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“The world is changing. All the deals we did in the last year with clients such as international museums were done through friendships and relationships. They hadn’t visited the gallery. It is rare someone walks off the street and says ‘That’s pretty. I will have it.'"

Old Master dealer Johnny Van Haeften on relocating his gallery to his home in Richmond, south-west London following a property deal that forced a clutch of dealers to leave Duke Street in St James's.

“It always seemed irrational to try to replace us with fashion outlets, which are against the council’s stated policy. Any replacement would now be limited to art, antique or bespoke, and would pay an equivalent rent to us.”

Textiles and tapestry gallery S Franses director Simon Franses on the dispute with its landlord in St James’s.

“The interest was really because of the personal nature of the letters from Diana. These were very personal letters that were particularly touching.”

Cheffins director Luke MacDonald on the sale of letters from Princess Diana to Cyril Dickman who served as chief steward of Buckingham Palace for over 50 years.

“Those divisions which were restructured first are already showing signs of recovery, which hopefully points to better days ahead.”

Harry Wilson, chairman of collectables group Stanley Gibbons, following the publication of its half year results.