FRENCH ART medallists had a start on their English counterparts (see above) thanks to France's mid-century revolution in bronze casting. Its pioneers were sculptors of animal bronzes, many of whom came from artisan stock: Pierre- Jules Mene and Jules Moigniez were sons of metalworkers and Antoine-Louis Barye was the son of a goldsmith.

Sotheby's prolific annual sale, of art, antiques, silver, jewellery, Wemyss ware and guns at the Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder, Perthshire, Monday and Tuesday (10am daily), has its first animalier section (102 lots). The French animaliers admired Landseer and adored the Scottish hunting scene, which explains why so many of their tableaux are red in tooth and claw. Even a pair of bird groups, of swallows and sparrows, are both fighting (est pounds 2,500- pounds 3,500).

Bonhams has its third sale of 'natural history' (ie, remains of dead things) on Wednesday (2pm). One eccentric Victorian example is a monkey skeleton complete with chair and elaborate carrying case in veneered rosewood with floral cartouches and finials, pounds 400- pounds 600.

Five years ago, Victorian cabinet and carte de visite photographs were the biggest single item at Christie's South Kensington's thrice-yearly minor photograph sales. There are only about 20 lots of them in the Thursday (10.30am) sale of photographs and cameras. A gilt- clasped album of 95 taken in London around 1861 by a star of society photography, Camile Silvy, is est pounds 250- pounds 350.