Bonhams & Butterfields



2015-06-26 11:20:40

Bonhams & Butterfields is a United States auction house.

The firm was originally established as Butterfield and Butterfield in San Francisco, 1865, by William Butterfield as a large American auction house.

In 1999, Butterfield and Butterfield was purchased $260 million from Bernard Osher by online auctioneer eBay.

The company was acquired from eBay in 2002 by British auction house Bonhams. It now operates as Bonhams & Butterfields.

World record sales


Bonhams & Butterfields' Made in California Sale set a number of world record prices, totaling more than $1.4 million. The sale was held on 3rd May, 2010.

Highlights included a bronze nude by Robert Graham (est. $40,000 - 60,000, sold for $97,600); a looped wire sculpture by Ruth Asawa (est. $30,000-50,000, sold for $91,500).

On 7th August, 2007, Bonhams & Butterfields' galleries in San Francisco and Los Angeles generated more than $5.4 million in sales and set 15 new auction world records.

Records set included a bid of $480,000 for an oil on canvas board painting titled "Mending Nets" by artist E. Charlton Fortune; a bid of $204,000 for an impressionistic painting titled "Bridge Builders" by Alson Skinner Clark; and a bid of $144,000 for a floral painting entitled "Bouquet of Pink and White Peonies" by Paul de Longpre.

Bonhams’ USA salerooms

Bonhams & Butterfields has salerooms in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.

Auction appraisal events

Each month, Bonhams offers complimentary appraisal events held in each of its US salerooms in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. Its expert specialists can evaluate and appraise items of various genres.

Members of the public are invited to bring no more than five items to these events, to ensure that everyone who attends is seen.

Bonhams’ appraisers offer expertise in the following specialisations:

  • Fine Art, including Paintings, Sculpture, Prints and Photographs
  • Furniture and Decorative Arts
  • Asian Art
  • Native American Art
  • Books, Maps and Manuscripts
  • Jewellery and Watches
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