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Opened for business last week in the Russian capital, Bonhams are aiming to target this lucrative sector directly and provide wealthy Russian collectors with more exposure to Bonhams’ sales.

The Moscow office, headed by Marguerite Strasser, who has worked with Bonhams for some years, will support the Russian department in London headed by Sophie Hamilton and Cynthia Sparke.

Ms Strasser’s role is to act as a bridge between the two cities and actively promote the biannual Russian sales in New Bond Street that began less than two years ago in November 2005.

It is also envisaged that the Moscow office will connect with the office in Dubai that Bonhams recently set up in partnership with the Al-Tajir family. With its significant Russian expatriate community, Bonhams have scheduled their first sale in Dubai for November.

The latest development means that Bonhams have now joined Christie’s, who have had a permanent presence in the Russian capital and St Petersburg since 1995, and Sotheby’s, who have a representative (but no office) in Moscow.