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The first sale, at premises in the Palazzo Colonna situated in the Piazza Venezia, will be on December 6 and will be followed by a full schedule of books and works on paper sales for 2007.

The saleroom, in an important centre for the book trade, will be run by Fabio Massimo Bertolo, formerly head of Christie’s book department in Rome which closed in June. He will be joined by Silvia Ferrini, also formerly of Christie’s, who will be his assistant.

Mr Bertolo described his new role as “an exciting and stimulating opportunity to provide our existing and future clients with an even higher quality of service and care. Bloomsbury Auctions will contribute to the reinforcement of Rome’s, and of course Italy’s, reputation as a key centre for rare books and works on paper”.

Meanwhile in London this week (Thursday, September 21), Bloomsbury are holding the largest sale to date of Chinese propaganda posters, offering a 2600-strong collection put together by several generations of a single Chinese family.