Downturn in trade blamed: The Bond Street Silver Galleries, a fixture on London’s finest antiques thoroughfare for 40 years, is to close in the autumn. The downturn in the trade for table and decorative antique silver is behind the imminent closure of the 18 strongrooms, more than half of which have been vacated in the last six months.

The end of the Bond Street Silver Galleries will also see the retirement at 88 of Alfred Bloomstein, the director at 111-112 New Bond Street for 40 years. It was Alfred Bloomstein who, along with his late brother Bertie, Eddie Swonnell and Henry Glass, initiated the move of a dozen silver and jewellery dealers from the Pall Mall Safe Deposit to New Bond Street in 1963.

Situated close to Sotheby’s with Pringle to its left and Versace to the right, the three-storey building has, along with the London Silver Vaults in Chancery Lane, been the regular stop for silver and jewellery buyers when visiting the capital city.

However, speaking to the Antiques Trade Gazette last week, Mr Bloomstein explained that the disappointing trade seen in this sector in the past two years had caused several dealers to leave since the end of last year, with Frydman, a resident for the full 40 years, leaving two months ago. The remaining dealers are Bruford & Heming, Eric Graus, Barnes Jewellery, Michael Sedler, Close and Stern and Damian Scott. All have been told of the September closure and are in the process of finding new premises.

Mr Bloomstein believes that the landlord, Cooperative Insurance, will refit the building for offices.