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The library has been on site at 15 Old Bond Street, London W1 since Colnaghi’s moved to the premises more than 50 years ago and is widely regarded as one of the greatest art gallery libraries in the field of Old Master paintings and drawings.

Of particular importance is the library’s vast collection of auction catalogues which stretches back to the mid-18th century.

When Old Masters dealer Mr Bernheimer, who operates out of Munich and London, bought Colnaghi’s at the beginning of this year the library was unavailable. It had been sold some months earlier to Dr. Christoph Graf Douglas who planned to move it to Germany.

However, understanding the historic links between the library and the gallery Graf Douglas was persuaded that it would be appropriate for it to remain in Bond Street.

The Colnaghi Library was subsequently bought jointly by Mr Bernheimer and his partner in the London venture Katrin Bellinger. Last January the Munich-based Old Master drawings expert and dealer Katrin Bellinger was invited by Konrad Bernheimer to take charge of Old Master drawings at Colnaghi’s, a field in which the gallery has long had a distinguished reputation.

While they work in tandem at Colnaghi’s both Bernheimer and Bellinger continue to conduct business in Germany under their own names. Both are committed to maintaining and developing the library and gallery archive, which they see as a vital part of Colnaghi’s heritage.