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There had been speculation that it might be closed as part of the company’s recent review, but that rumour has now been quashed.

The only other auction house to sell antiquities in London are Bonhams.

“This is really good news because it keeps London as a major centre for the study of antiquities, not only in the saleroom but beyond as well,” said ATG columnist Richard Falkiner, who ran the department between 1958 and 1972 and is a regular chairman of the antiquities vetting committee at both Grosvenor House and Olympia.