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The Independent Online
IS THE horse-trading in personnel between the big auction houses beginning to produce winners and losers? Hughes Joffre resigned as Sotheby's head of modern pictures a year ago and joined Christie's as head of 20th- century pictures in January. By the look of Sotheby's sale next week, trade which might have gone to his old firm has followed him to Christie's.

Sotheby's sale crams Impressionist, modern and contemporary art and ceramics together, a sure sign of hard times. Christie's has two strong sales, of contemporary art Thursday (2pm) and post- war and contemporary British art Friday (11am).

Bonhams, in a quest for superlatives, has dropped its usual 'masterworks' sale title and hit upon 'outstanding and monumental works', Thursday (6pm). There is a 'monumental' (20in high) ovoid (bum-shaped) stoneware pot by Hans Coper, est pounds 30,000- pounds 40,000 and, most striking, a 16 1/2 in thin-walled vessel shaped like an inverted bell - the first appearance at a British auction by the Dutch potter, Geert Lap. Bonhams staff flew to Amsterdam to collect it and have given it the tantalising estimate of pounds 900- pounds 1,500.

Teddies are still looking strong, appearing with dolls and juvenilia at Phillips, Tuesday (12 noon) and with children's books and chess sets at Bonhams Chelsea, Thursday (2pm). There is tribal art at Bonhams Chelsea, Wednesday (2pm).

The big end has fallen out of the classic car market, so look for bargains at Coys of Kensington's sale at the Royal Agricultural Halls, Vincent Square, Westminster, on Monday (7pm). A 1924 Chrysler 70 with hood is est pounds 5,000- pounds 8,000 without reserve (071-584 7444).

Curio of the week: Annie Oakley's Winchester rifle, made in 1888, est pounds 15,000- pounds 25,000 at Christie's, Wednesday (2.30pm).


Chester: Four days of antiques and fine art culminates next Saturday (11am) in sale of furniture and artworks of the Bryn Oerog estate. Phillips, New House, Christleton Road (0244 313936).

Birmingham: A cycle retailer's stock, with computers, wines and beers, Monday (11am). The Saleroom, 3 Berkeley Street. Stevens, Champion & Slater (021 643 1942).

Tenterden: Georgian furniture, pictures, bronzes, metalware, toys, linen, books, rugs, Wednesday (11am). Halifax Property Services, 53 High Street (0580 763200).

Glasgow: Scottish ceramics, jewellery, silver, furniture, artworks, including among Wemyss ware a rare goblet made for George V's coronation, est pounds 800- pounds 1,200. William Hardie, 141 West Regent Street (041 221 6780).

Loughton: Porcelain, glass, including a Shelley coffee service ( pounds 200- pounds 300), Thursday (11am). Furniture Friday (11am). Ambrose (Black Horse Agencies), 149 High Road (081-502 3951).

Matlock: Hardwood conservatories, woodworking equipment, Tuesday (10.30am) at Blackbird Conservatories, Merula Works, Kelstedge. Richardson & Linnell (0332 296369).

South Wigston: Audio-visual equipment, gold and silver jewellery, tableware, domestic electrical goods, glassware. Wednesday (10.30am). Gemmells (0602 475052).


Tuesday-Sunday: Decorative Antiques and Textiles: Chelsea Harbour, London SW10 (071-624 5173).

Friday-Saturday: Great Northern Tyne and Wear Antiques and Collectors: North-East Exhibition Centre, Gosforth Park, Newcastle. Great Northern Antiques Fairs (0642 550268). Wells Antiques: The Bishop's Palace, Wells. West Country Antiques and Collectors Fairs (0225 424677).

Friday-Sunday: Antiques: Wilton House, Salisbury (0722 743115). Hoghton Tower Antiques, Preston, Lancashire. Robert Bailey (0277 362662). Yorkshire Antiques Super, York racecourse (091 537 2893).

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

Look out for . . .

Salisbury: Good antiques sale, Thursday (10am) has furniture, Oriental ceramics, ivories, artworks, fans, dolls, toys, costume. Woolley & Wallis, Castle Street (0722 411422).

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