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.

Irish reattribution boosts military portrait

16 November 2001

PORTRAIT miniatures are one field that has been performing strongly in recent seasons, an area of the market where the private buyer is very much in evidence.

Treasury silver withdrawn from sale

07 November 2001

Four of the six lots of antique silver from Her Majesty’s Treasury due to be sold by Bonhams & Brooks on October 30 were withdrawn from auction the day before the sale.

‘The Man Who Drew Cats’ was unbalanced, both in his book-keeping and in his state of mind

28 September 2001

Fewer than half of the 128 lots that made up The Cat Sale at Bonhams & Brooks on September 12 found buyers, but while demand was distinctly patchy and only 10 of 22 works by one of the foremost contemporary exponents of feline portraiture, Anne Mortimer, found buyers, there was no stopping Louis Wain.

Sailing against the trade winds

26 September 2001

“One of their less distinguished sales. There were one or two decent things, but there was no heavyweight example of too many auctions of marine things with not enough stock to go round.” Such was the assessment of one leading West End specialist dealer of Bonhams & Brooks (15/10% buyer’s premium) September 5 sale of Marine Works of Art.

Indian venture for ex-Bonhams pair

18 September 2001

CHRISTOPHER Elwes, former managing director of Bonhams, and Indian art expert Patrick Bowring have broken new ground by opening India’s only specialist fine art auction house. They will hold their first sale in Delhi on November 5 and aim to create a network of offices to service the Indian market.

Ceramics keep the heat on cooler summer days

14 August 2001

UK: CERAMICS expert at Bonhams & Brooks’ Honiton outpost, Lucy Lanning, believes ceramics and glass to have a much stronger following than brown furniture at present – a belief borne out by buy-in rates in the two sections.

Bonhams and Phillips merge

13 July 2001

BONHAMS & BROOKS confirmed on Friday evening that they are to merge with Phillips de Pury & Luxembourg, ending a week of speculation that this move was imminent.

Attractions of Wellington’s one-legged Marquess…

11 July 2001

UK: If proof were needed that it is collector’s silver that is the most desirable category of ware in today’s market one could have had no better example than the sale held by Bonhams & Brooks (15/10% buyer’s premium) last Thursday, July 5. This 261-lot auction was especially strong on vertu and collectors items swelled by a number of private collections.

Museum provenance adds attraction to Korean jar

04 July 2001

Bonhams & Brooks (15/10% buyer’s premium) held their Far Eastern Works of Art on May 30, a couple of weeks earlier than the other main auction houses.

Abstract patterns dominate Cliff sales

21 June 2001

UK: FURTHER evidence that it is the strong abstract designs that are most popular in the Clarice Cliff market could be seen last week at Bonhams & Brooks (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) on June 12. Leading their 104-lot sale at £3600 was an 11-piece coffee service decorated in the Mondrian pattern while the preceding lot – two coffee cans and saucers decorated in the sought after Football pattern – easily left behind a modest £200-300 estimate to sell for £1150.

Academic values fall as decorative ones rise

21 June 2001

UK: AS EVEN the upper echelons of the trade cannot afford to stick to academic standards at the expense of turning a profit in the market for the purely decorative, one finds increasingly serious sums of money paid out for amusing trifles of zero antiquity, such as a large pair of 20th century Continental jardinières, one of which is shown here.

MacCaghwell's A Mirror of the Sacrament of Penance

16 June 2001

UK: A RARE example of Irish printing, this work by Hugh MacCaghwell, styled Aodh mac aingil, translates as A Mirror of the Sacrament of Penance and was printed at the Irish Franciscan College of St. Anthony of Padua at Louvain in 1618.

Isnik tile and blue and white pottery incense burner

14 May 2001

One of the high points of Bonhams & Brooks’ May 2 sale in the London Islamic Series of sales was a 10in (25cm) square Isnik tile, pictured, dated to c.1580.

Before you buy – know your geography and politics

09 April 2001

UK: ANYONE thinking of doing a deal on a Turkish picture in the next few weeks would have been well advised to have kept an eye on Bonhams & Brooks (10/15 per cent buyer’s premium) March 28 Topographical & American Pictures Sale.

Eugène Gayot’s Atlas statistique ... of 1850

09 April 2001

Eugène Gayot’s Atlas statistique de la production des chevaux en France. Documents pour servir a l’histoire naturelle-agricolle des race de chevalliers du pays of 1850 contains 27 coloured maps and 31 litho plates of horses, mostly with two views.

Sheldrake’s ... Herbal of Medicinal Plants

09 April 2001

Timothy Sheldrake’s ... Herbal of Medicinal Plants is often found without a title and with fewer than the 118 plates by C.H. Emmerich after Sheldrake called for, but they have great appeal and the Phillips copy, a first issue of c.1759 with 111 coloured plates, made £5500 at Bonhams.

1925 Golden Cockerel edition of Songs... by Robert Burns

09 April 2001

UK: INSET with a portrait miniature, this 1925 Golden Cockerel edition of Songs... by Robert Burns, illustrated with wood engravings by Mabel Annesley and bound in Cosway style in red morocco gilt by Bayntun Rivière, was sold at Bonhams (Buyer’s premium:15/10 per cent) at £1400 (Pirouages).

1858 first issue of Coral Island

09 April 2001

UK: AS well as a quantity of letters, journals and sketch albums written or compiled by R.M. Ballantyne – among them an album containing sketches made on excursions to Scotland and fishing trips to Norway in the 1850s, which sold at £1000 to David Miles – the Bonhams (Buyer’s premium: 15/10 per cent) sale contained an 1858 first issue of Coral Island, the publisher’s decorative blue cloth binding slightly worn but generally good, which made £4000 (Heritage).

Wodehouse collection

02 April 2001

The Bonhams Knightsbridge sale (see above, Henty – the great adventure begins with A Secret for Success) also included a P.G. Wodehouse collection (from a different source) and among the more successful of those lots were these two shown here.

Henty – the great adventure begins with A Secret for Success

02 April 2001

UK: G.A. HENTY fans, trade and private, gathered at Bonhams (Buyer’s premium: 15/10 per cent) on March 13 for the disposal of a superb collection of his many books.