Bonhams

Bonhams is a privately owned British auction house and one of the world's oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The Bonhams name is recognised worldwide throughout all sectors of the fine art, antiques and collectors market, with several of its departments established world leaders within their specialist category.
The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. This brought together two of the four surviving Georgian auction houses in London, Bonhams having been founded in 1793, and Phillips in 1796 by Harry Phillips, formerly a senior clerk to James Christie. Today the amalgamated business handles fine art and antiques in more than 60 specialist collecting areas. The firm has continued to grow and change since the merger in 2001. The last ten years have been among the most dramatic and fast-growing in its history.
In August 2002 the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America, which had been founded in 1865 during the California gold rush.
Today Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals. There are two large salerooms in London: the former Phillips sale room at 101 New Bond Street, and the old Bonhams sale room at the Montpelier Galleries in Montpelier Street, Knightsbridge. There are also three regional sale rooms in Britain: Chester, Edinburgh and Oxford. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Boston in the USA; in Switzerland, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. The Bonhams presence in Australia became a stand-alone operation in 2010.
Bonhams & Butterfields conducted their first East Coast sale in 2003, in the Art Deco Fuller Building erected in 1926. In 2005 they opened a new sale room in New York, on the corner of 57th Street and Madison Avenue, formerly the home of the Darhesh Museum. New offices and sale rooms have also been opened elsewhere: a Paris office in June 2005, one in Dubai in 2007, and an auction business in Hong Kong in 2009 to participate in the expanding Asian market. Bonhams is now established in 25 countries across five continents.

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Some works sold by Bonhams

Chen Yifei - Two Reclining Beauties

Chen Yifei - Two Reclining Beauties

Original 1996
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Lot number: 1700
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Chen Yifei (1946-2005) Two Reclining Beauties Oil on canvas, framed Painted in 1996 On the reverse, with a label of Marlborough Gallery (New York), Stock No. NoL 46.110, and the Chen Yifei Estate Stamp, CYE/SMY/No.2 209cm x 299cm (82¼in x 117¾in). Footnotes Provenance: Chen Yifei Estate, CYE/SMY/No.2 Marlborough Fine Art (London) Ltd. Private collection, Singapore Exhibited: Chen Yifei Memorial Exhibition: A Tribute to Chen Yifei (1946-2005) , Marlborough Gallery, New York, 9 January to 3 February 2007 Chen Yifei - Requiem , MAD Museum of Art & Design, Singapore, 9 April - 9 May 2010 Published: Studio of Chen Yifei (1946-2005) , Marlborough Fine Art Ltd. and Marlborough Gallery Inc., London and New York, 2006, p.58-59 Chen Yifei Memorial Exhibition: A Tribute to Chen Yifei (1946-2005) , Marlborough Gallery, New York, 2007, p.11, plate 2 Chen Yifei - Requiem , MAD Museum of Art & Design, Singapore, 2010, unpaginated 'Shanghai, Shanghai, I come from Shanghai; Shanghai, Shanghai, I'm fulfilling my dreams of Shanghai. Dreams of your loving touch, dreams of your intoxication. Shanghai, Shanghai, how repeatedly I linger in your dreams.' ── Shanghai, Shanghai , song from the movie Old Dreams of Shanghai In Chen Yifei's first movie production, 1993's Old Dreams of Shanghai , the above song performed by the lead singer Mao Amin and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra is a rather accurate footnote for Chen's own surge of feelings for Shanghai. Chen Yifei was born in 1946 to a culturally refined family in Zhenhai County, Zhejiang Province. His father was a chemical engineer, and his mother, once a nun, often took her children to church for service. From liturgies, as well as the stained glass, sculptures and pipe organ in the church, Chen Yifei received his earliest aesthetic influences. His whole family relocated to Shanghai in the year he was born, where his lifelong attachment to the city began. According to an analysis by the renowned writer Yu Qiuyu about how Shanghai contributed to Chen's cultivation as an artist, 'Shanghai endows Chen Yifei with an academic augustness, and yet there is also allowance in this very quality for keenness and vividness.' (See Yu Qiuyu, 'Impressions of Chen Yifei', in The Homecoming of Chen Yifei: Retrospective Exhibition , Marlborough Fine Art (London) Ltd., Hong Kong, 1996, p.20.) It was in the Affiliated Middle School of the Shanghai College of Art that Chen Yifei laid a foundation in painting under his formative instructor Meng Guang. In the college itself he studied under Yu Yunjie, who graduated from 'Maksimov's Oil Painting Training Class'. The mentorship not only established his grounding in oil painting, but also nourished him with the techniques of Russian realist oils. (For more on Chen Yifei's life and creative philosophy, see timeline in the appendix.) Chen Yifei left in 1980 for America, where he eventually attained his Master's degree at New York's Hunter College four years later. He then travelled frequently between New York and Shanghai. Whether depicting female Western musicians, Chinese ladies dressed in traditional robes, the water towns of Jiangnan or the sights of Tibet, Chen's realist paintings were infused with a sense of beauty rooted in Chinese tradition. His style came to be described by the New York Times as 'Romantic Realism'. After returning to China in the 1990s, Chen Yifei focused on exploring the theme of Chinese ladies in traditional attire, specifically those of old Shanghai's streets, alleys and boudoirs. These figures came to populate his Old Dreams of Shanghai series of oil paintings. Two Reclining Beauties , painted in 1996, is one of his representative works. It was purchased by the original collector from the artist's estate via Marlborough Fine Art (London) Ltd. Due to Chen Yifei's sudden and early death in 2005, many of the paintings left in his studio were unsigned, and hence the back of the canvas had been stamped with the official Chen Yifei Estate Stamp and a pertinent serial number. In line with the time-honoured tradition of authentication similarly employed for the French Impressionists Edgar Degas (1834-1917) and Claude Monet (1840-1926) after their deaths, such features ensure the reliability of the works from Chen's studio. The serial number from Chen Yifei's estate for this particular work is CYE/SMY/2, indicating that this truly rare find was initially provided by the studio via the artist's widow Madam Song Meiying, purchased by a collector in Singapore, and now presented at auction for the first time. Brightened by mainly yellow and other warm colours, the painting represents the rich seductiveness and extravagance of old Shanghai through chromatic blurring, superimposition and blending. Of the two young women of the early Republican period here, both dressed in gorgeous cheongsam and holding a round fan, one is glancing obliquely at the viewer, seemingly on the verge of rising; the other is lying listlessly, staring upwards with a dazed look. Chen Yifei's women are not frail, but imbued with solidity and sculpturality. Their gazes and silence exude a certain anticipation and melancholy, with the partial image of a bird cage at the lower left suggesting an additional aspect to their languishment. Through his mastery of realist techniques and a capacity for paring complexities down to the essentials, Chen Yifei had frozen the narrative, composition and palette of his picture in a particular instant as if it were a frame in a movie – one charged with the romance and nostalgia associated with Shanghai. This magnificent, wall-sized piece offers not only an abundance of dramatic tension, but also boundless room for reverie.
Edgar Alwin Payne - End Of The Lake, California Sierras

Edgar Alwin Payne - End Of The Lake, California Sierras

Original
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Lot number: 1
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Edgar Payne (1883-1947) End of the lake, California Sierras signed 'Edgar Payne' (lower left) and titled on the artist's label (on the reverse) oil on canvas affixed to board 15 x 11 3/4in overall: 22 1/2 x 19 1/2in Footnotes Provenance With Arlington Gallery, Santa Barbara, California.
Nikos Engonopoulos - The Muse

Nikos Engonopoulos - The Muse

Original 1939
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Lot number: 1
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Nikos Engonopoulos (Greek, 1910-1985) The muse signed in Greek (lower right) ink and tempera on paper 35 x 25 cm. Footnotes Painted in 1939. Provenance Private collection, Athens. Literature K. Perpinioti-Agazir, Nikos Engonopoulos - Son Univers Pictural , Benaki Museum Editions, Athens, 2007, no 268, p. 251 (illustrated).
John Frederick Lewis - The Bridge Of Rondo

John Frederick Lewis - The Bridge Of Rondo

Original
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Lot number: 368
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
John Frederick Lewis, RA, POWS (British, 1805-1876) 'The Bridge of Rondo' bears inscription 'The Bridge of Rondo/Drawn by John Lewis/During his Residence in Spain/from/The Collection of William Harlow (?)' (on old label attached to the backboard) watercolour heightened with bodycolour 33 x 46cm (13 x 18 1/8in).
 Anonymous - Rainforest Shield

Anonymous - Rainforest Shield

Original
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Lot number: 4
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
A Large and Early Queensland Rainforest Shield natural earth pigments on fig-tree wood, of elongated kidney shape, with central raised boss, decorated with geometric totemic designs in red-brown, white and yellow, with black outlines and white ochre dots to the yellow, its back hewn with a raised, pierced handle, remnants of an old label attached top left Height: 84.0cm (33 1/16in).
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