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A page from the new-look Magalogue.

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These multi-discipline auctions promoted in oversized Magalogue-style catalogues have been occupying an increasing proportion of the South Kensington's sale calendar. Over 30 sales are planned in this form for 2008.

It is not just the frequency of sales that has grown, the number of categories given the Interior treatment instead of a stand-alone auction with its own catalogue has also increased. From now on all those wanting to bid for silver, ceramics, furniture and works of art at South Kensington will have to go to the Interior sales to buy. In fact, it is easier to single out the classes that won't be generally covered in this way. They include most (but not all) of the picture categories, collectors' fields such as popular entertainment, fashion, Art Nouveau and Deco, books and manuscripts, Asian and Islamic and scientific and travel sales.

The auction house have taken the idea of integration a step further, abandoning specialist sections within the Magalogue in favour of a mix of all categories, and setting the goods out in the same room-setting style for viewing in their refurbished Old Brompton Road saleroom.

Christie's underlying philosophy, and their target audience for this new approach, is clear from their promotional press release: "Shop and furnish your home like a professional decorator…" and "Now our enhanced, weekly Interior sales offer an even more fantastic retail alternative for shoppers and decorators looking to complete their homes with stylish works that will hold their value".

The aim is to broaden the take-up for the volume middle market sector with a presentation designed to encourage new private clients to cross the threshold and shop in department-store style.

As buyers, the advantages of Christie's new all-in-one presentation for the trade are less obvious, but as vendors they may reap the benefit of a wider audience for their goods. Christie's say that combining categories into one sale will also help in terms of speed and administration.

By Anne Crane