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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 over a dozen auctions each year in London, New York, California and online.

We handle works by writers and historical figures such as 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 first edition of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Our thematic auctions cover topics as diverse as the History of Science & Technology, Women Through History, Illustration Art, Russian Literature 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 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.

Request a valuation

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

News and stories

Find a specialist

Photo of Catherine Williamson

Catherine Williamson

VP/Director

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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Photo of Matthew Haley

Matthew Haley

Managing Director

Matthew Haley has been the Director of Bonhams UK Book Department since 2013. In 2004, he joined Bonhams in London as a specialist in the Book Department, and his baptism of fire was one of the finest…

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Photo of Ian Ehling

Ian Ehling

Director

Ian Ehling is Director of Fine Books and Manuscripts at Bonhams in New York. He has appraised and catalogued thousands of the rarest and most exquisite books to come to market during his 37 years in t…

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Photo of Luke Batterham

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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Photo of Simon Roberts

Simon Roberts

Senior Valuer

Simon Roberts is a specialist 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 the company's merger…

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Photo of Adam Stackhouse

Adam Stackhouse

Specialist

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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Photo of Darren Sutherland

Darren Sutherland

Specialist

Darren Sutherland is a 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 and ma…

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Photo of Sarah Lindberg

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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Upcoming auctions

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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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