DEFINITION of 'Bonhams'

A London-based auction house specializing in the sale of art and antiques. Bonhams opened its first showroom in 1793, and operates eight auction venues around the world.


Bonhams competes with large auction houses, such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s, and has expanded into international markets in order tap into emerging economies. While it specializes in every major area of art and collectibles, it is perhaps best known for its market position in antique motor vehicles.

Bonhams has been involved in several mergers over the years. In 2000, Bonhams was acquired by Brooks, another auction house, becoming Bonham & Brooks. In 2001, Bonham merged with Phillips Son & Neale, and in 2002 acquired Butterfields. 

  1. Collectible

    An item that is worth far more than it appears because of its ...
  2. Sotheby's

    One of the world's most venerable auction houses. The company ...
  3. Gallerist

    The owner or operator of an art gallery. Gallerists buy and sell ...
  4. Chandelier Bid

    A bid that is announced by an auctioneer during an auction that ...
  5. Lyon & Turnbull

    An auction house established in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1826. ...
  6. Phillips

    A New York-based auction house specializing in the sale of art ...
Related Articles
  1. Insurance

    Should You Insure Your Collectibles?

    Insuring your valuable collectibles is just as important as insuring the rest of your home's contents.
  2. Personal Finance

    6 Major Collectibles Payoffs

    From comics to records these rare items scored unbeatable returns for those who were able to recognize their value.
  3. Retirement

    Contemplating Collectible Investments

    Profit margins are slim, but that needn't deter those with a passion for eras past.
  4. Retirement

    5 Investments You Can’t Hold In An IRA

    Tax-deferred retirement accounts can hold a vast array of investments, but a few are not permitted. Here are five of the more notable exclusions.
  5. Home & Auto

    5 Luxury Cars with Low Resale Value

    Don't buy these cars new – but (if you crave one) they might be more worth buying when they're used. Here's why.
  6. Investing News

    Investing in Collectible Cars: Top Tips and Risks

    Becoming a collector of high-end cars takes a significant investment and not-insignificant carrying costs. Here are some tips on how to choose wisely.
  7. Personal Finance

    What to Collect: Apple Watch vs. Luxury Watches

    The "iWatch" is a new player in the luxury watch world. But will it stand the test of time? Some points for collectors to ponder.
  8. Personal Finance

    Buying Fur: Which Variety Is Worth the Most?

    Fur is once again hot among the haute couture set. A guide to getting the best skin for your style (and money).
  9. Insurance

    Designer Clothes: Why You Need Special Insurance

    You spend a lot of money on couture creations. Shouldn't they be protected from damage?
  10. Investing News

    3 Odd Investments Worth Considering

    Designer handbags, comic books and web domains: should these odd items be on your investing radar?

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  2. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  3. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  4. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
  5. Black Monday

    October 19, 1987, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost almost 22% in a single day. That event marked the beginning ...
  6. Monetary Policy

    Monetary policy is the actions of a central bank, currency board or other regulatory committee that determine the size and ...
Trading Center