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Alan Rubin, who since 1984 has been head of the firm founded in Fulham by his father Henry, described the move as part of a major re-organisation of his company.

The cost of maintaining a large showroom in one of the most exclusive areas of the capital were becoming prohibitive, so after 15 years in Mount Street Mr Rubin had some regrets but no qualms about selling the premises on to Louis Vuitton.

Despite the enormous overheads, a declining number of customers actually wandered into the shop. On the other hand, the Paris gallery in the Seventh Arrondisment, the freehold of which Mr Rubin has owned for some years, continues to attract passing trade from French, Italian, German and American customers.

Named Pelham Galleries (after the original shop’s proximity to Pelham Crescent), Mr Rubin says henceforth the firm will be called simply Pelham, something he has contemplated for some time.

He has also opened a manned Pelham office in London at 23 Berkeley Square, W1 (Tel: 020 7629 0905) and will work between the two capitals.

For years Mr Rubin has exhibited at the top fairs and this aspect of Pelham’s worldwide business will be reinforced.

“I am strengthening the firm to adapt to modern conditions, to changes in the market, and a lot of the major business, especially with museums, now takes place at fairs and not galleries,” he explained.

Pelham have just completed a successful Paris Biennale and move to the International fair in New York later this month, then next year they stand at Maastricht, Grosvenor House and the new Seafair project in the United States.

By David Moss