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Old Master Paintings

Bonhams Old Masters Paintings department is internationally respected for its wide-ranging expertise in British and European paintings and drawings from the early Renaissance to the early 19th century. We hold four auctions throughout the year in London as well as three specifically themed sales, and we also sell in our saleroom in Paris.

We are particularly proud of our role in identifying lost works, most famously Velázquez's Portrait of a Gentleman (which sold for £2,953,250) and an early altarpiece of the Renaissance master Lorenzo Veneziano (£1,688,750). We also boast a great number of world auction records, including William Dobson's self-portrait (£1,106,500), which has since been on loan to both the National Portrait Gallery in London and Tate Britain. Jean Honoré Fragonard's Portrait of the duc d'Harcourt, that we sold on behalf of UNICEF for £17,106,500, remains the highest price for both this major artist and of a work by a French Old Master. Other notable results include £2,210,500 for Lucas Cranach's Venus and Cupid, £2,057,250 for Adriaen Coorte's Still life of Peaches, and £338,500 for John Sell Cotman's The Refectory of Walsingham Abbey (a watercolour on paper).

As well as such achievements, Bonhams has traditionally excelled in selling Old Master paintings within the five and six-figure price range, since our smaller and carefully curated auctions allow us to draw closer attention to those works, where a tight and coherent sale format allows us to focus at this level to target collectors in the field.

Buying and selling Old Masters paintings at Bonhams
Bonhams Old Masters Paintings department has specialists in the United Kingdom and United States. Our team offers a combination of enthusiasm, expertise and global reach that we believe will bring you the very best result, and are on hand to help research, source or sell on your behalf.

With offices and representatives in nearly 50 locations, 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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Exceptional results

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Photo of Lisa Greaves

Lisa Greaves

Head of Department

Lisa Greaves is Director of the Old Master Paintings Department, having joined Bonhams in 2003. After gaining an MA in History of Art and Italian from Edinburgh University, Lisa cataloged a collection…

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Photo of Caroline Oliphant

Caroline Oliphant

Department Director

Caroline was appointed Group Head of Pictures in 2002, responsible for overseeing the international development of the department. She originally joined Bonhams as a receptionist, after graduating fro…

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Photo of Poppy Harvey-Jones

Poppy Harvey-Jones

Head of Sale

Poppy Harvey-Jones is a Specialist in the Old Master Paintings Department, which she joined in 2011. Alongside the Old Master sales, Poppy also assists with house sales, notably the white glove sale o…

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Photo of Rocco Rich

Rocco Rich

Senior Specialist

Rocco Rich is a Fine Arts Specialist of 19th Century European Paintings at Bonhams in Los Angeles. With over 20 years' experience in the field, he is responsible for the company's West Coast evaluatio…

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Robin Starr

Vice President | American & European Works of Art

Robin S.R. Starr is Vice President and Director of American & European Works of Art at Bonhams Skinner, one of the company's most important departments. She manages a staff of specialists who appraise…

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