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Books & Manuscripts

Bonhams Books & Manuscripts auctions offer the finest printed and manuscript material, ranging from early illuminated manuscripts and incunabula through natural history, medicine, literature, art, music, Americana, fine bindings and private press, and vernacular photography. We hold more than 20 auctions each year in London, Denmark, New York, New England, California and online.

We handle works by writers and historical figures such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, Alan Turing and Charles Darwin, as well as objects like the gun that killed Billy the Kid and Einstein's violin. In addition, we have set world auction records for a Christopher Columbus letter and a polar exploration artefact, one of Captain Scott's last letters.

Our thematic auctions cover topics as diverse as the History of Science & Technology, Women Through History, Travel and Exploration, Surrealism and Napoleon. Bonhams also handles high-profile single-owner collections, which have included the Library of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, The Estate of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, Wassenaar Zoo, and The Medical & Scientific Library of W. Bruce Fye.

Buying and selling books and manuscripts at Bonhams
Bonhams Books & Manuscripts department has specialists covering the UK, Europe, the Americas, South Africa and Asia-Pacific.

With offices and representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams gives buyers and sellers access to a global network of collectors and unparalleled marketing resources to achieve the highest price and level of client satisfaction possible. Contact a specialist directly for more information or submit your item online for a free auction estimate.

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Thinking of selling? Get a free auction estimate by submitting your item online or contacting your local Bonhams. With specialists based in towns and cities worldwide, we are your local auction house.

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Beyond the Bookshelf

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Photo of Catherine Williamson

Catherine Williamson


Dr. Catherine Williamson is the Director of the Fine Books and Manuscripts and Entertainment Memorabilia at Bonhams in Los Angeles. Dr. Williamson joined the book department in 1997 and was promoted t…

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Matthew Haley

Managing Director

Matthew Haley is Managing Director of Bonhams Knightsbridge and has been Head of Bonhams UK Books & Manuscripts Department since 2013. In 2004, he joined Bonhams in London as a specialist in the Books…

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Ian Ehling


Ian Ehling is Director of Fine Books and Manuscripts in New York. He has appraised thousands of the rarest and most exquisite books to come to market during his 40 years in the field, and has advised …

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John Dorfman

Director, Books & Manuscripts

John Dorfman is Director of Books & Manuscripts at Bonhams Skinner. His passion for the printed word dates back to early childhood, when he usually spent his whole allowance on books and then enjoyed …

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Luke Batterham

Senior Valuer

Luke Batterham is a Specialist in Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs, based at Bonhams Knightsbridge. The son of an antiquarian bookseller, Luke joined Bonhams as a senior valuer with…

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Simon Roberts

Senior Specialist, Head of Sale

Simon Roberts is Senior Specialist, Head of Sale in the Fine Books and Manuscripts Department, and a senior valuer with over 30 years' experience in the business. He joined Bonhams in 2002 following t…

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Adam Stackhouse


Adam Stackhouse is a Specialist in the Fine Books and Manuscripts Department at Bonhams in San Francisco. He joined the department in 1997 and was promoted to Specialist in 2001. His areas of expertis…

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Sarah Lindberg

Senior Specialist

Sarah Lindberg is a manuscript specialist in the Fine Book Department, which she joined in 2015. A history graduate from Exeter University, Sarah has a background in publishing, fine and decorative ar…

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Darren Sutherland


Darren Sutherland is a Senior Specialist in the Fine Books and Manuscripts department at Bonhams New York. He started in the rare book trade in 1996 and spent 20 years pursuing rare and valuable books…

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Tim Tezer

Junior Specialist

Tim Tezer is a Junior Specialist in Fine Books and Manuscripts at Bonhams New York. After eight years' experience in the Arms and Armor and Native American Art departments in San Francisco, Tim moved …

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Lorenza Gay


Lorenza Gay is a Cataloguer for Bonhams Books & Manuscripts department in London. As an art historian with a particular interest in iconography, iconology and the history of the book, Lorenza holds a …

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Katie Allen

Sale Coordinator

Katie Allen is Sale Coordinator for Bonhams Books & Manuscripts in Los Angeles. She helps clients navigate the auction process from consignment to post-sale, including any questions about paperwork, p…

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Submit your item online for a free and confidential valuation. If it’s suitable for sale, a specialist will provide an auction estimate and advise on the next steps for selling.

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