Caroline Oliphant

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 from Bristol University with a degree in History of Art and Italian, and only four years later she conducted her own sale. She was appointed Director of the Picture Department in 1987 and moved into the Old Master Paintings department in 1994.

She has been involved in researching and selling some of Bonhams most prestigious pictures, including Still life of sea bream and oranges by Spanish artist Luis Melendez, discovered in a client's home and sold for a hammer price of £820,000; a small, unrecorded oil sketch by John Constable for his exhibition piece Lock with Boys Fishing, sold for £720,000; Jan Siberechts's 17th Century View of Henley, for a hammer price of £700,000; and Fragonard's spectacular The Portrait of François-Henri d'Harcourt from the Rau collection which realized £17,106,500, the highest price for an Old Master Painting at auction worldwide in 2013.

She spotted a small Italian Crucifixion in a British client's house in 2017, which research proved to be an unrecorded work by Lorenzo Veneziano, the foremost artist of the mid-14th Century in Venice, and this great rarity was auctioned for £1,400,000. She also identified an exquisite, small still-life painting from a photograph as the work of the Dutch painter Adriaen Coorte, following which it sold for £1,800,000.

Other record-breaking highlights were the sale to a private collector of John Sell Cotman's Refectory of Walsingham Abbey which made an auction record for the artist of £280,000, and the discovery of a rare group of ten bird watercolors from the Paper Museum of Cassiano dal Pozzo, the Baroque patron and collector, which collectively made £350,000.