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Mr Shaw, whose early career included a decade at Mary Cooke Antiques, S.J. Phillips and J.H. Bourdon-Smith Ltd, has traded as Nicholas Shaw Antiques since 1992. A stalwart of many of the top UK fairs including Olympia and BADA, he traded from the Bond Street Silver Galleries and then the Great Grooms centre in Billingshurst before moving to a shop on Lombard Street in Petworth in 2002.

Appointed one of the youngest members of the British Antique Dealers’ Association in 1997, he organised the millennium exhibition of York silver at the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall in York (the largest display of provincial silver ever mounted in this country), last year’s Scottish Silver Symposium in Edinburgh and he was also made chairman of the Silver Society in 2008.

While the auctioneering profession has spawned a raft of successful dealers, it is more unusual for a dealer to move in the opposite direction. Mr Shaw told ATG he relished the change from his current schedule, which includes exhibiting at close to 30 fairs a year.

Nicholas Shaw Antiques will be wound down in the coming weeks, with a closing down sale at the Petworth shop set for July 16-19. His final fair will be Antiques For Everyone at the NEC on July 23-26.

Mr Shaw’s appointment was set in motion when Bonhams’ former head of department, Rupert Slingsby, joined Woolley and Wallis last month. He, in turn, was replacing Alex Butcher who has joined Lawrences of Crewkerne after nine years in Salisbury.

By Roland Arkell