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 about how the building will mark a new chapter in the history of Bonhams.
Another major advance is the creation of a new department for Contemporary Art, with Anthony McNerney at its head. The first sale in October includes paintings by Glenn Brown – Martin Gayford writes about our cover work, Little Death – Alighiero Boetti and Martial Raysse. And to celebrate the season in which the art world descends on London for the Frieze Art Fair, I interviewed collector Anita Zabludowicz. Anita, who has a space in Kentish Town that shows part of her collection, has a new project. This time, it is on an island off the coast of Finland.
In the sixties, another island was transformed in an even more audacious way. This was when Lord Glenconner bought Mustique, a barren piece of land in the Caribbean that had its fair share of mosquitoes, and developed it into a hedonistic playground for the international elite. Lord Glenconner then moved on to St Lucia where he created his own paradise. He died last year and in an exceptional sale, Bonhams is offering the contents of his estate including furniture from his beloved Great House, photograph albums by Robert Mapplethorpe, and even his coronet. Nicholas Courtney, Lord Glenconner's biographer, evokes the extraordinary alternative court that grew up and which drew the titled, the monied, the famous – and infamous – from all around the world. It's a fascinating story.