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“It goes without saying that Edward VIII coins do not appear at auction very often. Indeed the last time this particular coin appeared was in 1978, so the sale becomes an occasion in itself. It is no surprise, therefore, that collectors the world over have fought tooth and nail to obtain this example.”

Spink specialist Gregory Edmund on the sale of a rare Edward VIII 1937 pattern penny that set a UK auction record for a copper coin at Spink & Son.

“I hope the sentencing highlights that this type of activity is illegal and acts as a deterrent to those involved in the illegal sale and export of such items.”

Detective Constable Sarah Bailey who led the investigation into two men from south London who have been sentenced for selling antique ivory fans on eBay to buyers in China and the US illegally without the required export permits.

“This masterpiece has incomparable provenance and represents an opportunity to not only own an important work of art but also to help fund the future of a truly remarkable institution.”

Christie’s international department head of antiquities G Max Bernheimer ahead of the sale of a Roman statue of Emperor Hadrian billed as “one of the finest ancient statues from the Grand Tour era of collecting”.

“Not only is it beautifully preserved and an astonishing rarity but it is also an important historical document… Scholars have identified the site of the mine itself as Ma’din Bani Sulaim, located north-west of the holy city of Mecca.”

Stephen Lloyd, Morton & Eden’s Islamic coins specialist, on a rare Umayyad gold dinar dated 105AH (723AD) that will be offered at a Morton & Eden auction with a £1.4-1.6m estimate next month.