Why is the Phillips sale on Tuesday going to be totally FAB?
Christmas is coming, and auction lots are becoming ever more festive. Two ink and watercolour Christmas cards by the cartoonist Norman Thelwell are at Sotheby's Sussex in Billingshurst, Tuesday (10.30am). One shows two little boys shouting to each across the road from their bedroom windows, each with a view of the other's parents wrapping presents in their sitting rooms. The caption is: "You're getting a tricycle, a jig-saw puzzle and a fire engine. What am I getting?" Estimate: pounds 600-pounds 800. Another Thelwell of one of his precocious young riders tipped over a snow-covered yule log by her pony is pounds 500-pounds 700.

The Billingshurst salerooms have 1,272 lots his week: prints, oils and watercolours on Tuesday, silver portrait miniatures, fans, vertu and jewellery on Wednesday (01403-783933).

How many more puppets of Thunderbirds' Lady Penelope, her Cockney chauffeur Parker and their fabulous vehicles are waiting to be consigned to auction? Phillips' first, 100-lot sale of Thunderbirdiana, from the Sixties BBC television science fiction series, fetched pounds 115,000 in September. The Lady Penelope puppet feched pounds 34,500. All were from the collection of one of the series' creators, Sylvia Anderson.

On Tuesday (12 noon), 70 more Thunderbirds lots come up at Phillips, this time from a variety of owners who gasped "FAB!" at the September sale's prices. The unique, nine foot original puppet-scale model of Lady Penelope's pink Rolls Royce, FAB 1, built in 1966 for the film Thunderbirds Are Go!, is estimated pounds 20,000-pounds 30,000. In a commendably egalitarian gesture, Phillips has estimated the original puppets of Lady Penelope and Parker both at pounds 15,000-pounds 20,000. The Penelope puppet is "the other one" - only two are known to have survived.

Another man-made pet with an instinct for survival is Mr Whoppit, the late Donald Campbell's mascot that floated to the surface of Lake Coniston when Campbell's record-breaking speedboat Bluebird disintegrated at 300mph in 1967, killing him. Its estimate, as part of the Campbell archive in Christie's South Kensington's sale of teddy bears (Monday), is pounds 50,000- pounds 60,000. You can still buy a German Steiff bear for pounds 120-pounds 140.

Film posters make exciting Christmas presents. No need to pay tens of thousands for an early King Kong poster: Christie's film and entertainment sale, Thursday (10.30am) estimates an RKO King Kong at pounds 500-pounds 700. It is, of course, for a 1940s re-release. No one need know.

There are plenty of cast-offs from film sets. While watching Octopussy and Moonraker you may or may not have spotted the dozen jumpsuits, basketball boots and socks that are estimated pounds 200-pounds 300 the lot in the sale. The same estimate is on two blueprint drawings for Star Wars, one of the much- loved R2D2 robot.

At pounds 300-pounds 500, a 6th century BC Grecian style crested helmet, made for Sean Connery in Time Bandits (1981), is still by no means as desirable as the real thing: the 6th century BC Greek bronze helmet of the same design in Sotheby's sale of antiquities, Thursday (10.30am), is est pounds 18,000- pounds 22,000.

John Windsor

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