Fellows & Sons, the Birmingham-based auctioneers and valuers, are to expand their operation to London and have appointed Richard Slater to spearhead the initiative.
Mr Slater, formerly a director at Dreweatt Neate, specialises in jewellery, silver and watches.
Stephen Whittaker, managing partner at Fellows, believes the high-profile new addition to his family firm can make inroads in the South where charges and minimum lot values have risen significantly in recent years.
"Richard is a well-known and highly respected figure in the world of antiques and auctioneering. By opening an office in London we're planning to offer a real alternative to some of the bigger auction firms in the region.
"Some of the auction houses are reluctant to handle items under £3000 and we are confident clients will find our personal level of service appealing."
Fellows are currently looking for a valuation and consignment office in central London.
Richard Slater, 43, began his career in computers but moved into the jewellery trade, becoming head of jewellery at Dreweatt Neate in 1996 and later their head of silver, vertu and watches.