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CHRISTIE'S and Sotheby's are battling for a share of the Chinese artworks market in Hong Kong and the contemporary art market in New York. Nearer home, there is a chance to talent-spot at a leisurely charity auction with artworks estimated as low as pounds 5- pounds 10 - tonight (7pm) at the Harvey Gallery, Bright Hill, Guildford. In conjunction with Christie's, students of Surrey Adult Education Service, who are taught there, have donated works. A 6in-high white ceramic elephant by Anne-Marie Marshall, who has exhibited at the V & A, is est pounds 50- pounds 100. Meet the artists at a champagne reception from 6pm; entry by catalogue, recommended donation pounds 10 (0483- 60978).

Vintage costume is cheap. Two early Victorian silk day dresses are est pounds 120- pounds 250 at Bonhams' sale of textiles, Thursday (10.30am). The same sale has a box of early 19th-century Philippines lace with a 1911 valuation of pounds 181.7s (more than pounds 9,000 today), a signed photograph of Queen Mary of 1944, as well as correspondence with one of her ladies-in-

waiting, est pounds 400- pounds 600.

The maritime sale at Christie's South Kensington has 280 ship models. A decorative planked and rigged 18th-century frigate with stand and glass case is est pounds 250- pounds 350. French Napoleonic prisoner- of-war models of warships are expensive: pounds 5,000- pounds 7,000. Titanic memorabilia are still in demand: the certificate of discharge of the ship's second cashier, Miss Mabel Martin, ('description of voyage: vessel lost'), is est pounds 900- pounds 1,400 with other items. She died when struck by a motorcycle in 1960.


A private collection of more than 1,000 corkscrews at Christie's South Kensington, Friday (10.30am) traces corkscrew history from the 18th century. Ests pounds 50 to pounds 800. Academy Auctioneers in Ealing has more than 100 lots of Victorian jewellery among silver, deco and Oriental including a private collection of netsuke, Tuesday (noon) and Wednesday (4pm); lot one in the same sale, a Y-registration Ford Cardinal hearse: pounds 3,000- pounds 5,000. Musical instruments from the Royal Naval Music School at Deal: violas, cellos, two silver- plated double horns at Phillips, Thursday (11am).


Nether Alderley, Cheshire: On-site contents of Birtles Hall, built 1819, home of the Nortons ironmaster family, and unchanged since refurbishment in the Thirties by the Manchester architect James Sellers in a mixture of styles. His neo-classical and Arts-and-Crafts furniture of 1910-40 dominates the sale, Wednesday (10am). Sotheby's (071-493 8080).

Nottingham: Printer's retirement sale: equipment includes Heidelberg letterpress and type in case, Wednesday (noon) at Thomas Harling & Son, 179 Forest Road West. Colebrook Evans & McKenzie (071-242 1362).

Wotton-Under-Edge, Gloucestershire: Contents in saleroom of Newark Park, Ozleworth, Monday (10am). Furniture, artworks. Wotton Auction Rooms, Tabernacle Road (0453 844733).

Halstead, Essex: Retirement sale of more than pounds 300,000- worth of leisure and camping equipment from Easdon Manufacturing: casual clothing, patio furniture, Thursday (10am). Chaffer Auctions, 11 High Street (0787 478955).

Leominster: Two-day sale of antiques and effects: Wednesday, silver, metalware, toys and fishing tackle, books, textiles; Thursday, porcelain, furniture, clocks, pictures (10am daily). Russell, Baldwin & Bright, Ryelands Road (0568 611166).

Malmesbury: More than 2,000 lots of commercial catering equipment, new, used and re- conditioned, Tuesday (10am). Hilditch, Gloucester Road Trading Estate (0666 825597).


Second British Antique Dealers, Duke of York's Headquarters, King's Road, Chelsea, SW3, Wednesday-Tuesday. Charity gala preview, Tuesday (6-9pm), to be attended by Princess Margaret, entry pounds 50, pounds 90 double (071-581 9225).

Sevenoaks Doll Collectors, next Saturday. The Stag, London Road (Toyman Fairs 0992 620376).

Knutsford: Annual Tatton Park Fine Art, Friday-Sunday (Bailey Fairs 0277 362662).

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

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