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Mary Axon, former regional director and picture specialist for Bonhams in East Anglia, Matthew Barton, former deputy director for Sotheby’s in Olympia and Sussex, and Mark Stacey, formerly a senior valuer and director at Dreweatt Neate Hampton’s, were among five members of staff appointed in January to help source material for two art and antiques sales a year in England.

The relationship between the employees and L&T was described then as a venture partnership – with each individual encouraged to operate independently – but it has not worked out as planned.

The firm hope to work with them on a consultancy basis in the future.

Carolyn Warrender, a specialist in marketing and business development, remains with L&T South and will join the Pall Mall office, while Lee Young will continue his role as head of furniture working between Edinburgh and London.

Anna Westin, who joined Lyon & Turnbull in 2007, becomes the firm’s Asian art specialist. Ben Hanly and Graham Snow continue with their work in contemporary art and Michael Krzyanowski on decorative arts and design.

L&T’s major sale in London this year will be the Chen Collection of Russian and English silver at The Caledonian Club on November 23. Outside London, the focus of L&T’s auction activity will be now be centred on Blenheim Palace, with their first sale taking place in early May.

By Roland Arkell