Rare Book Monthly

Articles - April - 2022 Issue

What Are They Building in There?: Bonhams in March

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The field is changing

This March, within ten days of each other, Bonhams Auctioneers announced the acquisition of two auction houses, Skinner in the US (https://www.bonhams.com/press_release/34061/) and Bruun Rasmussen in Denmark (https://www.bonhams.com/press_release/34101/). These two acquisitions can be added to the January 2022 purchase of Bukowski, a leading Scandinavian auction house, and The Market, a leading digital marketplace for classic automobiles in April 2021.  So what might be transpiring here and what might be the intended outcomes?

 

In 2018 Epiris, a London based private-equity firm, bought Bonhams (https://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonydemarco/2018/09/04/bonhams-sold-to-private-equity-firm/?sh=714037ab61f4). Last month’s movements by Bonhams may mark the entrance into the second half of Epiris’ 5-7 year venture capital strategy toward potentially taking Bonhams public. With the injection of capital provided by Epiris, Bonhams bought the four aforementioned auction houses, as it is cheaper to buy than build the infrastructure required. Coming into 2022, Bonhams, although global, was not diverse or dominate enough as a potential IPO candidate. These acquisitions change that picture considerably as they add adjacent market depth and breadth to the Company.

 

As there are an assortment of suitably sized regional, national, moderately international firms currently available, watch for this strategy by venture capital fuelled auction houses as we move further into 2022/23. One driver of this is intergenerational handover in which the second generation is not able or willing to keep going, hampered significantly by the pressure imposed by the Pandemic. In some cases, Houses, knowing they need a partner, opt for selling to a larger House controlled by an equity firm. This option can bring immediate cash and with it the bonus of liquidity when the acquirer goes public if a share for share exchange was executed as part of the acquisition.

 

In the case of Bonhams, Epiris appears to be executing a classic ‘Roll Up’ strategy providing the Seller (a regional/national house) with cash and likely stock that will become valuable and liquid when the “new and digitally improved” Bonhams is potentially taken public by Epiris in an exit event.

 

In the meantime, Bonhams gets to pick the best systems, people and infrastructure in the firms they buy to roll out their recently articulated vision statement of: "Creating a digitally enabled business occupying the leading global position and offering exciting prospects for further growth.”

 

Expect more from Epiris/Bonhams in the coming months and net new participants of a similar size engaging in similar tactics.

 

For more insight into the general trends that influence these transformations, visit my ongoing article series AUCTION INDUSTRY OUTLOOK: http://spencerwstuart.ca/aio/

 

 

About Spencer W Stuart: http://spencerwstuart.ca


Posted On: 2022-04-02 18:04
User Name: bjarnetokerud

Roll up, roll up for the Mystery Tour

The Bonhams Magical Mystery Auction House is waiting to take you away

(With thanks to Lennon/McCartney)

With new footholds in the land of Ingmar Bergman and Gustavus Adolphus, the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen and one of the hometowns of the Vikings, followed by a high profile presence near where the Boston Tea Party took place, this very market confident, well funded statement is more of an invitation to Bonham's customers to consign for maximum exposure or to bid with confidence in major city centers that promise treasures at many levels. Who cares if an IPO and a stock market symbol are outcomes? Why should antiquarian booksellers be fearful or even concerned? If that is the point… Bonhams is welcome to buy out my book business anytime! British Columbia stands for Bring Cash.


Posted On: 2022-04-03 16:14
User Name: bjarnetokerud

I tried to read this article again but after the facts are done what is left is pseudo London School of Economics prattle. A far better article would have been to interview someone at the top of Bonhams for a perspective on the rare book market. Instead, we get crystal ball gazing as if the writer got his creds from working at a hedge fund, which apparently he has not. Investment charts, auction sell through rates, and so on are boring because they don’t tell us what collectors and libraries are buying, or selling, and why.


Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Graphic Design<br>May 19, 2022</b>
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Adolphe Mouron Cassandre, <i>Triplex,</i> pencil maquette, 1930. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Claude Fayette Brandon, <i>The Chap Book,</i> circa 1895. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Various Artists, a complete set of <i>Das Plakat,</i> set of 10 hardcover volumes, 1912-21. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Javier Gómez Acebo & Máximo Viejo Santamarta, <i>San Sebastian / XI Circuitto Automovilista,</i> 1935. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Ephraim Moses Lilien, <i>Berliner Tageblatt,</i> circa 1899. $12,000 to $18,000.
  • <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th May 2022</b>
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Birds.- Gould (John). <i>The Birds of Great Britain,</i> 5 vol., first edition, [1862-]1873. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Canadiana.- Cockburn (Maj. Gen. James Pattison, 1779-1847), After. [Six Landscape of Quebec City and Six Views of Niagara Falls], 2 suites in 1 vol., comprising 12 aquatints, 1833. £30,000 to £40,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Joyce (James). <i>Ulysses,</i> number 218 of 150 copies on verge d'arches, Paris, Shakespeare & Company, 1922. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th May 2022</b>
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Rowling (J.K.) <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,</i> first paperback edition, signed by the author, 1997. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Du Maurier (Daphne). <i>Rebecca,</i> first edition, signed presentation inscription from the author to her governess, 1938. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Magna Carta.- An exact copy of King John's Great Charter of 1215, transcribed from the fire damaged but legible manuscript in the Cottonian Library, British Library, J. Pine, 1733. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th May 2022</b>
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Woolf (Virginia). <i>Mrs Dalloway,</i> first edition, Hogarth Press, 1925. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Tudor exiles opposed to the Marian regime.- Mary I (Queen of England) Letter signed "Marye the Quene" to Lord Paget, signed at head, titled at head "By the King and Quene", 1556. £8,000 to £10,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> America.- Newfoundland.- Whitbourne (Sir Richard). <i>A discourse and discouery of Nevv-found-land…,</i> second edition, By Felix Kingston, 1622. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th May 2022</b>
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Cervantès Saavedra (Miguel de). <i>El Ingenioso Hidalgo Do Quixote de la Mancha,</i> 4 vol., Madrid, Por Don Joaquin Ibarra, 1780. £5,000 to £7,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Stubbs (George). <i>The Anatomy of the Horse,</i> first edition, first issue, Printed by J. Purser, for the Author, 1766. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Cardiology.- Lower (Richard). <i>Tractatus de Corde item De Motu & Colore Sanguinus et Chyli in cum Transitu,</i> first edition, 1669. £5,000 to £7,000.
  • <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 30</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>Initial A on vellum, Cologne around 1300. Est: €25,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>J. Androuet du Cerceau, <i> Bastiments de France,</i> 1607. Est: €12,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>E. Cerillo, <i>Dipinti murali di Pompei,</i> 1886. Est: €2,500
    <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 30</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>L. de Austria, <i>Compilatio de astrorum scientia,</i> 1489. Est: €9,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>B. Besler, <i>Hortus Eystettensis,</i> around 1750. Est: €50,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br><i>PAN,</i> 1895-1900. Est: €15,000
    <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 30</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>F. Colonna, <i>Hypnerotomachia Poliphili,</i> 1545. Est: €40,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>F. Schiller, <i>Die Räuber,</i> 1781. Est: €12,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>J. Albers, <i>Formulation : Articulation,</i> 1972. Est: €18,000
    <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 30</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>G. B. Ramusio, <i>Delle navigationi e viaggi,</i> 1556-1613. Est: €14,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>M. Wied Neuwied, <i>Reise in das Innere Nord-America,</i> 1839-41. Est: €12,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>E. Paolozzi, <i>Bunk,</i> 1972. Est: €25,000
  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br> The Library of Henry Rogers<br>Broughton, 2nd Baron Fairhaven<br>Part I<br>18 May 2022</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 18:</b> John James Audubon and James Bachman. <i>The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America.</i> New York: J.J. Audubon, 1845-1848. £150,000 to £250,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 18:</b> Thomas and William Daniell. <i>Oriental Scenery,</i> London, 1795-1807 [but 1841], 6 parts in 3 volumes, folio. £150,000 to £200,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 18:</b> Mark Catesby. <i>The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands...</i> London, 1731-1743, 2 volumes. £100,000 to £150,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 18:</b> Gould and Lear. <i>A monograph of the Ramphastidae,</i> 1854; <i>Illustrations of the family of Psittacidae,</i> 1832. £60,000 to £90,000.

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