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Top Auction Houses: Bonhams
A closer look 16 Feb 2014

Top Auction Houses: Bonhams

We continue our world tour visiting the major auction houses (Englanda gain) and present another auctioneer: Bonhams.

Bonhams is the result of the 2001 merger between Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. The Bonhams name is associated in the art market with the highest quality, and several of its departments are considered to be international leaders in their respective categories, particularly in the automotive sector.


The new Bonhams offices, New Bond Street, London

As usual, a little bit of history can do no harm. Bonhams was founded in 1793 by Thomas Dodd, a renowned antiquities dealer, and Walter Bonham, specialized in old books.

From 1850 on, the company extends to all sectors, including jewelry, porcelain, furniture, armors and wines. In 1950, Bonhams moves to the Montpelier Street, London.

After multiple takeovers and mergers, Bonhams has a stable position in the art market, since 2003, with a total of 700 sales a year for all departments. Beyond the main house in London, Bonhams has offices in Switzerland, Monaco, Germany, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Sydney, Dubai, Hong Kong and Paris.

In 2007, Bonhams achieved 600 million in sales.

Some of the sales that have built the auctioneer’s reputation:

August 11, 1838 (a long time ago), the sale of a collection of furniture from the Buckingham Palace. The first success of the house.

The strength of the English, is selling “made in England” pieces, and promoting their artists. 2003, Sale of A Dark Bay Thoroughbred in a Lanscape, a painting by George Stubbs, for £1,931,650


An exceptional oil painting, The Sailboat, by Natalia Goncharova, the most expensive woman artist in the market: sold for £1.7 million in 2008.


September 2004, Bonhams sells a Mercedes Benz Sport two-seater Tourer 36045 from 1929 for £4,181,500.


Here is a video presenting their new offices: Bonhams, the future of auctioneering

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