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Glasgow: Liquidated stock of Dyas Curtains, Tuesday (noon) on premises, 438 Hillingdon Road. Fabric, sofas, chairs, 80 pairs of ready-made curtains, cushions, valances, bedspreads, industrial sewing machines. J A Cathcart (041 248 6939).

IT PAYS to think strategically when consigning to auction. At first sight, a letter signed by Einstein might look like a cert for a literary history sale - but would it fetch more as pop memorabilia? Einstein unwittingly originated the popular stereotype of the shock-haired, other-worldly scientist portrayed in countless films and plays. So Bonhams has put the rather mundane note he wrote to an Indian doctor in 1951 (pointing out that his field was relativity, not nuclear physics) in its Thursday (noon) entertainment sale, instead of the traditional slot for letters - its books and maps sale (10 March). Estimated at pounds 300-pounds 400, the note is likely to attract bigger bids from over-enthusiastic private collectors of pop memorabilia than it would from weary book dealers. As Einstein might have put it: 'That's showbiz.'

Are NHS doctors getting nostalgic for tradition and quality? The market for old medical instruments continues to gather strength. Christie's South Kensington is to hold Britain's first dedicated medical instrument sale on 19 August and meanwhile offers in its Thursday (2pm) sale of scientific and medical instruments an ebony and steel trepanning set made around 1800 by Grangeret, cutler to Napoleon, est pounds 3,500-pounds 4,500. Before specialist instrument makers began trading in the 19th century, surgeons cut and sawed with instruments made by the finest cutlers of the age.

Sale totals of medical instruments, hitherto offered by Christie's South Ken three times a year in general instrument sales, are now around 94 per cent. In the past two years the number of lots per sale has risen from about 30 to 140. However, you can still buy a scarificator (for bleeding) for around pounds 100.

Best of the rest: Victorian pictures at Christie's Friday (11am) - two huge, fresh-to-market paintings of Florence Nightingale and Queen Victoria in the Crimea, pounds 120,000-pounds 180,000 and pounds 80,000-pounds 120,000 - and also at Christie's South Ken Thursday (10.30am). Meissen from the Korthaus collection, Christie's Monday (10.30am). Staffordshire figures at Christie's South Kensington Thursday (10.30am). Continental glass, ceramics, paperweights, Sotheby's Tuesday (10.30am). European ceramics and glass, Phillips Wednesday (11am). Portrait miniatures and fine silver, Christie's Wednesday (10.30am). Silver and plate, Christie's South Ken Tuesday (2pm). Sporting sale at Bonhams Wednesday (2pm).


Coventry: Liquidation sale of carpets (including Axminster, Chinese, Indian) tomorrow (10am) at Dutton Road, Aldermans Green Industrial Estate. Howkins & Harrison (0788 560321).

Somerton, Somerset: 428 lots of cigarette cards today (1.30pm) at Red Lion Hotel. London Cigarette Card Company (0458 73452).

Newcastle upon Tyne: Four-day fine arts and antiques sale from Tuesday (10.30am daily). Anderson & Garland, Marlborough Crescent (091 232 6278).

Dunchideok, near Exeter: 900 lots of computers and accessories tomorrow (11am) at the Lord Haldon Hotel. South West Computer Auctions (0934 642437).

Leamington Spa: Contents of three restaurants in more than 600 lots, Monday (11am): Crown Services Warehouse, Southtown (0926 887476).

Leominster: 1,200 lots of antiques and effects, Wednesday and Thursday (10am daily). Russell Baldwin & Bright, Ryelands Road (0568 611166).

Northallerton: About 650 lots of period furniture, porcelain, glass, silver, textiles, some from a local estate, Monday (noon) and Tuesday (10.30am), to be held at the town hall. Hutchinson Scott (0423 324264).

Stoke-on-Trent: More than 500 lots of Doulton and Bewick porcelain, including rare pilot figures and jugs, Tuesday (10am), with other antiques, collectables. Louis Taylor, Britannia House, 10 Town Road, Hanley (0782 214111).

Shifnal, Shropshire: Architectural pieces, Oriental rugs, collectables on Wednesday (10.30am); jewellery, silver, watches, Thursday (11am) at Park House Hotel, near junction 3 of M54. Walker, Barnet & Hill (0902 773531).


Kenilworth Antique Dealers Fair: Chesford Grange, Tuesday-Saturday. Jane Sumner (0672 870727).

East Anglia Spring Antiques Fair: Athenaeum, Bury St Edmunds, Thursday-Saturday. Antiques in Britain Fairs (0273 423355).

Period Homes and Interiors Event: Olympia, London W14, Thursday-Sunday (081-660 8008).

Antique Dealers' Fair of Scotland, Hopetoun House, South Queensferry, near Edinburgh, Friday-Sunday. Country House Events (0937 541065).

Thoresby Antiques Fair, Thoresby Park, Ollerton, Nottinghamshire, Friday-Sunday. Whittington Exhibitions (081-644 9327).

Countrywide: Antiques Trade Gazette (071-930 4957), Government Auction News (071-734 8291/4, hotline 0891 887700).

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