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The new independent auction business will operate premises in both Glasgow and Edinburgh – the Edinburgh rooms hold their first specialist picture and general antique sales in mid-December, the Glasgow office and auction business will take about six months to set up.

Investment is both internal and from merchant bankers Noble Grossart, who bought the name Lyon & Turnbull when the longstanding auction business closed early this year. Sir Angus Grossart has agreed to become chairman of the new business.

Sebastian Pryke, the one expert from the group who quit Phillips that was thought not to be involved in the new venture, is acting as a temporary consultant to Lyon & Turnbull. He told the Antiques Trade Gazette that he would reveal his own plans in the near future.

Nick Curnow, the former head of Phillips Edinburgh and the new managing director of Lyon & Turnbull, believes there was a gap in the market left by the closure of Christie’s and Phillips Glasgow rooms and decided with his colleagues to grab the opportunity to develop the Scottish market.

They clearly viewed the closure of the major salerooms as an indication of falling confidence in the Scottish market, and state their intention of re-establishing confidence in Scotland as an international arena for buying and selling art and antiques.

Mr Pryke answered the argument that at least part of the trade believes the Scottish market is shrinking by saying: “It will if it isn’t promoted. The things are still here and outside London Scotland has a much stronger heritage in pictures than any other area of the UK.”

Their confidence is reflected by the launch of other auction businesses in Edinburgh this year by Finlays and Thomson, Roddick and Medcalf. In addition, Lyon & Turnbull aim to put a lot of effort into developing their international business as well as Internet services. But auctioneer Paul Howard of Shapes, who have been established there for 25 years, and wished the new venture well, said: “Even with the amount of experience they have between them, they are going to have to start from scratch.”

Mr Curnow said: “Our aim is to establish the new Lyon & Turnbull as the leading auction house in Scotland, introducing our clients’ goods to the right market, whether at home or overseas.”

The revival of the Lyon & Turnbull name – the auction house was founded in 1826 – is likely to give the new team a considerable marketing advantage.

In addition, Noble Grossart are no strangers to the Scottish art market, having acted as underwriters for the Edinburgh gallery Bourne Fine Art.

Phillips had no further comment to add to the views expressed on the front page of the Antiques Trade Gazette last week.

William Plews, managing director of the old Lyon & Turnbull said he was “delighted” at the news of the business “going from strength to strength”.