Bonhams Knightsbridge to hold second 'open house' on Wednesday 4th January

Bonhams Knightsbridge to hold second 'open house' on Wednesday 4th January

Follows sale of rare blue diamond (£103,250) and Tibetan jug (£121,250), both discovered at May's open house

Following a hugely successful first open house in May 2011, Bonhams will once again open the doors of its Knightsbridge saleroom to offer free verbal appraisals on Wednesday 4th January 2012. 9:30am to 4pm.

20 of Bonhams art and antiques specialists will be available, including two who regularly appear on popular BBC antique programs, Fergus Gambon and Jon Baddeley. In addition to valuing traditional antique and modern silver, ceramics, jewelry, books, works of art, prints and paintings, there will also be experts in the specialist fields of entertainment and sporting memorabilia, coins and medals, arms, armor and sporting guns, toys and dolls, musical instruments, jewelry, clocks and watches, vintage costumes.

In May, the team of specialists discovered a rare famille rose Tibetan-style ewer, which went on to fetch £121,250 in the Fine Chinese Art sale at Bonhams, New Bond Street on 10 November. This highly fashionable object, which came into being as a result of some Qing Emperors taking an interest in the mysticism of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism, was brought to the Open House by a lady who had inherited it from her grandfather. Under his ownership, it had been converted into a lamp stand and featured a hole through the base to accommodate the electric flex. Although the price realized was excellent, had the transition from vase to lamp not taken place, it would have been several times higher.

In addition, a rare blue diamond, which was valued at the May Open House, sold for £103,250 at the Fine Jewelry Sale at Bonhams, New Bond Street on 21 September. Again, the lady owner had inherited the diamond from a relative. She had insured it for £2,000, not realizing how much it was in fact worth.

Bonhams Knightsbridge is the busiest auction house in Britain, holding 112 sales a year. In the past seemingly inconspicuous items have gone on to fetch remarkable prices at auction, most memorably the dress worn by Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz, which made an astounding £140,000 (over four times its pre-sale estimate), a 16th century helmet, which sold for £14,400 and a Fred Yates painting, which fetched £13,800, having been estimated at £3,000-5,000.

Jon Baddeley, Managing Director of Bonhams Knightsbridge says: "We were delighted by the success of our first open house in May last year where we valued and subsequently sold over £500,000 worth of items and I am confident that this one on January 4th will be as fruitful."

Timings: 9.30am-4pm

Location: Montpelier Street, Knightsbridge, London SW7 1HH

Tube: Knightsbridge (Harrods exit)

Bonhams Knightsbridge is outside the congestion zone, but there is limited parking available. For items too large to carry or bring in please send photos to information@bonhams.com


NOTES FOR EDITORS

Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son and Neale UK. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street, and Knightsbridge, and a further five throughout the UK. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Boston in the USA; Toronto, Canada; and France, Monaco, Hong Kong, Australia and Dubai. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and appraisal services in 57 specialist areas. By the end of 2009, Bonhams had become UK market leaders in ten key specialist collecting areas.For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com.