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“South Ken’s importance was its central position in creating markets and expanding them. It was key to popularising antiques and collecting at a time when the collector or enthusiast only had a single episode of Antiques Roadshow on a Sunday night to satiate their interest.”

Michael Jeffery, Woolley & Wallis and former decorative arts specialist at CSK

“I don’t know what will take its place now. Maybe one of the regions will step up, but I remember when Olympia closed it was thought that all that business would go to CSK and in the end it just dissipated.”

Jo Baring, director of the Ingram Collection and former head of Modern British art at CSK

“Christie’s made the sad but necessary sensible strategic move in getting rid of all these departments – it was never its prime business and it was correct in seeing that there wasn’t endless mileage in these things. But if you cut down your revenue-earning areas to a very small number of markets you are very vulnerable to market trends.”

Hugo Marsh, Special Auction Services and former toy specialist at CSK