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Bonhams Auctioneers Press Releases

Bonhams: auctioneers of fine art, antiques, collectables and motor cars

Last Build Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2017 12:49:00 +0000



Thu, 14 Dec 2017 12:49:00 +0000

Rolex. A rare military issue ...

Bonhams Fine Watches and Wristwatches sale took place today, 13 December, and saw an impressive 89% of lots sold by value, achieving a total of £2,205,000.

The top lot of the sale was a rare Rolex Submariner from 1972 [Ref 5513] which sold for £112,500 against an estimate of £40,000-60,000. Bids were coming in from across the world in an exchange that lasted several minutes but was eventually won by a bidder in the saleroom.

Jonathan Darracott, Global Head of Watches, commented: 'This was a fantastic sale on which to end our stellar year of sales in Bond Street, Knightsbridge, Hong Kong and New York. We have seen top prices achieved and new trends developing across the sales, as well as continued interest in military watches and the finest examples from the very best watchmakers such as Patek Philippe and Rolex. The auction attracted competitive international bidding which reflected the vast variety and strength of the sale. We look forward to continued success in 2018.'

Other highlights included:

Patek Philippe Celestial, Ref: 5102PR-001, Circa 2009. An extremely fine and rare platinum and rose gold astronomical wristwatch with sky chart, phase and orbit of the moon, time of meridian, passage of Sirius and the moon sold for £106,250 against an estimate of £80,000-120,000.

Rolex Jean Claude Killy, Ref: 6036, Circa 1953. An extremely rare stainless steel manual wind triple calendar chronograph braceley watch sold for £90,000.

Patek Philippe Ref: 5270. A very fine 18K white gold manual wind perpetual calendar wristwatch with moon phase sold for £87,500.

Patek Philippe Nautilus, Ref: 3700/013, Circa 1979. A fine 18K gold and diamond set automatic calendar bracelet watch sold for £50,000 against an estimate of £40,000-60,000.

Rolex Submariner Comex Ref: 165.024, Circa 1967. A rare stainless steel automatic divers bracelet watch made for Comex with extensive Comex paraphernalia and dive log books sold for £60,000 against an estimate of £30,000-40,000. The lot was accompanied by Comex branded merchandise ranging from golf tees to a Swiss army knife, and even a second watch.


Wed, 13 Dec 2017 15:21:00 +0000

Dalmore-50 year old-1926

Bonhams Whisky department in Edinburgh has recorded its most successful year ever, with total sales of £919,000.

Bonhams held its first whisky sale in 2008, and now holds four sales a year at its Edinburgh HQ as well as four sales in Hong Kong, including its first-ever online only sale.

Bonhams Whisky specialist in Edinburgh, Martin Green said, "2017 has been a bumper year for Bonhams whisky sales in Scotland. Since we started selling whisky at auction in 2008, the market has grown steadily year on year, but 2017 has been exceptional. We are undoubtedly benefitting from the global interest in collecting whiskies which is now very much an international pursuit. We have regular bidders from all over the world, including China, Hong Kong, Singapore Japan and Taiwan, all the countries of mainland Europe, north and south America as well, of course, as Scotland and the rest of the UK"

Top results at Bonhams Edinburgh in 2017 include:

• Dalmore-50 year old-1926 sold for £26,250 in December 2017
• The Bowmore Trilogy: Black Bowmore-42 yearold-1964 Gold Bowmore-44 year old-1964 White Bowmore-43 year old-1964 sold for £25,000 also in December 2017
• The Macallan Millennium Decanter 50 year old 1949 sold for £21,250 in June 2017
• The Macallan Select Reserve-25 year old – 1946 sold for £15,625 in October 2017

Bonhams Hong Kong highlights included:

• A bottle of The Macallan-50year old-1928 sold for HKD 588,000 (£57,000) in November 2017
• Macallan Lalique-50 year old (1) Macallan Lalique-55 year old (1) • Macallan Lalique-57 year old (1) Macallan Lalique-60 year old (1) • Macallan Lalique-62 year old (1) Macallan Lalique-65 year old (1): sold for HKD 3,797,500 (£377,000) in August 2017


For further information and images call Andrew Currie on +44 (0) 20 7468 5871, or email or


Tue, 12 Dec 2017 00:33:00 +0000

2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Chassis ... 2016 Porsche 911 R Chassis ... 12 December 2017 – Los Angeles – From the most successful manufacturer in the history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and one of the most legendary names in motorsport, comes the ultimate pair of performance cars – the Porsche 918 Spyder and 911 R. Needing no introduction, as each is already one of the most impressive modern sports cars on road or track (not to mention nearly unobtainable), this pair is extraordinary in that they were ordered with matching serial numbers and complimentary configurations. The 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder with optional Weissach wheels – serial number 290 – is one of only 294 US-specification models and has driven less 2,300 miles, making it exceptionally pure. Porsche's hybrid halo car is renowned for its category-defining design and blistering speed as it holds the fastest 0-60mph time of any production car: a mind-blowing 2.2 seconds. The 2016 Porsche 911 R – serial number 290 – is one of only 991 built and is also a highly optioned example, including a Paint to Sample (PTS) colorway, and has just 37 original miles! (That's no typo.) Endowed with its GT3 RS engine and coveted manual transmission, the 911 R has been called "simply spectacular" by Car and Driver and is heralded as the definitive road-going 911. The consignor, an original 918 Spyder owner, was offered the opportunity by the Porsche factory to pre-order a 911 R and did so with matching serial numbers. Now this rare pair of Porsches will come to auction and represents the first time a matching set has ever been at public sale. "This is an incredible and historic opportunity in every way," says Michael Camaino, Bonhams Motoring Specialist based in Los Angeles. "First, a 918 Spyder and 911 R in such desirable specification are tremendously newsworthy on their own, but offered in nearly brand-new condition with matching serial numbers? It's never been done and represents an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a collector." Additionally, these two Porsches will complement the presence of nearly two dozen other Porsche models at Bonhams' Scottsdale sale, including the global headline-grabbing 1958 Porsche 550A Spyder. The illustrious racer is the former Porsche works entry for Le Mans and the veteran of multiple prestigious Grand Prix, and has been called the star of the 2018 Scottsdale Car Week. To learn more about these very special cars, go to [...]


Thu, 07 Dec 2017 17:08:00 +0000

A fancy-coloured diamond and diamond ... A collection of extremely rare Fancy Vivid Yellow diamonds with a provenance steeped in world-class diamond history became the subject of a fierce bidding war at Bonhams London Fine Jewellery sale this week (7 December 2017) before they sold for a total of £577,750.Achieving higher than expected prices, the Fancy Vivid Yellow diamonds hail from the Cullinan family. This was the first time the coloured diamonds have come to auction.The star performer of the sale was A Fancy Coloured Diamond and Diamond Brooch, set with three step-cut Fancy Vivid Yellow diamonds, weighing 5.29, 3.11 and 2.37 carats, which sold for £452,750 to an online buyer, surpassing the pre-sale estimate of £200,000-300,000. In addition, A pair of Fancy Coloured Diamond and Diamond Earclips, sold for £125,000 against an estimate of £50,000-80,000. The brilliant-cut Fancy Vivid Yellow diamonds weighed 2.08 and 1.93 carats respectively.Jean Ghika, Bonhams Director of Jewellery for UK & Europe, said: "The Fancy Vivid Yellow diamonds in this collection are exceptionally well matched in colour and boast an enviable provenance. They were extremely popular in our previews in London, New York and Hong Kong and were highly sought after by a number of our discerning clients. I'm delighted they performed so well in the sale."The diamonds were acquired in 1940 during a train journey when the present owner's father-in-law, R.V. Cullinan, son of the famous South African diamond magnate Sir Thomas Cullinan, asked his friend General Pierre De Villiers, a director of De Beers, to buy him some diamonds on his next visit to Kimberley. On the train back from the De Beers mine at Kimberley, Sir Ernest Oppenheimer asked General De Villiers "What have you got this time?" The General retrieved a packet from his pocket and proudly showed Sir Ernest, who replied "I can do better than that" and showed the General a set of yellow diamonds. A deal was struck. The diamonds were then purchased by the General, who kept half, and the other half were given to R.V. Cullinan. These are the diamonds which were offered in the sale.Other top performers in the sale included:• A Single-Strand Natural Grey Pearl Necklace, circa 1915, sold for £368,750, more than five times its pre-sale estimate of £50,000-70,000.• An Important Diamond Ring by Harry Winston, New York, circa 1968, which sold for £236,750 against its estimate of £180,000-250,000. The marquise-cut diamond, weighing 7.73 carats is F colour, VVS1 clarity. Part of the proceeds of the sale of this lot will be donated to the Women's Cancer Center at the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, Italy.• A Pair of Fancy Coloured Diamond, Diamond and Cultured Pearl Earrings, signed Cartier. The Fancy Intense Purplish Pink cushion-shaped diamonds, weighing 1.01 and 1.01 carats, each suspending a detachable drop-shaped cultured pearl and brilliant-cut diamond, sold for £156,250 against their pre-sale estimate of £100,000-120,000. • A Diamond Panel Bracelet, dated circa 1955, sold for £106,250 against its estimate of £80,000-100,000. Signed jewellery remains eternally popular with collectors seeking finest examplesPieces from Verdura, Cartier and Andrew Grima performed strongly in the sale which was taken by Matthew Girling, Bonhams CEO and Global Head of Jewellery. Highlights included:• A Black Jade and Gem-Set Cuff and Earclip Suite by Verdura. The wide black jade cuff is applied with cabochon emeralds and sapphires, half pearls and brilliant-cut diamonds. A pai[...]


Thu, 07 Dec 2017 15:17:00 +0000

A Rare German Composite 'Maximilian' ...

A rare German composite 'Maximilian' Full Armour was the top lot at the Bonhams Antique Arms and Armour sale on Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 November. The lot achieved an astonishing £75,000 against an estimate of £40,000-60,000.

The sale also featured the Paul Murray Collection – known and revered for holding one of the most diverse collections of antique arms and armour in the world – which ranged from European pistols to Japanese arrows and was built up over a lifetime of collecting and travelling. The remarkable breadth and provenance of the lots was reflected in the results of the sale where an impressive 94% of lots were sold by value. Among the highlights from the collection area Scottish all-metal flintlock belt pistol belonging to Augustus, 3rd Duke of Grafton, dating from the third quarter of the 18th Century that achieved £15,000 against an estimate of £6,000-8,000; and a very rare cased pair of flintlock duelling pistols by John Manton of London that sold for £15,000.

Other highlights included a rare Caucasian sabre which sold for £20,000 – well in excess of its estimate high of £5,000 – and a rare Dutch bronze cannon of the Groote Vischerÿ Enkhuizen that achieved £20,000 against an estimate of £6,000-8,000.

David Williams, Head of the Antique Arms and Armour Department at Bonhams, said: 'This was the largest sale in terms of lot offered by Bonhams in this specialist area. The wide-ranging material, together with the quality and condition of the objects offered resulted in world-wide interest and maximum prices achieved.'

EMPEROR HIROHITO'S MANUSCRIPT TOP LOT AT VOICES OF THE 20TH CENTURY AUCTION Record Prices Also Achieved for Wozniak Blue Box and Early Microcomputer at Bonhams New York

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 10:10:00 +0000

HIROHITO, EMPEROR SHOWA. 1901-1989. Autograph ... New York – The only known copy of Emperor Hirohito's monologue was the top lot in the Voices of the 20th Century auction at Bonhams New York, achieving $275,000. Highlights from across two sales on December 6 included Billie Jean King's racquet from the epic "Battle of the Sexes" match (price realized: $125,000), a Wozniak blue box offered at auction for the first time in the History of Science and Technology sale, (price realized: $125,000) and an Apple 1 computer (price realized: $372,500.) History of Science and Technology Adam Stackhouse, Senior Specialist, Books and Manuscripts said "We are particularly pleased with the results achieved for the blue box, which was the first to ever be offered at auction and instrumental in the formation of Apple Inc. There was also significant interest in some early microcomputers offered in the sale, which resulted in a record price for the Intel Intellec-8." Top lots from the sale were a new-to-auction blue box by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, which soared above pre-sale estimates with bidding activity over the phones and online, and the revolutionary Apple 1 computer, which was the first pre-assembled personal computer to come to market. In an auction that saw nine of its top ten lots beat their estimates, early computing memorabilia did particularly well. The Intel Intellec-8 microcomputer set a record when it went for nine times its estimate to realize $13,750 and an Altair 8800 sold for 8 times its estimate to achieve $8,125.Voices of the 20th Century "We are honored to handle the sale of Emperor Hirohito's historically significant monologue, which nearly tripled its pre-sale estimate in our sale today," said Ian Ehling, Director, Books & Manuscripts. "There was also a great result for Billie Jean King's tennis racquet from the monumental "Battle of the Sexes," match, in addition to incredible prices for first editions by Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and manuscript pages by Ayn Rand." The top lot of the sale, the Emperor's Monologue known as Dokuhakuroku, is an important document transcribed word-for-word by senior diplomat Hidenari Terasaki, from March 18 to April 8 in 1946 at the request of General Douglas MacArthur. Its 173 pages cover events from the Japanese assassination of Manchurian warlord Zhang Zuolin (1928) to the Emperor's famous Surrender Broadcast recorded on August 14, 1945.Billie Jean King's racquet from the 1973 "Battle of the Sexes" match against Bobby Riggs achieved $125,000, of which a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Women's Sports Foundation. King's inspiring victory in straight sets during the exhibition match was a significant event in the movement for greater recognition and respect for women's tennis and beyond.The sale had all its top ten lots achieve prices above their low estimates, with notable results for Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls (price realized: $81,250), Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (price realized: $62,500) as well as two separate working manuscript pages of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (prices realized: $56,250 for lot 1058 and $52,500 for lot 1059.)Enquiries:For further information and images contact Alice Lok +1 917 206 1692 or [...]


Thu, 07 Dec 2017 09:57:00 +0000

Lorenzo Veneziano (active Venice, 1356-1379) ...

Lorenzo Veneziano's newly discovered Crucifixion was the top lot at Bonhams Old Master Paintings sale today [Wednesday 6 December]. The ornate, tempera gold panel achieved £1,688,750 against an estimate of £400,000-600,000. In total, the sale made £3,571,500.

Veneziano – a pioneering figure of Venetian painting – brought a natural vitality to his figurative painting at a time when a flat, Byzantine style dominated. Inspired by the Florentine painter Giotto, Veneziano expertly combined fine draughtsmanship with exquisite Venetian-style colouring. The work presents a remarkable and exciting addition to art historians' knowledge of the Trecento period in Venetian painting.

Other highlights from the sale are:

- Claude Joseph Vernet's (Avignon 1714-1789 Paris) serene 18th century seascape Clair de Lune achieved £752,750 against an estimate of £100,000-150,000. It came to auction from the collection of the late Boris Christoff, the celebrated opera singer. This work was one of a pair that was commissioned for New Wardour Castle in Wiltshire, the home of Henry, 8th Baron Arundell. The other work, The Shipwreck, now hangs in the National Gallery of Art, Washington.
- Jan Baptist Weenix (1621-1660) A Mediterranean Harbour Scene with Figures Gathered achieved £62,500 against an estimate of £15,000-20,000. A key figure of the Dutch Golden Age, Weenix was influential in bringing the Italianate seascape to Northern Europe. The painting was known to have once belonged to the 2nd Marquis of Breadalbane.

Bonhams Head of Old Master Paintings, Andrew McKenzie said: "It was thrilling to bring such an important work as Veneziano's Crucifixion to auction. The painting, which belonged to an Italophile English family for more than a century, has only recently come to the notice of art historians, who have declared it an astonishing addition to our knowledge of Venetian painting. Veneziano was instrumental in bringing naturalism and reinvigorating the culture of La Serenissima beyond the classical, Byzantine style. We are delighted that there was such a contest in the room and on the phone for this wonderful painting."


For further information and images call Pippa MacNeil on +44 (0)207 468 8210, or email or

A Natural Pearl Pendant sells for $1.45m at Bonhams New York Fine Jewelry sale, the highest price paid for a natural pearl at auction in the last six years Online bidder buys Zsa Zsa Gabor diamond rivière necklace for $1.27 million

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 09:32:00 +0000

A natural pearl and diamond ... A Natural Pearl and Diamond Drop Pendant from the Estate of American philanthropist Mary Clark Thompson was the top performer at Bonhams Fine Jewelry sale in New York this week. Composed of a single drop pearl, measuring 14.1mm, to a rose-cut diamond surmount, the pearl became the subject of a frenzied bidding war and it finally went under the hammer for US $1,452,500, making it the highest price paid for a natural pearl at auction in the last six years and also the third most valuable single natural pearl drop ever sold at auction. The pearl is accompanied by a GIA report and also an SSEF report and Appendix Letter stating: "A natural pearl of this size and quality can be considered rare and exceptional." Susan Abeles, Head of Jewelry for Bonhams US, commented: "Really good examples of natural pearls of exceptional quality where their size, symmetry, rich lustre and blemish-free skins do not appear on the market as often as they used to. Indeed, pearls such as this are a rare commodity and it is nearly impossible to find these gems. As a result, we were pleased to be able to offer this important pearl to our global client base and we were delighted at how well it performed in the sale." The top performing diamond lot in the sale was also one of the most talked about pre-sale: A Harry Winston Magnificent Diamond Riviera Necklace, formerly owned by Hollywood icon Zsa Zsa Gabor. The necklace, created by Harry Winston in 1964, features 45 graduated round brilliant-cut diamonds weighing a total of 66 carats, sold for US $1,272,500 to a buyer online.Susan Abeles said: "It is amazing that a piece that is so elementary in design and elegant can still be so show stopping. During the previews, it was one of the most tried on pieces of jewelry. Undoubtedly, the new owner will have as much enjoyment as Zsa Zsa Gabor did when she wore it. The provenance and Harry Winston signature ensures the necklace will feature as one of the central pieces in a notable jewelry collection." Elsewhere in the sale, two other important diamonds lots performed well. The first, A Magnificent Diamond Ring by Graff, featuring a square-shaped emerald-cut diamond, weighing 16.53 carats, sold for US $660,500 (pictured right). The second, An Important Diamond Ring, centering a pear-shaped brilliant-cut diamond, weighing 8.22 carats, flanked by tapered baguette-cut diamonds, sold for US $225,000.Sapphires continue to soar in 2017Kashmir sapphires performed well during the three-hour sale. Notable lots included: - A Sapphire and Diamond Brooch, centering an octagonal-shaped step-cut sapphire, weighing 23.86 carats, sold for US $262,500 against its pre-sale estimate of US $80,000 - 120,000. The sapphire, accompanied by an AGL report, is of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) origin with no indications of heat or clarity enhancement.- A Kashmir Sapphire and Diamond Ring featuring an oval-shaped sapphire, weighing 4.57 carats, within a pave-set and baguette diamond mounting. This sold for US $110,000 against its pre-sale estimate of US $65,000 - 85,000.Jewelry from key eras and makers achieve strong pricesHighlights included:- An Exquisite Edwardian Diamond Bracelet, circa 1910, estimated at US $50,000-70,000, pictured above, sold for US $137,500. The bracelet was part of the Estate of Mary Clark Thompson, one of the founders of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and also a great benefactor to the Bronx Zoo and Woman's Hospital.- An Art Deco Emerald And Diamond Bracelet, circa 1925, sold for U[...]


Tue, 05 Dec 2017 19:14:00 +0000

1950 Vincent 998cc Rapide Series ... 1926 Brough Superior 990cc SS80, The ex-Tony McAlpine, Jack Ehret, ... 1938 Harley-Davidson 61ci EL Knucklehead ... Los Angeles – December 1st, 2017 – First was the Australian speed record-making and multiple race-winning 1951 Vincent Black Lightning owned and ridden by Jack Ehret – unquestionably one of the most important motorcycles in existence. Now Bonhams is pleased to announce the addition of further rare and important motorcycles to highlight its famous January event. From the hallowed Vincent marque, a brand for which Bonhams holds the world auction record, is a matching numbers 1950 Rapide Series C Touring Model in original Chinese Red, one of just 76 ever produced. In highly original condition, this rare machine will be accompanied by another highly desirable Vincent, a matching numbers 1950 Black Shadow Series C. Also English, and also tremendously sought after, is a 1926 Brough Superior SS80 from one of the most legendary motorcycle manufacturers in history. From the United States is truly a standout machine – a 1938 Harley-Davidson EL Knucklehead in original, unrestored, running condition. Just two owners from new, it was purchased by the vendor from the son of the original owner. With the interest in Knuckleheads having exploded recently, this time-warp motorcycle is sure to bring strong interest. Italian offerings include an exemplary 1975 MV Agusta 750S America that is also just two owners from new and has the four-into-four race exhausts and a tank autographed by John Surtees. And from the world-renowned Silverman Museum Racing Collection are four exceptional motorcycles of remarkable pedigree: 1954 Ducati 125 Marianna Sport, 1955 Ceccato Corsa 75 SOHC, c.1956 Ducati 100 Gran Sport and 1958 Ducati 125 Grand Prix Racer. Says Andy Barrett, Bonhams' Motorcycle Specialist, "We're delighted to be returning to the world-famous Rio for Bonhams 8th annual Las Vegas sale with some exceptional machines to accompany the exquisite Vincent Black Lightning. There are some outstanding classic, vintage and pioneer examples already consigned, such as the 1926 Brough Superior SS80 and original 1938 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead, and we're looking forward to what promises to be another stellar sale." "I am very excited to have joined the Bonhams team for what will be my first Las Vegas sale," says Bonhams' newest Motoring Department appointee, Craig Mallery. "There are some truly remarkable machines and I am looking forward to seeing Las Vegas transformed into the centre of the world for collectable motorcycles." To learn more about th[...]


Fri, 01 Dec 2017 12:19:00 +0000

1964 Aston Martin DB5 Sports ...

On Wednesday 6 December, Bonhams Olympia sale will see some of the best British motoring icons cross the rostrum, including one of the authentic and original Aston Martin DB5s in London. Used as a daily driver around London for the past three decades, this beautiful 1964 example has been cherished by its current owner since 1988, when he purchased it from his father-in-law – a true family vehicle. Finished in the same iconic Silver Birch colour scheme as the legendary James Bond vehicle, this is a fast car rendered even quicker by some engine enlargement, taking it up to an impressive 4.2 litre capacity and adding in V8 Vantage valves.

Another icon of speed offered at the sale is the 1929 Invicta 4½-Litre Tourer (£100,000-130,000) which has been owned by the same family since its purchase 88 years ago. It was the fastest sports car of its day and was renowned for its reliability, taking part in a 10,000 mile around the world trip by two sisters, Violette and Evelyn Cordery who also completed the astonishing feat of endurance in the 30,000 miles in 30,000 minutes trial at Brooklands. Offered with an astonishing range of history files and archive images from its long and exciting life on road and track, this Invicta is a rare early example of one of the most important Vintage-era British sports cars.

A magnificent 1966 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III (£300,000-350,000) originally owned by the Malaysian royal family is one of the most striking lots in the sale, and a star of the silver screen. It was featured in the 2010 film London Boulevard starring Keira Knightley and Colin Farrell. Finished in deep Midnight Blue, this Silver Cloud represents the zenith of post-war bespoke coachbuilding in the post-war era.

Other highlights include:

- General Bernard Montgomery's 1936 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Touring Limousine (£150,000-180,000) which was used during WW2 as his staff car, and hosted Churchill, Eisenhower and even King George VI.

- The ultra-rare Group B rally car, c.1986 Ford RS200 Group B Rally Coupé (£140,000-160,000) has covered only 4,100km from new, and is in immaculately original condition;


Wed, 29 Nov 2017 11:29:00 +0000

THE SONNERY KURKIHAR BUDDHACOPPER ALLOY ... Hong Kong – Bonhams Hong Kong sales this autumn totalled HK$281,650,910, spanning six auctions as the international auction house celebrates its 10th year operating in Hong Kong. Edward Wilkinson, Executive Director of Bonhams Asia, commented, "We always aim to present highly curated sales that focus on quality and provenance. This season's results were a solid indication of the high level of interest with buyers being more selective. It further reinforces the sense of Hong Kong as one of the centres of the international auction market." The sales that started and finished the season demonstrate the success of Bonhams strategy for the Asia market. The Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art sale of Images of Devotion on October 3 and the Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art sale on November 28 achieved a total of HK$143,745,000.The Images of Devotion sale totalled HK$73,360,000 with the leading lot achieving HK$21,900,000 – an elegant standing 11th-century Crowned Kurkihar Buddha, a canonical image in Buddhist art – doubling its estimate at HK$8,000,000-12,000,000. Other significant results were achieved by the 15th-century Tibetan luxuriously decorated figure of Akshobhya which made HK$18,060,000, and the powerful Mahakala from the Dali Kingdom from the late-12th to early-13th century that sold for HK$10,620,000 to the Long Museum in Shanghai against an estimate of HK$2,000,000-3,000,000. The Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art sale realised a total of HK$70,385,000, with an average sold lot value of over HK$2,000,000. The top lot of the sale was a very rare pair of Imperial white-gazed relief-carved bottle vases, Qianlong seal marks and of the period (1736-1795), which sold for ten times their estimate at HK$15,700,000 (estimate at HK$1,500,000-2,000,000). A further strong price was achieved for an imperial-inscribed white and russet jade 'birthday celebration' boulder, first half 18th century, with two-character seal mark Chun He, attributed to Prince Yunli (1697-1738), the 17th son of the Kangxi Emperor, which made HK$7,900,000. Asaph Hyman, International Head, Chinese Art, said, "Bonhams Chinese ceramics and works of art sales in London and Hong Kong are going from strength to strength, demonstrating the enthusiasm in the market for objects of great rarity and exceptional quality." -ENDS-ContactFor further information and images call Louise Oram on +852 6892 1171, or email or About Bonhams Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest and most renowned auctioneers of fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewellery. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with sales also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of forthcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit [...]


Wed, 29 Nov 2017 09:38:00 +0000

A very rare pair of ... Hong Kong – The Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art sale in Hong Kong on 28 November totalled HK$70,385,000. The top lot of the sale – a very rare pair of Imperial white-gazed relief-carved bottle vases, Qianlong seal marks and of the period (1736 - 1795) – sold for HK$15,700,000, ten times their estimate at HK$1,500,000-2,000,000. The pair of vases has been preserved by a British family for decades prior to being discovered and sold at Bonhams sale. The vases were greatly admired during the exhibition and were noted for their rarity with no other example known to have been published.The auction, featuring 55 lots, got off to a flying start with the sale of a rare grey and green jade ritual vessel from the Liangzhu Culture, Neolithic Period which achieved HK$4,660,000, doubling its estimate of HK$200,000-300,000.With an exceptional inscription attributed to Prince Yunli (1697 - 1738), an imperial-inscribed white and russet jade 'birthday celebration' boulder, first half 18th century, was sold for HK$7,900,000.A further highlight of the sale was a very rare Imperial Ming-style doucai 'dragon' jar, Yongzheng mark and of the period (1723- 1735), which made HK$4,900,000. Bonhams Hong Kong Head of Chinese Works of Art, Xibo Wang, further remarked, "We aim to offer a highly curated sale of the finest Chinese ceramics and works of art displaying rarity, quality and provenance, as well as representing the richness and breadth of China's artistic heritage. This was clearly reflected in the lively bidding within the saleroom and active participation both online and on the telephones."Asaph Hyman, International Head, Chinese Art, commented "Bonhams sales in Hong Kong have been going from strength to strength, building a reputation for professionalism and quality in a short amount of time, emphasising on research, presentation and targeted marketing for each object to the benefit of both vendors and buyers." Forthcoming auctions for Fine Asian Works of Art will take place on 18 December at Bonhams San Francisco. The next Fine Chinese Art in London is on 17 May 2018.For further information and images call Louise Oram on +852 6892 1171, or email or NOTES FOR EDITORSBonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. Today, the auction house offers more sales than any of its rivals. The main salerooms are in London, New York and Hong Kong. Sales are also held in the UK in Knightsbridge and Edinburgh; in the US, in San Francisco and Los Angeles; in Europe, in Paris and Stuttgart and in Sydney, Australia. Bonhams also has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of forthcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit [...]


Tue, 28 Nov 2017 17:20:00 +0000

Fahr El-Nissa Zeid (Turkish, 1900-1991) ... Fahrelnissa Zeid's monumental portraits of King Hussein and Princess Alia of Jordan were the two top lots at the Bonhams Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art sale on 28 November in London. The portrait of Princess Alia of Jordan, 1982, sold for £234,350 against an estimate of £50,000-70,000; the portrait of King Hussein of Jordan (Eternal Youth), 1973, achieved £121,250. The 78-lot sale made a total of £1,379,725.Bonhams Head of Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art, Nima Sagharchi said: "We were delighted to offer such seminal works from Zeid's rich and dynamic career – her ability to fuse Byzantine and local traditions in painting with Western Modernism makes her work and character truly fascinating. Not surprisingly, the works were hotly contested and we had intense interest in them from Turkey, Iran and the Arab states. The total result of the sale was very strong and shows the continuing strength of art from the Middle East, which is in demand by international collectors as well as those from the region."The larger-than-life portraits of the late King Hussein of Jordan, and his eldest daughter, Princess Alia, were centrepieces of one of the artist's most important exhibitions in Amman in 1981, and come directly from the Royal family itself, having been in the private collection of Princess Alia for the past 30 years. Zeid's portraits present a personal insight into her relationship with the Jordanian Royal Family. Turkish-born Fahrelnissa Zeid (1900-1991) came from a distinguished Ottoman family, and had known King Hussein as a boy at Harrow School. The portrait was prompted by the occasion when the king had put his western clothes on one side and donned robes – which he wore rarely – as a mark of respect to welcome his cousin King Faisal of Saudi Arabia at the airport. Its depthless background and the modernist simple circle and stylized white folds of the robes complement the round jet-black iris and black shadows of the king's eyes, giving the king an iconic and timeless appearance. The portrait of Princess Alia, the daughter of King Hussein, was commissioned by Princess Alia Al Hussein herself in 1982. Adila Laid-Hanieh, the biographer of Fahrelnissa Zeid, describes this painting as a "hybrid archetype, that of a maiden/goddess" wearing a green dress that represents fertility and holding a white flower as a symbol of youth.Other highlightsMahmoud Said (Egypt, 1897-1964) Portrait de ma Soeur (Zeinab Said) which achieved £75,000. This exquisite and significant 1919 portrait by the father of Egyptian 20th century art, depicts his beloved sister Zeinab, and is one of only a handful of works executed by the artist directly after 1918, when he had left the studio of Italian artist Arturo Zanieri.Sohrab Sepehri, (Iran, 1928-1980) Untitled (from the abstract series) achieved £80,000. The next sale of Modern & Contemporary Middle Eastern Art will be held on 18 April 2018 [...]


Tue, 28 Nov 2017 12:02:00 +0000

First owned by Sir Paul ... A range of classic and collectors' motor cars with glittering celebrity provenance will be offered at Bonhams Bond Street Sale on 2 December. Cars owned and used by Sir Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Lord Sugar and Madonna will all go under the hammer, alongside a range of important supercars including a 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO (£2,000,000-2,500,000) and a 2004 Ferrari Enzo Berlinetta (£1,800,000-2,200,000) that has covered a mere 7,800km from new.The list of celebrity-owned cars in the auction is dazzling. The top lot is the timeless 1964 Aston Martin DB5 Sports Saloon first owned by Sir Paul McCartney (£1,250,000-1,500,000) which was later purchased by classic car aficionado Chris Evans. Another British icon owned by a British icon is The ex-Brian Epstein, Ringo Starr, 1966 Austin Mini Cooper 'S' Sports Saloon (£90,000-120,000) that the Beatles drummer had specially modified to allow him to fit his drum kit in to the boot.Two Bentleys originally owned by one of the best-selling artists in the world, Sir Elton John CBE, are to be offered in the sale. The first was described by Sir Elton as 'the most beautiful car, I think, that's ever been designed,' and offers unsurpassed style and luxury. The 1959 Bentley S1 Continental Sport Saloon (£400,000-500,000) was part of his collection for 25 years, before being purchased by celebrity entrepreneur Sir Alan Sugar (now Lord Sugar) in 2001. The second vehicle is a 1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon (£160,000-190,000) which was one of Sir Elton's most regularly driven cars and often used for transporting his countless guests. Another car deployed for special occasions is the 1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud (£600,000-800,000) which was used as the wedding car for pop legend Madonna and Guy Ritchie at their marriage at Skibo Castle in Scotland in 2000. The car originally belonged to Pete Murray OBE, a British DJ who presented Top of The Pops, Come Dancing, Eurovision Song Contest, and was one of the first Radio 1 DJs following its launch in 1967.Other highlights include:- 1955 Lancia B24 Spider America (£750,000-950,000)- 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Vantage Saloon (£600,000-800,000)- 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 'Daytona' Berlinetta (£500,000-600,000)- One of only 12 built, 1937 Alvis 4.3-Litre Short Chassis Tourer (£450,000-550,000)EnquiriesFor further information and images call Poppy McKenzie Smith on +44 (0) 20 7468 8363, or email or [...]


Tue, 28 Nov 2017 00:29:00 +0000

Rolex. An Extremely rare and ... Cartier. A very fine diamond-set ... New York – A dazzling selection of clocks and watches will be offered in the December 4 auction of The Art of Time at Bonhams New York. Leading the sale is a selection of timepieces from Cartier, stunning examples of Art Deco clocks, and rare and unique wristwatches including a Rolex with a triple calendar and moon phase complication combination. Art DecoFor a period in the 1920s and 30s, utilitarian table clocks were transformed into works of art fashioned from precious metals and gemstones. This auction will feature two Asian-inspired pieces from the period by highly regarded jewellers and silversmiths Black, Starr & Frost. Exhibited at the New York World's Fair of 1939 and using Chinese numerals for hour-markers, one example features diamond-set hands on an enamel panel enclosed in a triangular rock crystal plate (estimate: $30,000-50,000). The other features a rectangular enamel panel on a hardstone case with flowering branches, topped with a carved hardstone elephant. CartierCartier is well represented in this sale with two Art Deco desk clocks, one made of diamond-set jade, onyx, coral, beryl, and gold in a prime example of the Chinese style adopted by the brand in the 1920s to satisfy the popular taste for Chinoiserie (estimate $40,000-60,000). The other piece is a hardstone desk clock made with sapphire, rock-crystal and enamelled silver-mounted agate with original fitted travel case (estimate: $15,000-25,000). Additional highlights by Cartier include a fine platinum, diamond, and gold bracelet watch (estimate $20,000-30,000) and an onyx, diamond, and enamelled gold mounted dress watch of a rare variant known as a montre guichet that "jumps" to the next hour after the minute hand traces its path around the dial (estimate $20,000-30,000). WatchesThe top highlight from the selection of watches is an extremely rare and historically important stainless steel 'Explorer 3-9 dial' automatic wristwatch with triple calendar and moonphase by Rolex (estimate: $300,000-400,000). Originally sold as 'Cosmograph (Oyster Perpetual)', the Ref. 6062 has since become part of the pantheon of Rolex watches. It is one of only two models to feature the combination of triple calendar with moonphase complications, with an estimated 350-450 total watches made, 100 of which were made in stainless steel in 1953, and less than one third of those are known to the market. A very fine and rare 18K gold first execution enamel dial wristwatch from Patek Philippe is another highlight from the watches section (estimate: $40,000-60,000), with the Ref. 2526 having the distinction of being the first, and arguably the best, automatic wristwatch that Patek Philippe produced. Designed to stand the test of time, the present example is a first execution model with no cracks to the enamel dial with drilled and applied hour-markers, as opposed to later examples with glued-on markers. The dial is signed and was retailed by Gübelin, making it a rarer version of this Reference. Cl[...]


Mon, 27 Nov 2017 11:02:00 +0000

Cyril Edward Power (British, 1872-1951) ... The Sunshine Roof, a rare linocut by Cyril Power, is one of the leading lots at Bonhams Prints and Multiples sale on 18 December at the New Bond Street saleroom. The print is estimated at £25,000-30,000. Cyril Power (1872-1951) began his career as an architect, making the transition to printmaking in the 1920s. He became both lecturer and student at the Grosvenor school in Pimlico, London. Famous for its vibrant prints that engage the contemporary styles of Futurism and Vorticism, the Grosvenor School sought to express the dynamism of the modern, machine age. Along with his contemporary Sybil Andrews, Power became one of the most prominent alumnus of the school – his years as an architect manifest in fine draughtsmanship that uses dynamic patterns and rhythms of colour to convey the hectic pace of modern life in London. Executed circa 1934, Sunshine Roof depicts the Green Line bus from London to Hertford, driven by Power's son, Cyril Arthur Power. Published in an edition of 60, this linocut has appeared only rarely at auction. The linocuts display a unique quality that differs from the popular, mechanical reproduction of prints today. Sunshine Roof will be offered with six other prints by Powers with a combined estimate of £120,000. Bonhams Director of Prints and Multiples, Lucia Tro Santafe said: 'The series of seven prints by Cyril Power maintain a remarkable quality of impression that allow them to endure as lasting and vital images of their era – prints of this quality rarely come to auction. As well as Power, the sale will offer prominent printmakers such as Marc Chagall, Andy Warhol and Albrecht Dürer, displaying the rich history and variety of techniques behind the medium of printmaking." Other highlights from the sale include: • Marc Chagall, Cirque Portfolio, estimated at £100,000-150,000 was printed in an edition of 250 in 1967. The portfolio contains 38 lithographs that highlight Chagall's fascination with the circus spectacle and its performers. • Banksy, Nola (Blue and Green Rain), estimated at £40,000-60,000 is a screenprint produced in 2008 • Andy Warhol, Alexander The Great, estimated at £40,000-60,000 is a screenprint produced in 1982 and is number seven in an edition of 65. • Pablo Picasso, Femme Endormie (Sleeping Woman), estimated at £15,000-20,000, is a linocut from 1962 that comes numbered 42 in an edition of 60. • Albrecht Dürer, Erasmus, estimated at £12,000-18,000, is a fine early impression from 1526 of the great scholar and humanist. EnquiriesFor further information and images call Pippa MacNeil on +44 (0)207 468 8210, or email or FOR EDITORS Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest and most renowned auctioneers of fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewellery. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with sales also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of forthcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit Grosvenor SchoolFo[...]


Mon, 27 Nov 2017 10:28:00 +0000

A Rare and Impressive Fancy ...

Hong Kong – An impressive Fancy Coloured Diamond and Diamond dress ring by Cindy Chao's iconic Ribbon Collection triumphed at the Bonhams Rare Jewels and Jadeite auction selling for HK$9,100,000 with an estimate of HK$8,000,000-10,000,000. The Fancy Pink-Purple oval-cut diamond, weighing 4.23 carats, is wrapped within a setting of ribbon design, pave-set with brilliant and cushion-cut diamonds.

Led by Bonhams CEO and Group Head of Jewellery, Matthew Girling, the 123-lot sale in Hong Kong totalled HK$55,236,250.

Interest was strong for a rare 10.02 carat Fine 'No Oil' Emerald and Diamond ring which went under the hammer for HK$6,100,000 (estimate HK$3,400,000-4,000,000), featuring a cushion-shaped set between trillion-cut diamond shoulders.

The sale ended with a heated bidding war for an impressive 10.03 carats Diamond and Coloured Diamond ring by British jewellery designer Stephen Webster which sold for HK$3,580,000 with a low estimate of HK$1,500,000-2,200,000.

Commenting from the auction room in Hong Kong, Graeme Thompson, Head of Jewellery, Asia, said, "Overall the sale was very positive with strongest interest from local and global collectors in white colourless diamonds, fine gemstones and rare jewels. Bids came in from around the world including Pan-Asia, the Middle East, Europe and America reflecting Hong Kong as an international auction market hub."

Highlights from the sale included an important Jadeite Bead, Ruby and Diamond Necklace for HK$2,375,000; an early 20th Century Natural Pearl and Diamond necklace by Tiffany & Co. for HK$2,250,000; and, a 10.27 carats Marquise-Cut Diamond Single-Stone ring by Harry Winston for HK$2,187,500.

Upcoming auctions for Fine Jewellery at Bonhams till wake place on 4 December in New York and 7 December in London.


Fri, 24 Nov 2017 10:07:00 +0000

Echézeaux 1999, Henri Jayer/Georges Jayer ...

Wines from Burgundy were in high demand at Bonhams Fine & Rare Wine Sale in London yesterday (23 November). A case of Henri & Georges Jayer 1999 Echézeaux made £41,835(£20,000-25,000) and six magnums of Jean Grivot 2005 Richebourg were sold for £13,145 (£11,000-13,000).

Other highlights included:

• A case of 1989 Château Haut-Brion made £15,535 (£11,000-14,000).
• A vertical selection of Château Latour 1951-2001 sold for £14,340 (£11,000-13,000).
• A case of 1985 Pétrus was bought for £14,340 (£12,000-15,000).
• A magnum of 2005 Scharzhofberger Trockenbeerenauslese, Egon Müller, sold for £10,755 (£9,000-10,000).
• A rare bottle of 1857 Château d'Yquem made £8,365 (£7,000-9,000).
• A case of 1979 Krug was bought for £8,365 (£6,000-8,000).

The sale achieved a total of £937,956.


For further information and images call Pippa MacNeil on +44 (0) 20 7468 8210, or email or


Thu, 23 Nov 2017 10:58:00 +0000

Dame Barbara Hepworth (British, 1903-1975) ...

Two works from the prestigious collection of art critic Herbert Read led Bonhams Modern British and Irish Art sale in London today [Wednesday 22 November].

Barbara Hepworth's poignant reflection on maternal tenderness, Mother and Child, sold for £260,750 against an estimate of £150,000-200,000, while Ben Nicholson's 1936 (gouache) achieved £224,750 against an estimate of £150,000-200,000. The work was a Christmas gift from Nicholson to Read and his wife, Margaret when he and Hepworth moved to the Mall Studios in Hampstead.

Bonhams Director of Modern British and Irish Art, Matthew Bradbury said: "Herbert Read single-handedly championed Modern Art in Britain at a time when it was ignored or even ridiculed. His collection - built largely with gifts from grateful artists – was legendary, and I am not surprised these two pieces sold so well."

Additional highlights from the sale were:

• William Roberts, Billingsgate, (1913) achieved an impressive £162,500 – more than three times its estimate high of £50,000.

• David Jagger, The Jade Necklace, (1923) achieved £162,500 against an estimate of £70,000-100,000.

• Paul Feiler, Enclosed Verticals achieved £125,000 against an estimate of £100,000-150,000.

In total the sale made £2,224,875.


For further information and images call Pippa MacNeil on +44 (0)207 468 8210, or email or


Wed, 22 Nov 2017 16:45:00 +0000

Rolex. A stainless steel automatic ...

A stainless steel automatic bracelet Explorer watch from Rolex, circa 1960, was the top lot at the Bonhams Watches and Wristwatches sale on 21 November. The timeless piece sold for £16,250, five times its estimate of £2,500-3,500.

Indeed, estimates were exceeded across the board with an impressive 88% of lots sold by value. The top lots were dominated by the finest names in the business – Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega and Breitling all held strong performances.

Elsewhere in the auction, the collection of Ken Kessler, a celebrated watch collector and well-known writer on the topic, was led to success by a Lemania stainless steel manual wind single button chronograph wristwatch, circa 1950. The Lemania sold for £5,000 against an estimate of £1,500-2,000.

Highlights of the sale include:

• A stainless steel military style automatic bracelet watch Seamaster 300 from Omega, circa 1965, smashed its estimate of £4,000-6,000 and sold for £15,000.

• A stainless steel manual wind chronograph bracelet watch speedmaster from Omega, circa sold for an impressive £11,250 against an estimate of £3,000-4,000.

• A 18K gold manual wind wristwatch Calatrava, circa 1990, sold for £8,125 against an estimate of £4,000-6,000.

• An 18k gold automatic calendar wristwatch Day from Rolex, circa 1960, achieved £6,250 against an estimate of £4,000-6,000.

Bonhams Head of Fine Watches and Wristwatches at Knightsbridge, Penny Morris said: 'We are so pleased at the excellent result from the sale – the international bidders responded enthusiastically to both modern and traditional pieces. The strong performances from legendary makers such as Rolex and Omega are a highly positive reflection of the current watch market.'

The next Watches and Wristwatches at Bonhams Knightsbridge will be held on 20 February 2018.


For further information and images call Pippa MacNeil on +44 (0)207 468 8210, or email or


Wed, 22 Nov 2017 12:39:00 +0000

Zao Wou-Ki (Zhao Wuji) 1921-2013, ... Hong Kong – November 21, 2017 – Bonhams Modern & Contemporary sale in Hong Kong this November triumphed with a piece by Chinese modern artist Zao Wou-Ki (1921-2013). Under an intense bidding war, Dordogne (1954) sold for HK$11,380,000 (estimate at HK$4,000,000 - 6,000,000) to a Southeast Asian collector by phone – a record for the artist at Bonhams. The painting is from an important period in Zao's career when he broke through his previous limitations to present an entirely new language for abstraction, incorporating Chinese calligraphy, signs, ancient bronze and oracle bone inscriptions as inspiration for his brushwork.The 39-lot auction totaled HK$19,616,250 with a high sale through rate by value (85%) and by lot (80%). Led by Ralph Taylor by Bonhams Global Head of Post-War & Contemporary Art who explained, "Interest and bidding poured in, and the sale was lively and often fierce throughout, with action from California to Japan, in the room, on the phones, and on-line." An early piece by Chinese contemporary artist, Zeng Fanzhi (b.1964), Smiling Bei Ke Ning (1989), went under the hammer for HK$4,300,000 (estimate at HK$3,500,000 - 5,500,000). The piece features a casual and relaxed figure (a classmate of the artist's, nicknamed Bei Ke Ning), rendered in emotive, expressionistic strokes, revealing Zeng's longstanding interest in psychological expression. The cover lot, Inside and Out of Lattice (1990), a rare piece by Mono-Ha artist Kishio Suga (b.1944), fetched HK$450,000 (estimate at HK$300,000 - 500,000). In this piece the artist explores the dynamic relationship between everyday materials and the negative space around them. There was strong interest in an early work by Hsiao Chin (b.1935), Untitled (1956), which sold for five times the estimate at HK$500,000 (estimate at HK$80,000 - 100,000). This piece is a rare example of an oil painting from his early Chinese Opera series. Ingrid Dudek, Director of Contemporary Art, Asia said, "Each season we aim to present rare and exceptional works from leading artists across Asia, and we were delighted to see that the response to our sale was truly international.  Our Key Hiraga section continues to be a highlight of the auction. We were especially gratified to see pieces by Mono-Ha artists, Kishio Suga and Susumu Koshimizu, both go to important private collections, as well as to see local favorites like Luis Chan sell for multiples of their estimates. We look forward to continuing to shine an international spotlight on the fine and historic works from Asia." The next auctions for Modern & Contemporary Art will take place on March 8, 2018 in London and June 5, 2018 in Hong Kong.Enquiries: For further information and images call Louise Oram on +852 6892 1171, or email or [...]

MAKING A RACQUET Tennis Racquet Used by Billie Jean King in "Battle of the Sexes" Up for Auction

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 00:11:00 +0000

BATTLE OF THE SEXES: The ... New York – The tennis racquet used by Billie Jean King during the epic "Battle of the Sexes" match will be offered for sale at Bonhams New York in the Voices of the 20th Century auction on December 6. King's victory inspired young women to compete both on and off the field, and showed everyone that women could indeed be equal to men. The drama on the court echoed the ongoing struggle against inequality in the 1960s and 70s, and was recently the subject of the film, Battle of the Sexes (2017), starring Academy-Award winner Emma Stone as King and Steve Carell as her controversial opponent, Bobby Riggs. When Wimbledon Champion King played for a $100,000 prize in a best-of-five set match against former Wimbledon and U.S. Champion Riggs on September 20, 1973, she said, "I felt like the whole world was on my shoulders, and if I lose it's going to put women back 50 years at least." King prevailed in straight sets, and her victory encouraged change: it lent major support to the recently passed Title IX (the landmark U.S. law requiring gender equity for boys and girls in every educational programme that receives federal funding), bolstered the recently formed Women's Tennis Association (WTA), and led to King's founding of the Women's Sports Foundation. 10% of the proceeds of the sale of this racquet will benefit the Foundation.The Voices of the 20th Century sale will preview at Bonhams New York December 2-5 with the auction to be held December 6 at 1:00 p.m. EST. The full catalogue can be accessed here: Enquiries:For further information, contact Alice Lok +1 917 206 1692, or Voices of the 20th CenturyBonhams, New York at 1:00 p.m. ESTDecember 6, 2017 NOTES FOR EDITORS Billie Jean King is a former American tennis champion and considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Winner of 39 Grand Slam titles (12 in singles, 16 in women's doubles, and 11 in mixed doubles) and the inaugural WTA Tour Championships, King was also part of the victorious U.S. team at numerous Federation and Wightman Cup tournaments. King was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987 and received numerous awards for her advocacy for gender equality and social justice, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2006, the USTA National Tennis Centre in New York City was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre. One of King's best-known matches was the 1973 "Battle of the Sexes" against former champion Bobby Riggs, which King won in straight sets. Although an exhibition game, Rigg's boasting that female players were inferior to male players had real stakes in the ongoing struggle for gender equality at the time. The match took place in the Houston Astrodome in front of more than 30,000 spectators, with an estimated 50 million more watching at home. The results are considered an incredibly significant milestone in developing greater recognition and respect for women's tennis. [...]


Tue, 21 Nov 2017 20:37:00 +0000

Robby The Robot from Forbidden Planet The iconic original Robby the ... New York – Robby the Robot, the seven-foot tall robot from the science fiction classic Forbidden Planet (1956), sold at Bonhams New York for a world record price of $5,375,000 in the TCM Presents... Out of This World! auction of classic movie memorabilia."This is an out-of-this-world result for one of the most loved items in movie history," said Dr. Catherine Williamson, the Director of Entertainment Memorabilia at Bonhams. "Robby the Robot is one of those symbols of American culture that is embedded in our DNA. We are thrilled for the consignor, William Malone, who has cared for Robby for so many years and we are delighted that so many of Robby's fans took the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see him at Bonhams."The saleroom at Bonhams Madison Avenue was packed, but the bidding activity was all on the phones. A four-way battle ensued, with the bids at one point leaping from $3.6 million to $4 million, before Robby—and his Jeep—finally sold for $5,375,000.The stellar result means that Robby has knocked the then-previous world record holder—the Maltese Falcon—off its perch. In 2013, Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia Department made history in New York, selling the Maltese Falcon statuette from the cinema noir classic of the same name for $4 million, then a record price for a movie prop at auction (non-automotive). The 12-inch-tall Falcon was the star of the Bonhams inaugural film history sale with partner Turner Classic Movies (TCM).Robby the Robot has also blown away the price for the white dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in The Seven-Year Itch, which made $4.6 million in 2011, and the original 1966 Batmobile, that sold for $4.6 million in 2013.With this result, Robby the Robot now becomes the most valuable movie prop ever sold at auction.Robby's previous owner, filmmaker and collector, William Malone, who brought the robot to auction, said, "I'm astounded by the result, but also sad to part with him. However, it's time Robby finds a place where he can be displayed, and with someone who can look after him. Of course, he will leave an empty spot in my house—and in my heart."Robby the Robot and Forbidden PlanetOne of the most iconic sci-fi figures to appear on the silver screen, seven-foot tall Robby the Robot captured the imagination of audiences everywhere in Forbidden Planet as the devoted servant to Professor Morbius, one of the few inhabitants of the distant planet Altair IV. Conceived and built by a team of MGM designers for the 1956 film, including Mentor Huebner and Robert Kinoshita, Robby's groundbreaking appearance broke away from earlier clunky "tin-can" designs for movie robots. As Williamson said, "Robby the Robot is, simply, the heart of Forbidden Planet, the moral centre of the film, as well as the key narrative device." The broadcaster and film critic, Matthew Sweet, writing in [...]


Tue, 21 Nov 2017 12:01:00 +0000

An Attic black-figure amphora (Type ...

A beautiful Attic black-figure painted amphora, created in Athens during the Golden Age in around 540 BC, is one of the top lots at Bonhams Antiquities sale in London on Tuesday 28 November. It is estimated at £40,000-70,000.

The scene depicts the slaying of the Nemean lion. This was the first of the 12 Labours of Herakles, which the divine hero undertook as penance for killing his children in an induced fit of madness. He is depicted using one of the lion's paws to strip the skin from the animal, having stunned it with his club and strangled it to death. Herakles is often portrayed wearing the lion's skin as a sign of his immense strength. He is watched by his nephew and close companion, Iolaos, and the Goddess Athena, the patron of Athens who was also half-sister to Herakles and often appears alongside him as he performed his Labours. Unusually, the amphora is decorated with the same scene on both sides, with only minor variations in the poses of the figures.

Although plain amphorae were widely used for storage – often to transport and keep wine – painted amphorae, such as the one for sale, had a variety of social and ceremonial purposes, and were highly prized. The painter of this vase belonged to what is known as the Group E set of painters operating in Athens in the mid-6th century BC, from which one of the greatest known Greek vase painters, Exekias, emerged. Members of the Group favoured mythological scenes, and were known for adding touches of red to the predominantly black figures.

Bonhams Head of Antiquities, Francesca Hickin said: 'This is a finely painted amphora, from one of the most important and influential Groups of Attic painters of the 6th Century B.C. The elegance of the scene is mirrored by the elegant shape of the vase, which was surely a prestige piece from the moment of manufacture.'

For further information and images call Pippa MacNeil on +44 (0) 20 7468 8210, or email or

THE PRODUCER'S PIX Photographs from Film Industry Executive Bruce Berman's Collection to Sell at Bonhams Los Angeles

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 00:29:00 +0000

William Christenberry (born 1936); Selected ... Los Angeles – Bonhams will offer a noteworthy selection of photographs from the collection of film industry executive Bruce Berman on December 14 and 15 in its saleroom in Los Angeles. The sale, titled The Producer's Pix: Photographs from the Bruce Berman Collection, features works by blue-chip artists as well as emerging talent that have been carefully curated by Berman. The photographs capture views of America that are in danger of vanishing. "This sale offers all collectors—whether new or more seasoned—a unique opportunity to acquire something extraordinary and affordable from Berman's legendary collection of photographs," said Laura Paterson, Head of Photographs. Of the collection, Berman said he was drawn to images of structures, buildings, and places on the verge of disappearing. "I think that images of these places can be beautiful. It memorialises something that's not always going to be around," he said. Mostly in colour, and largely consisting of landscapes, architectural studies, and portraiture, the collection includes works by well-known names like Manuel Alvarez Bravo, William Christenberry, William Eggleston, Dorothea Lange, Stephen Shore and Joel Sternfeld, as well as a host of works by highly talented, emerging artists. Despite the wide variety of contributors, the focus remains on a gritty as well as vibrant look at America. Attractively estimated to make collecting accessible to a new generation of photography lovers, Berman hopes to pass on his love for the art form and inspire people to start their own collections. Berman is CEO of Village Roadshow Pictures and has overseen more than 100 Hollywood movies, from the Ocean's series and The Matrix trilogy, to children's hits such as The LEGO Movie and Happy Feet. Having nurtured a passion for photography from his youth, Berman soon began his own collection by buying at galleries and auctions. During the course of his collecting, he also worked with emerging artists by directly commissioning works from them. Looking forward to a new phase of his collector's journey, Berman says he no longer feels sad when he sells or donates his work. The long-time collector said, "As I get older, I don't feel the compulsion to hold onto photographs that just sit in storage. I love gifting to museums and sharing the opportunity for people to see them." Some of Bruce's highlights include: - Stephen Shore, South University Drive, Fort Worth, Texas, June 4, 1976 (estimate: $4,000-6,000) - Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Sistema Nervioso del Gran Simpatico, 1929 (estimate: $4,000-6,000) - John Humble, Sepulveda Dam Recreation Area, from the series The LA River, 2001 (estimate: $4,000-6,000) The collection will preview to the public at Bonhams Los Angeles December 9-14 with the sale to be held on December 14 at 6:00 p.m. PST and December 15 at 10:00 a.m. PST.An interview with Bruce can be read here: and the full catalogue is available at Enquiries:For fur[...]


Mon, 20 Nov 2017 16:05:00 +0000

David Jones (British, 1895-1974) The ...

The Lee Shore by the British modernist artist and engraver David Jones (1895-1974) features in Bonhams Modern British and Irish Art sale in London on Wednesday 22 November. It is estimated at £20,000-30,000.

Created in 1961, in pencil, crayon and watercolour, The Lee Shore is heavily symbolic. Known also as Gwener – the Welsh for Venus – the work is filled with references to Classical and Nordic mythology, religion and, even, Welsh costume. In 1973, towards the end of his life, Jones wrote a five-page letter explaining in detail the precise significance of the images included in the composition. The letter, which is to be sold with the painting, was sent to his great friend Valerie Price, to whom he had given the picture.

During his lifetime, Jones was acclaimed by leading figures in the art world, including the poet W.H Auden, the composer Igor Stravinsky and the art historian, museum director and broadcaster, Kenneth Clark, who described him as the greatest draughtsman since William Blake.

In the years following his death in 1974, Jones faded from view, but recently interest in the life and work of 'the great lost modernist of British Art', has revived. An exhibition at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester in 2015-16 introduced Jones to a new generation, and the recent publication of Thomas Dilworth's biography of the artist, David Jones: Engraver, Soldier, Painter, Poet has consolidated his reputation.

Writing in the Winter edition of Bonhams Magazine, the celebrated novelist and biographer A.N. Wilson, a long-time admirer of David Jones, said:" Jones was, whatever he was doing – whether carving a memorial, writing a poem, musing about his latest love, or dipping his brush into the watercolour box – a visionary. In all his pictures, religious or erotic, you are in the land of the mind."

Bonhams Director of Modern British and Irish Art, Matthew Bradbury, said: "David Jones was a remarkable artist whose talents have been neglected for too long. The Lee Shore displays his great power as a lyrical draughtsman and the breadth of his intelligence and interests."


For further information and images call Pippa MacNeil on +44 (0) 20 7468 8210, or email or


Mon, 20 Nov 2017 15:58:00 +0000

Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato, Jim ...

Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato, Jim Clark, Goodwood 1960

Bonhams is delighted to be hosting a selling exhibition of the works of the renowned automotive artist, Dexter Brown, during the Bond Street Sale view on 1-2 December. An array of some 60 works will be available, from imposing acrylic pieces to delicate ink sketches, all available for immediate purchase. Prices range from £150 to more than £10,000.

Dexter Brown is widely recognized as one of the foremost motoring artists in the world, and his works are on permanent display across the globe in revered establishments such as the Louwman Museum, the Pininfarina Studios in Turin and the Porsche Museum. His works evoke the high-octane glamour of the golden days of motor racing, with subjects such as Jim Clark, Ayrton Senna and Stirling Moss depicted in his distinctive impressionist style.

Dexter's work has been the subject of two critically-acclaimed books: The Art of Dexter Brown by Robert Edwards, Haynes, 2001; and Superfast – The Ferrari Paintings of Dexter Brown by Simon Khachadourian, Pullman, 2008.

The works will be on display alongside the spread of classic and collectors' motor cars being offered at the sale, including a 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO and a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 originally owned by Sir Paul McCartney.

All works on display were completed this year specifically for this exhibition and are available for immediate purchase.

For further information and images call Poppy McKenzie Smith on +44 (0) 20 7468 8363, or email or


Fri, 17 Nov 2017 15:10:00 +0000

An exceptional opaque-twist wine glass ... A famous collection of glass formed by the Washington lawyer Julius (known as Jay) Kaplan and his wife Ann, sold for £514,187 at Bonhams Fine Glass and British Ceramics Sale in London this week, more than doubling its pre-sale estimate. The collection was assembled over a period of 40 years, and is renowned for its extraordinary quality and rarity - the Kaplans required each piece they purchased to be one of the best available. The collection was particularly strong in 18th century glass from the Beilby family workshop in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. William Beilby, with his brothers and sister, developed innovate enamelling techniques, especially in respect of coloured enamelling, which gave their work a particular brilliance, and created great demand for it in London society. Today, examples of Beilby glassware can be found in museums all over the world. Jay and Ann Kaplan were also fascinated by 'colour-twist' wine glasses which they selected for the quality of their stems, and the sale offered one of the largest collections of these glasses ever to appear at auction.Every item in the 66-piece strong collection sold and highlights included:• An exceptional opaque-twist wine glass with blue-tinted bowl and foot c.1765, which sold for £40,000 (estimate £15,000-20,000). This is a world record for a blue bowl glass.• A superb Dutch stipple-engraved wine glass by David Wolff, with an allegory of Amsterdam c. 1787-90, which made £37.500 (estimate £20,000-30,000).• A rare opaque-twist wine glass with green-tinted bowl and foot c.1765, which sold for £22,500 (estimate £8,000-12,000).• An exceptional engraved colour-twist wine glass with blue and canary yellow threads c.1765, which made £22,500 (estimate £5,000-7,000).• A Beilby polychrome enamelled masonic armorial firing tumbler c. 1765-70 which was bought for £20,000 (estimate £6,000-8,000).• A fine Beilby enamelled opaque-twist wine glass c.1765-70 which sold for £20,000 (estimate £8,000-12,000).Bonhams Director of European Ceramics and Glass, Simon Cottle, said: "Jay and Ann Kaplan's glass collection is legendary for its quality. They never settled for second best and the sale offered some of the finest 18th century glass to come to market for many years. I am not surprised that collectors responded so enthusiastically to the opportunity to acquire such rare and fine pieces."Many of the pieces were bought by the Halim Time and Glass Museum in Evanston, Illinois, where they will be exhibited in this important new centre for the display of timepieces and glass which opened in September this year. EnquiriesFor further information and images call Pippa MacNeil on +44 (0) 20 7468 8210, or email or [...]


Fri, 17 Nov 2017 12:41:00 +0000

A benefit dinner and auction at Bonhams last night (16 November) raised an astonishing £1million for the Institute of Masters of Wine's Endowment Fund. The Fund will enable the Institute to extend its range of activities in the global wine world, enhance the support it gives to Members worldwide and encourage the Masters of Wine of the future. Thanks to the generosity of the Institute's Members and Supporters, bidders competed for some spectacular Super Lots including: • A private tasting of Screaming Eagle wines, led personally by a member of the Screaming Eagle team, and a position on Screaming Eagle's exclusive mailing list which went for £150,000. • An exclusive stay at Le Pin and Cheval Blanc plus visits and meals at the acknowledged five greats of the Right Bank; Le Pin, Petrus, Lafleur, Cheval Blanc and Ausone which was sold for £145,000. • A tremendous three-night trip to Burgundy for four people, visiting top Domaines across the Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune. This includes a lunch in the private dining room at Clos de Lambrays, visits to Fourrier, Grivot, Lafon, Leflaive, Louis Jadot, Louis Latour and Rousseau which went for £90,000.A further 100 Lots are being offered online and bidding at will continue until 15.00 on Tuesday 21 November.These include: • A 12-bottle case of Guigal's famous 'LaLa' Côte-Rôtie wines from four of its exceptional single vineyards. • A chance to experience the best of Italy through the most prestigious wines of Istituto Grandi Marchi, including wines from Donnafugata, Marchese Antinori and Masi. • A unique opportunity to experience the three and a half day To Kalon Certification – the signature event for Robert Mondavi Winery usually only available to the wine trade. • A private once in a lifetime dinner for six with Jancis Robinson MW and the Lander family at one of award-winning restaurateur Will Lander's London restaurants.• A place at the world's most intensive Fine World Bootcamp at La Verrière in the Southern Rhone, which offers enthusiasts an immersion course of tuition in all aspects of wine.Chairman of the Institute, Jane Masters MW said, "We are overwhelmed by the astounding success of the dinner and auction which, together with the money raised from the on-line auction, will put the Endowment Fund on a very sound footing for the future. We are extremely grateful to the many IMW Members, Supporters and our friends in the wine trade who donated so generously and helped make the evening so successful."Bonhams International Director of Wine, Richard Harvey MW commented, "Bonhams has always been a strong supporter of the IMW's work in setting and maintaining rigorous standards in the modern wine business. We are very pleased to have been able to play a role in helping the IMW establish its Endowment Fund, which will ensure its vital work can continue and grow in the future". EnquiriesF[...]


Thu, 16 Nov 2017 16:56:00 +0000

Qi Baishi (1864-1957) Peony The Bonhams Fine Chinese Painting and Southeast Asian Art sale brings together 160 Chinese paintings and calligraphy works, as well as fresh-to-market examples of Southeast Asian artworks. The auction will take place on 27 November at Bonhams Hong Kong Gallery. CHINESE PAINTINGSThe strong line-up of Chinese paintings and calligraphy is dominated by a selection of rare pieces including a magnificent Qi Baishi Peony from an important private Romanian collection, Qi Baishi paintings from The Feng Wen Tang Collection and a selection of fine paintings and calligraphy from the celebrated Chinese master Pu Ru. Qi Baishi's Peony is the top lot with an estimate of HK$3,500,000-5,000,000. It is one of the artist's very last works and highly sought-after among collectors. A remarkable painting, the scroll features a red flower in full blossom, with branches and leaves portrayed in dense, dry brushstrokes. The work is exceptional in that it is a full 4-feet-in-length without a single misplaced stroke; works in the later part of Qi Baishi's life are often small due to his deteriorating health. Collected by a Romanian journalist during his time in Beijing from 1952 to 1962, this is the first time that the work will be offered for sale. Another highlight includes an important private collection of 19 classical and modern Chinese paintings. Carefully assembled from artists and dealers in Hong Kong and London during the late 1960s and early 1970s, this collection is testament to the respect for traditional Chinese art that the Chinese diaspora still holds. The collection accompanied its late owner to different corners of the world, finally settling in Singapore, where it has remained for almost half a century. Being an extremely private man, the collector never showed any of these works publicly. In offering the collection, the family hopes to convey the thoughtful assemblage of the works. Highlights from the collection include Blue and Green Landscape, attributed to Qiu Ying, with an estimate of HK$300,000 - 500,000. Amongst 'Selected Fine Paintings and Calligraphy Works by Pu Ru', Goddess of Compassion is a leading lot with an estimate of HK$400,000 - 600,000. As a devout Buddhist and pious son, Pu Ru transcribed Buddhist sutras and drew Guanyin portraits to bless the afterlife of his mother on every anniversary of her death. Another item by Pu Ru is Album of Amitabha Sutra, in regular script and estimated at HK$800,000 - 1,200,000. It was created by Pu for the renowned lay Buddhist Li Bingnan in spring of 1952 to commemorate the founding of Lotus Temple in Taichung. The album is an excellent example of Pu Ru's superb mastery of regular script. Elsewhere at auction, highlights include Wu Guanzhong's A Corner in the Garden, estimated at HK$1,200,000 - 1,800,000. In September 1987, British-American Tobacco Company Hong Kong Limited sponsored the exhibition, Wu Guanzhon[...]


Thu, 16 Nov 2017 15:09:00 +0000

Patek Philippe. An extremely fine ... An astonishing range of some of the most beautiful and complicated watches and wristwatches will be offered at Bonhams Fine Watches Sale on 13 December at the flagship saleroom on New Bond Street, London. Lots range from intricate astronomical pieces and rare military issue submariners to delicate asymmetric and diamond speckled ladies wristwatches.One of the most striking lots is from renowned maker Patek Philippe, and is one of the most complicated watches designed by the Swiss house. The extremely fine and rare platinum and rose gold automatic astronomical wristwatch with sky chart, phase and orbit of the moon, time of meridian, passage of Sirius and the moon (£80,000-120,000) is comprised of more than 300 individual parts, and boasts an unparalleled level of horological complications in addition to its striking appearance. This exquisite piece allows the wearer to be drawn in to the ethereal beauty of the astronomical world above them, simply by looking at their wrist. An ideal gift for stargazers and purist watch collectors alike.Those looking for the ideal Christmas present for the man who has everything may have found the answer in the form of the Rolex Submariner Comex (£30,000-40,000), which comes with an impressive range of accessories and merchandise, including another watch! The lot includes the rare stainless steel automatic divers bracelet watch, a Longines 10 year service Comex wristwatch, log books, a leather cheque book holder, pen knife, zippo lighter, tape measure and even Comex branded golf tees. The lot is being offered by the original owner who wore the watch on diving expeditions throughout the world.Active watches are a theme throughout the sale, with the three ages of military watches being spanned in the auction. The earliest is the stainless steel military issue manual wind wristwatch Mk X 'Dirty Dozen' dating back from c.1945 (£4,000-6,000) and the most modern piece is the seriously rare Rolex fine stainless steel automatic calendar bracelet watch made especially for the British Special Reconnaissance Regiment (£12,000-18,000.) The watch was available only to members of the Special Reconnaissance Regiment, a division of the UK Special Forces that works alongside the SAS and SBS. The piece is offered directly from a member of this highly-skilled and secret regiment, and it has never before been offered for public sale.Classic pieces are not overlooked in the sale, with key pieces for any important watch collection featuring throughout. The Rolex Jean Claude Killy (£90,000-120,000) was popularized by the Olympic gold medallist of the same name, and remains one of the most desirable Rolexes to date. Also from Rolex is the stainless steel manual wind chronograph bracelet watch Cosmograph Daytona Ref: 6239 (£22,000-28,000), one of the most celebrated models from the Swi[...]


Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:04:00 +0000

A very rare pair of ... The Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art sale, to be held in Hong Kong on Tuesday 28 November 2017, at 2:00pm, offers a curated sale of the finest Chinese works of Art representing the richness and breadth of China's artistic heritage. Pieces range from a jade ritual cong vessel from the Neolithic period, to the Imperial porcelain, jades, lacquer, and cloisonné enamel dating to the Ming and Qing dynasties. Precious wood carvings, gilt bronzes and rhinoceros horn carvings are also well-presented. The sale is highlighted by a very rare Imperial blue and white 'peony scroll' bowl, Xuande six-character mark and of the period, estimated at HK$800,000 - 1,200,000, from an English private collection, acquired in China circa 1930s, and thereafter by descent. The present bowl, superbly painted in vivid shades of cobalt blue, is exceptionally rare and only one other very similar example appears to have been published.The purpose of the bowls remains obscure, but suggestions range from scholarly brush washers, to containers for playing dice and 'battle fields' for fighting crickets, as the Xuande emperor was known to have enjoyed cricket fighting.A very rare Imperial Ming-style doucai 'dragon' jar and a cover, Yongzheng six-character mark and of the period, estimated at HK$4,000,000 - 6,000,000, previously in the collections of N.H.P. Huth and W.W. Winkworth (1897-1991). This 'winged-dragon' jar stands as a tribute by the Yongzheng emperor to the celebrated porcelain produced during the Chenghua reign period.An exceedingly fine and rare pair of doucai 'lingzhi' cups, Chenghua six-character marks, Yongzheng, is estimated at HK$700,000 - 1,000,000. The present lot inspired by the Chenghua period design, is very rare for its apocryphal Chenghua mark as most surviving 18th century examples mostly bear a Yongzheng mark. The Yongzheng emperor, though a Manchu, was also a strong proponent of traditional Confucian thinking in Han Chinese culture, seeking to achieve cultural continuity, reflected in him continuing the project of compiling a history of the previous Ming dynasty to demonstrate the orthodoxy of Qing rule. His fascination with antiquity led him to repeatedly send antiques from the Palace to the kilns to serve as standards for quality, models for designs and as inspiration for innovationA very rare pair of Imperial white-gazed relief-carved bottle vases, Qianlong seal marks and of the period, is estimated at HK$1,500,000 - 2,000,000. The present pair of vases is very rare and no identical example appears to have been published. They belong to a small group of wares produced during the Qianlong reign period referred to as fang Ding yao, or 'in imitation of Ding ware' produced during the Song dynasty. The aesthetic reference to the Ding wares is a personal reflection of the Qianlong emperor's personal affinity t[...]

SHOE-IN Warhol Triumphs at Bonhams New York Post-War & Contemporary Sale

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 00:57:00 +0000

ANDY WARHOL (1928-1987) Puma Invader ... ED RUSCHA (B. 1937) A ... New York – Andy Warhol's Puma Invader (Positive), a six-foot-tall, larger-than-life commentary on pop culture and consumerism, powered its way to realize $1,452,500 in Bonhams Post-War & Contemporary Sale in New York on November 15. The sale, full of prime examples by stellar artists such as Yayoi Kusama, Ed Ruscha, Robert Indiana and Alexander Calder, achieved a total of $4,833,250 selling 85% by lot and 88% by value. Jeremy Goldsmith, Director of the Americas, Post-War & Contemporary Art, said, "We had a constant stream of interest at the well-attended previews, so it was no surprise that bidders in the packed saleroom responded so positively to works that were superb examples with cast-iron provenance. The Warhol, in particular, was a great result, but we were also delighted by the strong showing of Ed Ruscha, whose works made a combined total of $781,000 and the continued interest in Op Art, the movement that Bonhams has championed over a number of sales in US and the UK." Other highlights included two works by Ed Ruscha — A Nightclub Named "The Universe", which soared above its estimate to realize $444,500 after a 10-minute battle in the room and over the phones, and S-Farm, 1985, which achieved $336,500. Deborah Butterfield's astonishing tour-de-force, Dance Horse, a unique colossal bronze sculpture of a horse, its skeletal frame cast to resemble the fragile surface of driftwood, made $312,500. Mary Corse, whose survey show will open at the Whitney Museum in 2018, achieved a new auction record for a work on canvas when her white-on-white painting from 1989 made $90,000. The fall season at Bonhams New York continues on Monday 20 November with the American Art Sale.Enquiries:For further information and images contact +1 917 206 1692 or [...]


Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:28:00 +0000

ROWLING (J.K.) Harry Potter and ...

A first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J K Rowling set a new world record at auction of £106,250 at Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts Sale in London today (15 November). It had been estimated at £30,000-40,000.

The book was inscribed to a friend and her family: "For Meera, Donnie, Nastassia and Kai, with lots of love from Jo (also known as J.K. Rowling)". The inscription is dated one month and a day after the book was published on 26 June 1997, this being one of the first copies supplied to Rowling by the publisher.

Bonhams Head of Books and Manuscripts Matthew Haley said, "There is always a great deal of interest when first editions of Harry Potter books come to auction, especially, of course, in the very first one in the series. This particular example was not only in excellent condition, but it had the added attraction of a very personal inscription from the author herself."

Among the other sale highlights were:

• Designs for the Thames Tunnel, signed by Marc Isambard Brunel and his son Isambard Kingdom Brunel, which sold for £200,000. The archive, which came with the signed Brunel family album in which the drawings were originally kept, had been estimated at £50,000-100,000.
• An archive of manuscripts and letters from the estate of the famous 18th century actor David Garrick, sold for £112,500 (estimate £10,000-15,000)
• A first edition of Christopher Saxon's Atlas of England and Wales from 1859 made £106,000 (estimate £50,000-70,000)
• A letter from Alan Turing to his former maths teacher was bought for £75,000 (estimate £20,000-30,000).

The sale made a total of £1,716,175 with premium.

HIROHITO, EMPEROR SHOWA. 1901-1989. Autograph ...

Bonhams Voices of the 20th Century sale, to be held in New York on December 6, will include the only extant copy of Emperor Hirohito's recollections of World War Two. It is estimated at US$100,000-150,000.

Transcribed word-for-word by senior diplomat Hidenari Terasaki, the Imperial monologue was dictated to court officials in March–April 1946. Its 173 pages cover events from the Japanese assassination of Manchurian warlord Zhang Zuolin (1928) to the Emperor's famous Surrender Broadcast recorded on August 14, 1945.