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The rise was particularly striking in March/April (up 41 per cent) before falling to 10 per cent in May/June.

The overall buy-in rate at the Hotel Drouot for the first half of 2000 fell to 15.4 per cent, compared to 18 per cent in the first half of 1999. Although no single lot cleared the Fr10m barrier, there were 128 sales of over Fr1m, twice as many as in the first half of 1999.