Following a successful year Bonhams
has finished 2012 with over 30 new world auction records. From vintage cars to contemporary African art Bonhams areas of expertise are ever expanding.
The South African and Contemporary African art department have maintained their stronghold as global leaders. Ghanaian-born, Nigeria based El Anatsuis New World Map fetched £541,250, setting a world auction record for the artist at New Bond Street on 23rd May. World records were also set on 17th October at the South African Sale for Jacob Hendrik Pierneefs Cape farmlands fetching £289,250 and breaking its pre-sale estimate of £70,000-£100,000. Vladimir Tretchikoffs Portrait of Lenka (Red Jacket) also smashed its pre-sale estimate of £50,000- £80,000 to achieve £337,250.
The Motor Car team has had an incredibly successful year with the highlight being the sale of the ex-Sir Henry Tim Birkin, Brooklands Outer Circuit lap-record-breaking 1929-31 Bentley 4½-Litre Supercharged 'Blower' Single-Seater at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on 29th June for £5,041,500. This set a new auction record for a Bentley and became the most valuable British car sold at auction. At the same sale 'The Corgi' 1912 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp 'Silver Ghost' Double Pullman Limousine set a record price for a Rolls-Royce at auction, breaking Bonhams own record set in December 2007. It sold for £4,705,500.
In the 19th Century Paintings Drawings and Watercolours sale at New Bond Street on 11th July, a new world record was set for Philip Hermogenes Calderon, RA (1833-1898). Calderons painting 'Captain of the Eleven', a popular Victorian sporting image, sold for £289,250 exceeding its estimate of £100,000-£150,000.
Further afield Hong Kong has ended the year with a bang. On 23rd November the record for the most expensive Sri Lankan sapphire sold at auction was set at US$36,000 per carat and totalling HK$12,084,000 (£979,000). Another record was set for the most expensive Leica Luxus I camera sold at auction for HK$7,460,000 (£603,837) at the Leica sale, also on the 23rd November.
The strength of Asian art has been one of the key trends in 2012. In September the New York sale room established a world record price for a Mon Dvaravati bronze sculpture when the Eilenberg Buddha, circa 8th century, sold for US$674,500 (£418,290) at Bonhams' Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art sale. On 6th November another record was broken at New Bond Street when a fine large wood netsuke of a tiger by Naito Toyomasa (1773-1856) sold for £103,250, surpassing its pre-sale estimate of £35,000-£40,000.
Bonhams has broken records, smashed estimates and exceeded expectations this year. Looking to 2013 Bonhams will kick off the year with a motorcycle sale in Las Vegas on 10th January and will start the London sales with 19th Century Paintings, Drawings and Watercolours at New Bond Street on 23rd January.