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The firm have made no secret of their ambitions to replace Sotheby’s Billingshurst operation as the place of choice for consignors in the region, and Mr Toovey has revealed that a 32 per cent increase in sales in the past year is due in no small part to business picked up as a result of the widespread closure of departments at Summers Place.

The first sale at the Spring Gardens saleroom at Washington, West Sussex, was a three-day event offering more than 2800 lots.