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Whisky Advocate: Bonhams, New York Halts Whisky Auctions Indefinitely

August 12, 2014

There will be no further Bonhams whisky auctions in New York for the foreseeable future. The auction house has canceled its planned sale for October 19th at its Madison Avenue galleries and will review the situation on scheduling further auctions next year.

Mariam Cebalo, director of business management at Bonhams confirmed to Whisky Advocate that the cessation of operations in this area was solely due to the whisky department’s profitability. In other words, the department may not have hit the targets established by the company to justify the resources required to appraise, catalog, store, display, and ultimately auction large consignments of rare whisky. Whisky auction houses must partner up with a retailer holding a liquor license, and that comes at a cost to the operation.

In recent years, Bonhams has been running biannual rare whisky and spirits auctions in Manhattan, with the last sale held on April 30th 2014. Importantly, Bonhams confirmed that the whisky departments in Queen Street, Edinburgh and at One Pacific Place, Hong Kong are unaffected by this news and their full program of whisky sales continues as advertised. Whisky Advocate has a full story on the future of the whisky auction market here.

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