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. 

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