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Mind you, the firm of Gladwell & Co., who have a gallery at 68 Queen Victoria Street, EC4, have had plenty of practice at running an art business; a couple of years ago they celebrated their 250th anniversary making them one of the oldest art dealerships in the country.

Gladwell are owned and run by Anthony Fuller with his son Glenn and daughter Cory and last week Anthony told me that 2003 proved the best year for Gladwell’s since he started at the gallery four decades ago.

They have capitalised on this success and just taken over another well-established London gallery, W.H. Patterson at 19 Albermarle Street in Mayfair.

Founded 40 years ago by William Patterson, the gallery initially specialised in 18th and 19th century Dutch and Flemish pictures, but for some time now Patterson’s have also mounted regular exhibitions for contemporary artists.

William Patterson died in 2002 and the gallery was passed to Gladwell’s by his widow Patricia.

The new era begins officially with an exhibition at Patterson’s commencing July 13.

There will be few surprises and Gladwell will not make any immediate changes in the gallery policy.

They will, however, gradually introduce their own stock of European pictures and there will always be one of the three Fuller principals on duty in Albermarle Street.

The new gallery will not dent Gladwell’s intensive schedule of fairs both here and in the United States.