Bonhams continues its wave of acquisitions with the purchase of Danish auction house Bruun Rasmussen

Another week, another purchase. Hot on the heels of last week’s announcement of the takeover of New England firm Skinner, private auction house Bonhams landed another buy.

This time it has acquired Denmark’s leading auction house, Bruun Rasmussen, and as with its two other recent acquisitions, Bukowskis and Skinner, the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The new firm will keep its name, unlike Skinner which was renamed Bonhams Skinner.

Bruun Rasmussen is a family business, founded in 1949 by Arne Bruun Rasmussen; his son Jesper is president emeritus and two grandchildren work there. They and chief executive Jakob Dupont will remain with the company, which has 143 employees. The company has 12 departments, particularly for Scandinavian art, and organizes three types of auctions: live, online and direct to consumer. The latter is less expensive than the first two: the sellers photograph their works, they are estimated by Rasmussen’s specialists and then sold directly to buyers via the site, without a preview in the auction room.

Rasmussen’s recent hits include Vilhelm Hammershøi’s 1900 Interior, Strandgade 30sold in 2019 for DKK31.5m (no charge £3.5m) and a Ming dragon in the waves dish which sold last year for DKK 35.5m (£3.9m).

The move is another sign of consolidation in the mid-tier auction sector and continues the strategy of Bonhams private equity owners Epiris. They expand Bonhams globally, this time strengthening its European presence, as well as its digital presence in the art market.