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“Everybody’s buying habits have changed. Everyone has more knowledge and more access. People are more eclectic. The buyer is much more varied. There is a lot more texture in the market. There is a lot more diversity: more women, a variety of different buyers. One of the motors behind our growth is that 50% of our buyers are online.”

Adrian Biddell summarises changes in the market at the Art Business Conference in London. 

“It is an unusual move for someone but this is a carpe diem moment. I will resurface in the new year after a break but I am certainly not leaving the world of fine art, antiques or auctioneering. I hope to remain on the SOFAA national committee.”

Jeremy Lamond, Halls’ fine art director, who leaves this winter after 23 years at the firm to relocate to south-west England.

“Mr Drahi’s offer delivers a significant premium to market for our shareholders, including our employee shareholders, and positions Sotheby’s well for the future.”

Chairman of Sotheby’s board of directors Domenico De Sole as the company’s shareholders approved a $3.7bn deal to sell it to media and telecoms entrepreneur Patrick Drahi.

“He’s clearly having a clear-out.”

John Black of Sworders on Rod Stewart, who offers 20 items from his personal collection at the auction house following the sale of 35 others there last year.

“The possible inclusion of a long extinct species because of its similarity to other ivories will aid the confusion and not stop the illegal trade in modern ivory."

Kim McDonald of The Taxidermy Law Company on the bid to list mammoths as a protected species under CITES.