Detail of a royal floorspread, coastal south-eastern India, probably Golconda, c.1645. Made in cotton, hand painted, mordant and resist dyed, it is offered for a price in the region of £100,000 by Francesca Galloway.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

She is one of many dealers who found the need for gallery space was less pressing during the years of lockdown. She spent the time largely in her Suffolk home and realised that business was just as good.

“It was a nice place to work but it sort of outgrew its usefulness. Even 10 years ago if we had been ruthless with ourselves, we would have realised we didn’t need a shopfront,” Galloway tells ATG.

As her lease came to an end last month, she prepared to move to a one-room office space in Holland Park. Before she left, however, she used the gallery for a passion project: photographing her 20th century Haute Couture collection, which has been 30 years in the making.

As well as buying French haute couture she has invested in British street fashion. The photoshoot was an eight-person job and the first plan is to publish the collection.

However, Indian and Islamic art remains central to the business, and Galloway has already embarked on a Mughal painting exhibition and catalogue for 2024. She says that she hopes to work on selling more collections, and that while she plans to host future exhibitions in gallery spaces, she also hopes to explore more possibilities around online exhibitions and trading.

Meanwhile, Christine Ramphal, director of the gallery throughout the Dover Street years, also left last month.

Galloway says: “Christine is the best colleague I’ve ever worked with. She’s creative, intelligent, loyal. She was absolutely instrumental to my business. But you need new challenges. I hope we will collaborate in the future. She has my full support and my best wishes.”

Galloway has taken on Catherine Davidson.