Bonhams Magazine

Bonhams magazine is the world's premier auction house magazine. Launched in 2005 by its present editor, Lucinda Bredin, the magazine is published quarterly and highlights some of the star items coming up for auction in Bonhams salerooms. But it aims to do more than provide glossy pictures with long captions: with the help of world-renowned writers – past contributors have included William Dalrymple, Philip Pullman, Jeremy Paxman, Lisa Jardine, Brian Sewell, Robert Harris and Colin Firth – the magazine explores stories behind the works.

Bonhams Magazine also reflects life beyond the auction house walls. In every issue, it features a major museum director – Glenn Lowry, Nicholas Serota and Mikhail Piotrovsky have all been past subjects – and gives an insight into some controversial aspect of their particular museum. Collectors such as Nasser Khalili, Eli Broad or Louise MacBain have also given exclusive interviews. Our travel pages are also directed at the art lover: in each issue, a writer gives an update on the latest developments in cultural life of a major city, as well as a guide to where to stay and where to eat. Past issues have included John Julius Norwich on Venice; Alexander McCall-Smith on Edinburgh and Janine di Giovanni on Paris.

  1. Issue 52, Autumn 2017

    Issue 52, Autumn 2017

    Published 17 Aug 2017

    Editor's Letter: Lucinda Bredin

    "'Spirit of the age' is a phrase that's too often, perhaps, accompanied by a rolling of eyes or a contemptuous snort. And while we latch onto symbols that seem to reflect the contemporary grotesque – I'm thinking of fidget spinners, rainbow bagels and avocado lattes – the obverse of the coin is the people and ...

  2. Issue 51, Summer 2017

    Issue 51, Summer 2017

    Published 31 May 2017

    Editor's Letter: Lucinda Bredin

    "When Charlie Thomas brought down the hammer on lot 533 of the Harlech Sale – a 1925 Douglas motorcycle – the room of spectators gave him and the team of auctioneers a standing ovation. It wasn't just because the sale had been an all-day marathon, but because every single lot sold. This accords the auction the ...

  3. Issue 50, Spring 2017

    Published 21 Feb 2017

    Editor's Letter: Lucinda Bredin "Last month I was in Antibes standing on the terrace of the Picasso Museum. It was a glorious day. To my left in the far distance were the Alps, lightly dusted with snow against a china blue sky; in front of me were the sea and a line of elongated figures – sculptures by the French ...

  4. Issue 49, Winter 2016

    Issue 49, Winter 2016

    Published 10 Nov 2016

    Editor's Letter: Lucinda Bredin "Many of the artworks and objects in this issue were produced during tumultuous times. You might ask when has an era not been strapped to a rollercoaster? Fair point, but some of the works in this season's sales can be traced to specific moments during grim times – whether in the Second World War or ...

  5. Issue 48, Autumn 2016

    Issue 48, Autumn 2016

    Published 24 Aug 2016

    Editor's Letter: Lucinda Bredin "Artists are a different species from the rest of mankind. I know that's stating the obvious, but I was reminded of this eternal truth when reading Martin Gayford's piece about the life and loves of Max Ernst. Here was a painter who married four times – one of his wives
    was Peggy Guggenheim – and ...

  6. Issue 47, Summer 2016

    Published 20 May 2016

    Editor's Letter: Lucinda Bredin "We write a lot about artists in Bonhams Magazine, but perhaps not as much as we should about people who enable artists to create work – their patrons. In this issue, we have a number of stories which show how important patronage and commissions are. For instance, one of the most important collections of British modernism ...

  7. Issue 46, Spring 2016

    Published 24 Feb 2016

    Editor's Letter: Lucinda Bredin "Bonhams prides itself on a certain innovative, buccaneering spirit. Or 'zigging' when everyone else is 'zagging', in the words of Ralph Taylor, our Senior Director of Post-War Contemporary Art, whom I interviewed for this issue.

    Bucking the trend is also, of course, a characteristic of many of the artists that we have written about. This ...

  8. Issue 45, Winter 2015

    Published 12 Nov 2015

    Editor's Letter: Lucinda Bredin "One of the many excitements of putting together each issue of this magazine is the astonishing range of beautiful, curious and unusual items offered for sale at Bonhams. Yet it often strikes me how impromptu themes emerge from forthcoming sales.

    In this issue, I was struck by the notion of pioneers. Take the artists, Frederic ...

  9. Issue 44, Autumn 2015

    Published 24 Aug 2015

    Editor's Letter: Lucinda Bredin "It has just been announced that Matthew Girling is the new Global CEO of Bonhams. This prompted a rejig of our latest issue so that we could interview Matthew, the only CEO of a major auction house to take sales as an auctioneer. On page 14, amongst other things, he talks about how exciting it ...

  10. Issue 43, Summer 2015

    Published 29 May 2015

    Editor's Letter: Lucinda Bredin

    "Bonhams is regarded as the auction house for connoisseurs. And while I was editing this issue, I thought 
about the way in which our many specialists share their knowledge with collectors – and, indeed, with any member of the public. To speak to our departments about any object that falls within Bonhams' 60 different collecting areas ...

  11. Issue 42, Spring 2015

    Published 4 Mar 2015

    Editor's Letter: Lucinda Bredin "When I was a child, my grandfather would take me to Oxford's Ashmolean Museum where we would play a game as to which work of art we would take home. I would like to say I chose Uccello's Hunt in the Forest or one of the museum's matchless Chinese vases. But for ...

  12. Issue 41, Winter 2014

    Issue 41, Winter 2014

    Published 27 Oct 2014

    Editor's Letter:

    There are many joyful moments in the auction business. When a client is thrilled with a result takes some beating – as does the point during an auction itself when the price of a lot takes wing. But most of the specialists will say that discovering – or rediscovering – a lost masterpiece provides one of the greatest sense of ...

  13. Issue 40, Autumn 2014

    Published 15 Aug 2014

    Editor's Letter: LUCINDA BREDIN

    Where is the best place to see art? Having come back from holiday touring around Germany – where I visited a huge number of museums and saw loads of art – I had to dust off my art books when I got home in order to sharpen up the rapidly fading experience of seeing the work. There ...

  14. Issue 39, Summer 2014

    Published 15 May 2014

    Editor's Letter:

    Hard on the heels of the opening of the acclaimed New Bond Street headquarters, Bonhams has made another giant leap forward. This month, the company unveiled its first dedicated saleroom in Hong Kong. Designed by award-winning architects, Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, it is state-of-the-art in every way. Set on the 20th floor of One Pacific Place – the centre ...

  15. Issue 38, Spring 2014

    Published 19 Feb 2014

    Editor's Letter: Lucinda Bredin

    One of the most intriguing artefacts in the Bonhams salerooms this season is a monumental Assyrian slab made of black basalt. It shows the lower body of King Adad-nerari III (810-783 BC) in profile. In itself this is an extraordinary relic: it commemorates the crushing of the Hittites in Syria – we learn this from the ...

  16. Issue 37, Winter 2013

    Published 21 Oct 2013

    Editor's Letter

    As I walked through Bonhams new headquarters in New Bond Street, the first thing I noticed was not just the space – the salerooms are huge – it was the light that floods into the building through vast expanses of glass. It gives a feeling of spaciousness and pleasing order while still projecting the sense of drama so essential ...

  17. Issue 36, Autumn 2013

    Published 13 Aug 2013

    Editor's Letter

    Sometimes clichés are true – or at least there is a modicum of fact in the mix. Take the notion of the 'troubled genius'. On occasions, this concept has given licence to all sorts of bad behaviour – one thinks of Marlowe, Byron, Caravaggio, Gauguin, Hemingway, Iggy Pop... But then there are gifted artists who cause trouble only for ...

  18. Issue 35, Summer 2013

    Published 24 May 2013

    Editor's letter

    For auctioneers, there comes the moment when something comes in that stops their heart. This happened to everyone in the car department when the Mercedes-Benz W196 – aka the world's most famous racing car – was consigned to Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale. This marvellous machine is 'the Fangio car', the one in which Juan Manuel Fangio ...

  19. Issue 34, Spring 2013

    Published 22 Feb 2013

    Editor's letter

    One of the endless fascinations with art is wondering what will be sought after by generations to come. In this spring issue, there are a number of works featured that, at the time they were produced, most people wouldn't have given house room to – let alone paid good money for. Yet there have always been collectors ...

  20. Issue 33, Winter 2012

    Published 19 Oct 2012

    Editor's letter

    We learn a lot about a nation by examining what they treasure. This thought came to mind when I was listening to Sebastian Kuhn and Nette Megens of the ceramic department give an off-the-cuff talk about Meissen porcelain and why, in the 18th century, this humble substance was regarded as 'white gold'. For Augustus the Strong, the ...

  21. Issue 32, Autumn 2012

    Published 24 Aug 2012

    Editor's letter

    Apart from providing a showcase in which to display some of the highlights on offer, Bonhams Magazine likes to surprise readers. Perhaps even change firmly held views. This issue is no different. For instance, take the Mongols. I had them pigeon-holed as marauding savages who destroyed any vestiges of culture with a scary variety of weaponry. But ...

  22. Issue 31, Summer 2012

    Issue 31, Summer 2012

    Published 22 May 2012

    Editor's letter

    There is no doubt about it: summer 2012 is London's moment in the limelight. To join in the celebrations, Bonhams Knightsbridge is holding an Olympic Games sale in July. So if things go wrong in the 100m, there's another way you can get your hands on a gold medal – and in a slightly less stressful ...

  23. Issue 30, Spring 2012

    Published 7 Mar 2012

    Editor's letter

    Now the smoke has cleared on 2011, what has emerged with stark clarity is that Bonhams has had a superlative year. The house celebrated its tenth anniversary since its merger with Phillips with results that hit headlines around the world. In November, for instance, Bonhams sold the most expensive lotduring the Asian Art week auctions, a Qianlong ...

  24. Issue 29, Winter 2011

    Published 16 Mar 2012

    Editor's letter

    One of the most exciting moments in an auction house is when a painting, hitherto disregarded by its owners, has something about it that demands more research into its history, provenance – and attribution. Bonhams' specialists see thousands of works a year and, during their careers, they have built up a mental image library, which is why, when ...

  25. Issue 28, Autumn 2011

    Published 17 Nov 2012

    Editor's letter

    Bonhams has been in existence since 1793, but this is the first time that the headquarters in New Bond Street is going to be rebuilt – externally as well as internally. The plans for the building, which is being remodelled by Alex Lifschutz from Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, are on page 17 where the architect talks to Emma Crichton-Miller ...

Contacts
  1. Lucinda Bredin
    Author
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 8394