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Sir Patrick, who is retiring, will remain as a consultant with the office run by Della Hartley, who has worked there for some 26 years.

Managing director Adam Partridge said: "I have been interested in Sir Patrick's business for many years. The deal almost happened some five years ago when I left my post running Frank Marshall of Knutsford to start my own business. Sir Patrick has been a reluctant retiree but we have remained in contact and on good terms over the years."

Cheyne's premises at 38 Hale Road, Altrincham will be used as a valuation office and consignment centre with items sold at either of the firm's existing salerooms in Macclesfield and Liverpool.

Alongside this acquisition, Adam Partridge are also opening a saleroom at Houldsworth Mill in Reddish, Stockport.