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Mr Adams joins the Bond Street dealers from Sotheby’s where he worked from 1989, and his brief will be to expand the contemporary department at Agnew’s with an annual exhibition programme He will also take an interest in the 20th century British secondary market and the 20th century Irish market.

Julian Agnew, chairman of Agnew’s, said that the appointment heralded a significant expansion in the company’s representation of contemporary artists. “I am sure we will also benefit from his contribution to our trading in British paintings of the last century and his expertise in the Irish market will enable us to add this speciality to our activities."