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“Our previous record was £18,000 for the 1953 War of The Worlds film poster we sold last January, so this beat it by just one bid.”

Chris Aston, managing director of Aston’s Auctioneers, on Steve McQueen’s Rolex, which made a house record hammer price at the Dudley saleroom.

“We had a very good year in 2017 and we are planning to have an even better one in 2018. The 1937 Picasso we sold for $70m in London last night is certainly a pleasing indicator for the year ahead.”

Tad Smith, Sotheby’s CEO, as the auctioneer’s full year results were posted.

“May others now enjoy my stuff.”

Actor Russell Crowe who will offer a large portion of his collection at Sotheby’s Australia in an auction titled The Art of Divorce.

“There are so many more opportunities than there were when I first came into bookselling in the early 1980s, and it’s so exciting to be involved. Thanks to the internet there are undreamed-of opportunities to find new customers and to quickly and easily be in contact with them.”

Sally Bourdon, new president of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.

“We have been asked by his family to help them with the next difficult stage. Items of personal importance have been retained by the family and the decision to part with the various items in the auction next week has not been taken lightly by them.”

Colin Meays of Dominic Winter on the auction of items from the late actor Robert Hardy which will be offered by the Gloucestershire auctioneer on March 8.