The Bonhams Auction house is one of the most established international auction houses today. Although they are not as popular as the likes of Christie’s and Sotheby’s Bonhams have over the years established itself as one of the most prominent auctioneers of art and antique in the world.
The privately owned British auction house is still very much operational in its home country United Kingdom and is one of the largest auctioneers of art and antiques. Located in London’s New Bond Street, Bonham’s was founded in 1793 where it now operates in 66 locations around the world. Apart from its headquarters in London, Bonhams also operates through its network in Paris, Hong Kong, Sydney as well as in the United States where they have offices in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Bonhams today is the result of a merger in 2001 between Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale which saw 2 of the 4 currently existing Georgian auction houses in London. Where this is concerned, Bonhams was founded in 1793 while Harry Phillips established Phillips in 1796. Mr Phillips was a former employee of James Christie who set up Christie’s Auction House.
Since the merger, Bonhams have been growing by leaps and bounds and moved to new markets through its expansion plan and in 2002, they bought over one of the main auction houses along the western region of the United States, Butterfields. This provided Bonhams with more presence in the United States and today they are one of the main auctioneers that offer more sales than many others.
In the United Kingdom, Bonhams operate 2 large salerooms which are the former Phillips room in New bond Street and the one in Montpelier Galleries, which used to house the Bonhams saleroom. Apart from that, they also operate rooms in Chester, Edinburgh and Oxford while as mentioned, they are also very much involved in other cities and most prominently in the United States.
Over the years, Bonhams has conducted countless auctions for antiques and among the notables are include one of the world’s most expensive book containing rare historical photographs by Francis Frith while a recent sale saw Bonham selling off a 1929 Bentley Supercharged Single-Seat Racer for £5,042,000. Another car that was auctioned off by Bonham include a 100 year old Rolls-Royce silver Gold when it became the most expensive Rolls-Royce ever auctioned off after coming under the hammer for £5 million.