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As the January 2002 deadline for the closure of the East Side operation nears, the auction giant will move its arms and armour, entertainment memorabilia and Western art departments to Los Angeles. All are departments with little representation in the Rockefeller building.

“The antique weapons we sell in the United States are chiefly American guns from the West and are well suited to the Los Angeles department,” said a company spokesman. “Western art and entertainment memorabilia are also obvious candidates for the West Coast to handle,” he added.

There is still a full schedule of sales planned for Christie’s East up until the end of December when the gallery will move, but as yet no future has been determined for the old saleroom building.