because the vendor was strongly rumoured in the trade to be the world’s most prolific collector, Sheikh Saud of Qatar.

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Fresh Constable is irresistible

20 July 2004

IT was, perhaps, a telling sign of the current shortage of high-quality, market-fresh Old Master paintings in the salerooms that Bonhams (19.5/10% buyer’s premium) July 7 Old Master Paintings sale should be headed by this hitherto unrecorded John Constable (1776-1837) plein air oil on canvas sketch, right, of the artist’s home village, East Bergholt.

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Royal Worcester sheep with a following…

13 July 2004

FOR 71 of his 84 years Harry Davis (1885-1969) worked as a decorator at the Royal Worcester factory, ultimately rising to the post of foreman painter. He painted a wide variety of subjects, but is best known for his sheep-decorated landscapes, all produced in the first quarter of the 20th century.

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Quick return is poor return for Grendy

13 July 2004

IN the same week that Sotheby’s and Christie’s were offering their summer selections of English furniture, Bonhams’ Bond Street (19.5/10% buyer’s premium) offered a 224-lot English and Continental mix that also incorporated a sizeable selection of works of art. The broader mix didn’t result in a higher take-up: selling rates for this July 29 event were 54 per cent by lot and 65 in money on a £640,440 total.

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‘Younger and edgier’ mood helps new-look Bonhams to great start and £2.9m total

07 July 2004

HAVING spent millions of pounds revamping their Bond Street flagship saleroom, could Bonhams (19.5/12% buyer’s premium) succeed in attracting the sort of prestigious consignments of Modern and Contemporary art which are going to be the life-blood of any successful international auction house in the early 21st century?

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£10,500 on table – but furniture is still cheaper than six months ago

06 July 2004

SPEAKING after a combined-operation sale at Edinburgh on June 10-11 which offered jewellery, silver and furniture, Bonhams’ (17.5/10% buyer's premium) specialist Bruce Anderson said: “Ultimately trade buying underpins a sale so if the trade is finding business tricky this affects us.

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Preview

29 June 2004

ON July 15, Bonhams will present a double-catalogue sale of 500 lots of natural history books and watercolours from a single collection and one of the highlights will be a very special copy of Audebert & Viellot’s Oiseaux dorés ou a reflets metalliques... of 1800-02.

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Time for this marvel of the ancient world to strut its stuff once more

28 June 2004

THIS technical marvel of the ancient world, pictured right, known as a Roman glass diatretum or cage cup, was cut out of a single blank of glass to form two layers. The solid inner cup is linked to its outer cage only by a series of delicate struts.

Bonhams ringfence vendors’ money in trust accounts: Will Sotheby’s and Christie’s follow suit?

28 June 2004

BONHAMS are to set up separate client trust accounts for vendors to protect their money during the sale process. They are the first of the three major international auction houses to do so and the move effectively throws the gauntlet down to Sotheby’s and Christie’s to follow suit.

Worcester blue now scales the heights

22 June 2004

THE very earliest English porcelain has long held sway in the market, but one feature of Part I of the mammoth Zorensky Worcester collection sold by Bonhams in March was the high prices paid for some of the late 1760s and early 1770s underglaze blue ground tablewares.

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Whose Hieroglyphica Mexicana?

22 June 2004

VALUED at £1000-1500 in a June 29 sale at Bonhams is a bound manuscript entitled ‘Hieroglyphica Mexicana, or, an Introduction into the Origin, Nature and Meaning of the Ancient Paintings by the Semi-Civilized Nations of America, with Sketches of their Languages, History, Arts & Sciences’.

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Chinese-taste wares dominate at Bonhams

22 June 2004

IN the last three years Bonhams have bagged several large quality Chinese consignments such as the Cunliffe collection of blue and white and the De Boulay collection sold last November, but this June there were no such dispersals to spark bidding battles between dealers or collectors in their 465-lot auction on June 8. Although few entries flew, there was demand for the best-quality Chinese-taste works and entries with mainland Chinese appeal.

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Silver is the star on a day of Deco

15 June 2004

BONHAMS Chester hosted a 484-lot collectable ceramics and applied arts sale on April 27.

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Extra-etched and bound

10 June 2004

THIS punting scene by Whistler is one of some 3000 additional original and reproduction etchings and engravings, mostly full-page and many mounted and titled in ink as well as being mounted, where possible opposite the relevant text, that were to be found in an extra-illustrated 1880, third edition of Philip G. Hamerton’s Etchings & Etchers seen at Bonhams on May 6.

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