IT is sad to report that the Classics Bookshop in Turl Street, Oxford is soon to close due, I understand, to increases in rent required by Lincoln College. I am told that many shops in the Turl are affected.

The Classics Bookshop is the source of many treasures, not least because of where it is. When a professor dies the executors turn to the local specialist shop. Simple. There are many who have benefited from this celebrated establishment.

As its name indicates, this shop is a very useful source for the numismatic and antiquities trades; indeed, it functions as a cross reference between the two related fields. Yet, all is not lost. By the late summer the Classics Bookshop will be reincarnated in Sheep Street, Burford (20 miles West of Oxford). It should be worth the trip and I can recommend the Baytree and the Lamb Inn in the same street. There is another antiquarian bookshop in Burford High Street, so this pretty town is set to become a bibliographic centre.

Does this indicate that the lights are really going out all over Europe? Or is it an evolution? If it is an evolution it could be for the good. In Antiques Trade Gazette No 1645, June 26, I reported the setting up of a coin department at Bloomsbury auctions to where some of Bonhams (Glendinings) staff have migrated. The birth of St James’s Auctions is reported on this page. Antiques Trade Gazette No 1647, July 10, reported the selling up of Münzen und Medaillen of Basel. Their German and United States operations, however, are not affected. Tout ça change...