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Austrian art gallery Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac is in advanced talks to take the lease at Mallett's Dover Street home, Ely House, as they look to make their London debut.

The property, the four-storey former London residence of the bishops of Ely, has been on the market over the last few months via property agent Levy Real Estate.

Mallett decided to sell the leases of its lavish London and New York outposts earlier this year and hired Levy to help it find a suitable gallery business to take over the sumptuous space at 37 Dover Street. Levy had marketed the lease, which runs until 2026, with a £2.5m price tag.

Levy also previously helped Mallett sell its lease at 141 New Bond Street location in 2012.

Mallett, one of the oldest antique dealers in the world, is owned by the Stanley Gibbons Group, which has issued a string of profit warnings recently, and selling the Dover Street lease will help raise funds and reduce costs.

Mallett, which had occupied the 11,000 square foot space since 2011, will focus on exhibitions and shows but is also thought to be looking for a smaller location in central London.

Stanley Gibbons and Levy said they were unable to comment.

International Galleries

Thaddaeus Ropac, established in 1983, is a well-respected art gallery business with locations in Paris and Salzburg.

A spokeswoman for the gallery refused to comment on the specifics of any potential deal, but did confirm that the gallery are looking at possible spaces in London although nothing yet is signed.

If the deal goes ahead in Dover Street it will be the gallery’s first London location.

Ropac is advised by David Rosen, senior partner at property agents Pilcher Hershman. Rosen has a track record of advising galleries on new spaces in London and clients have included Marian Goodman and Hauser & Wirth which he helped find premises in Golden Square and Savile Row respectively.

Over recent years there has been an increase in European contemporary art galleries being drawn to London with some experts suggesting it is now rivalling New York as a hub for dealers in this sector of the market. European galleries that have recently chosen London as a location for a new space include Milan's Cardi Gallery which opens a new space this month in Grafton Street, joining Berlin's Sprüth Magers who moved to the same street in 2007.