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Specialist, Collectors and Popular Culture
Specialist, Collectors and Popular Culture
Post Date: 01 Jan 1970


Bonhams is a global auction house with an 18th century heritage poised for transformative change. Our global operations are based in London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong where we sell in over 60 categories, including motor cars, paintings, jewellery, and entertainment memorabilia.

About the Department

Bonhams is the only global auction house to offer dedicated sales in the fields of Film, Entertainment and Music on a regular basis. With Specialists based in London, New York and Los Angeles, our Popular Culture team is truly global and one of the most highly experienced group of experts in this evolving market. Our team includes highly respected specialists, including those responsible for leading this collecting category from its beginnings in the early 1980s.

Our auctions take place throughout the year and include an array of vintage film and music posters, autographs, photographic archives, animation artwork, props, musical instruments, vintage fashion, costume and other important property relating to some of the most prominent actors, musicians, entertainers and notable personalities of the Twentieth Century.

In 2017, Bonhams set the world record for the most expensive piece of film memorabilia ever sold at auction; Robby the Robot from MGM’s Forbidden Planet (1956) which achieved $5.3million – a record we still hold today.

Key Tasks and Responsibilities

In your role as Specialist, you will be required to carry out the following:


  • Business getting for the department to fulfil the budgets set for the department.
  • Work with the Head of Department on strategies to encourage new business opportunities for the department.
  • Act as main vendor liaison from consignment to post-sale, ensuring smooth customer service throughout.
  • Research, catalogue, and condition report on property for auction/probate/insurance valuations.
  • To satisfactorily complete, as and when required, the valuation of customer’s property both in the office and off-site.
  • Prepare proposal documents and work with the team on pitches for business.
  • Maintain contact with established collectors to encourage further business with the company (as buyers or sellers) and support the ongoing development of new customers.
  • Assist the Head of Department on the production of press and marketing campaigns, within the budgets set, to promote the department’s business getting and sales activities.
  • As and when necessary, support the team in producing catalogues to ensure timely delivery.
  • Assist with gallery set-ups, weekend previews and off-site events as required.
  • Represent the team and company at industry events as required.
  • Maintain an awareness of our competitors’ strategies to maintain the competitive position of this department within the market.
  • Liaise with our wider team such as external experts and Consultants.
  • Help maintain the general running of the department as required.


Key Skills & Attributes

  • Demonstrable knowledge and genuine interest in film, music, and pop culture.
  • Minimum 3+ years industry knowledge, auction house preferred, but open to other film/music-related industries.
  • Proven self-starter; able to work as part of a team, and independently.
  • Excellent customer service skills; proficient in handling confidential matters.
  • Good market and trend awareness.
  • Degree holder or equivalent.
  • Excellent time management and organisation skills; able to multi-task and prioritise.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills both written and oral.
  • Able to work to tight deadlines and under pressure.
  • Proven business acumen and valuation skills.
  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • A network of contacts (or) willingness to build up such a portfolio.
  • Functional working knowledge of the whole auction process and related procedures (e.g. CITES, shipping, copyright).
  • Flexible and receptive to change; ability to work collaboratively and proactively.
  • Fluent written and spoken English.

Bonhams Benefits

* 28 days annual leave (including bank holidays) increasing to 33 with service.

* Private Health Care

* Health & Wellbeing Assistance Program

If you wish to apply, please send your CV and cover letter by the 5th November 2023 at midnight.

We thank you for your interest in this position but please note that we will only contact candidates chosen for further consideration.

Bonhams is an equal opportunity employer. As part of our commitment to fight for equality, we work to ensure a fair and consistent interview process. We celebrate diversity and we are committed to an inclusive work environment.


London, United Kingdom

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