It is not easy being Pope. For a start, foot-kissing by devotees can draw blood. A red leather embroidered slipper worn by Pope Pius IX (1846-78), and a bloodstained muslin bandage inserted in it to protect him from the ravages of the overzealous, is estimated pounds 100- pounds 200 at Bonhams, among the anomalies at a sale of printed books, maps, and manuscripts, Wednesday (11am). It counts as a secondary relic. If Pius IX is canonised it will become a primary relic. A long-term investment.

The slipper and bandage are from the chapel of More House, a Queen Anne- style time capsule in Chelsea, home of the aesthete and authority on the Stuarts, the late Felix Hope-Nicholson. The sale includes a fragment of the heart of James II ( pounds 150- pounds 250), a piece of Charles I's coffin, once owned by Oscar Wilde ( pounds 300- pounds 400), and a scrap of the garment worn to the guillotine by a Carmelite nun during the French Revolution ( pounds 80- pounds 120).

Two sales of Modern Brits, hit by the recession but showing signs of revival: Christie's, Friday (11am), offers two private collections of paintings by Edwardian progressives of the Camden Town group, many unseen since the First World War. One of Harold Gilman's six studies featuring his landlady, Mrs Mounter, is est pounds 20,000- pounds 30,000. Besides the Camden works, a bold Herbert Gunn of the Mall in 1911 is est pounds 8,000- pounds 12,000. Phillips' modern British and Irish paintings, Tuesday (11am) has a Lowry, The Broker's Shop, est pounds 8,000- pounds 12,000.


Private collection of more than 40 musical boxes in Christie's South Kensington's sale of mechanical music, Thursday (2pm) has, for an est pounds 2,500- pounds 3,500, an 1862 forte-piano 'overture box' with the 'Hallelujah Chorus', 'Evening Hymn' and 'Before Jehovah's Awful Throne'. Victorian propaganda envelopes est from around pounds 250 at Christie's, Thursday (10.30am); 19th- and 20th-century posters at Christie's South Kensington, Thursday (2pm) and, also at South Ken, quilts, costume and textiles, Tuesday (2pm); 19th- and 20th-century furniture, Sotheby's, Friday (10.30am). Early oak at Bonhams, Thursday (2pm).


Knowle: Family collection of 17th-, 18th- and early 19th-century furniture, in store for three generations, Wednesday (11am). Phillips, The Old House, Station Road (0564 776151).

Aldridge: On-site liquidation of carpet wholesaler; Wilton, Axminster, Indian and Chinese rugs, tomorrow (11am). Spencer & Sons (0977 553967).

Illingworth: Commercial dishwasher, eight-pot bain-marie, among catering equipment, police and NHS lost property, furniture, musical instruments, Monday (10am). Charles Harrison, Ashfield House (0924 279005).

Crewkerne: Collection of snuffboxes, Vesta cases, vinaigrettes, among ceramics, silver, jewellery, Thursday (11am). Lawrence, South Street (0460 73041).

Guildford: Commercial model railway, model boats, toys, diecast, at Civic Hall, London Road, Wednesday (11.15am). Vectis Model Auctions (0983 282005).

Torquay: Bearne's spring sale; Tuesday ceramics and glass (10.30am), Wednesday silver, jewellery (10.30am), pictures (2.30pm), Thursday collectables, clocks, artworks (11am), furniture (2.30pm). Avenue Road (0803 296277).

Chelmsford: Big computer auction offers printers, software, scanners, modems, peripherals at Chelmsford College, Moulsham Street, next Saturday (11am). Nationwide Computer Auctions (0245 329300).

Worcester: At racecourse grandstand, furniture, paintings, ceramics, Thursday (11am). Andrew Grant (0905 357547).

Birmingham: 1,000-lot office equipment sale includes 150 portable, standard and word-processing typewriters, calculators, answering machines, Wednesday (11am). Stevens, Champion & Slater (021 643 1942).

Birmingham: Antique and later furniture, pictures, glassware, books, rugs, 19th-century Oriental ceramics, Tuesday (10.30am). Fellows & Sons, Augusta Street, Hockley (021 212 2131).

Hull: On-site at Sanbhill Nurseries, Lelley Road, Preston - surplus plant, gardening equipment, trees and shrubs, rockery stone, plant pots, tubs, racking and shelving, heaters, today (11am). Frank Hill & Son (0964 630531).


Chelsea Antiques, Old Town Hall, London SW3, Tuesday until 19 March (Penman Antiques Fairs; 0444 482514). Bath and Bradford on Avon Antique Dealers, North Parade, Bath, Thursday-Saturday (0225 442 215).

Earls Court International Antique and Collectors, today/tomorrow (IACF; 0636 702326).

Alexandra Palace Antique and Collectors, next Sunday (081-883 7061).

Leicester Antiques and Collectors, Granby Halls, Leicester, next Sunday (Four in One; 0455 233495).

Donington Park Mammoth, Exhibition Centre, Castle Donington, today/tomorrow (Four in One; 0455 233495).

Antiques Trade Gazette (071-930 4957) and Government Auction News (071-928 9001, hotline 0891 887700).