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This Italian cabinet, c.1660 formerly owned by William Beckford, will have a price of about £1m when Partridge offer the Scott Ginsburg collection. Like a number of pieces being offered, it was bought by Mr Ginsburg from Partridge.

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The collection will be launched in New Bond Street on December 12 with an exhibition and fully illustrated catalogue. Highlights will later form the centrepiece for the Partridge stand at the Palm Beach fair early next year.

The collection is relatively small at around 50 pieces, but includes exceptional French and English furniture, clocks, tapestries and pictures, mainly from the 1740-1820 period.

Partridge chairman Mark Law believes the collection is the most valuable in this field to be consigned to a London dealership in living memory.

"Scott Ginsburg is known as one of the most discriminating collectors of the last ten years and bought the very best examples available in both Paris and London," he told ATG.

He also said that his decision to sell through the trade "shows that at a time when auction houses are increasing their charges to buyers and sellers, collectors of even the finest works of art realise they have an alternative when they choose to disperse their collections."