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At Sotheby’s for 25 years, he ultimately became a senior director with responsibility for the collectors’ division and the company’s UK-based Internet operation before leaving to join London’s Windsor House Antiques as managing director early last year.

A familiar face to viewers of the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, he is an acknowledged expert in the fields of instruments of science and technology, globes, ship models and nautical works of art, mechanical musical instruments and a specialist in many other areas of the collectors’

Mr Baddeley, 49, joined Sotheby’s as a junior specialist in 1973 and, with the exception of two periods working in London galleries, he was with Sotheby’s for a quarter of a century, initially at the Belgravia saleroom and then at New Bond Street.

As well as his TV appearances, he is the author of the definitive reference book Nautical Antiques and Collectibles and a major contributor to the BBC publications How to Spot a Fake and A-Z of 20th Century Antiques.