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The distinguished dealer in Chinese art Giuseppe Eskenazi, this year’s chairman, addressed the gathering and was unequivocal in his assertion that London is the world centre for Asian art. He dismissed the claims of New York to the mantle saying that although possibly most customers for Asian art may be in North America the top dealers and experts were over here and the long established links of Britain with the East reinforced our tradition of Asian art dealing and study.

And Mr Eskenazi should know. He is recognised as the world’s top dealer in his field and his Mayfair gallery is a mecca for international collectors.

But every year he also holds equally well-received exhibitions at Pace Wildenstein in Manhattan where it is very rare for less than half of his stock to be unsold after the opening night.