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Clive Stewart-Lockhart of Dreweatts, left, hands over the chairmanship of the Society of Fine Art Auctioneers to Paul Viney of Woolley & Wallis.

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The new chairman congratulated his predecessor: "I am delighted to be taking over from Clive, a good friend (and doughty business competitor!) who did such a great job during his tenure.

"In my two-year stint I hope we can encourage more members to come to events and also raise our public profile while maintaining the highest standards of probity amongst our membership. If we could also persuade Christie's to become members, that would be the icing on the cake."