Discovered face down, the image is protected by varnish and impressions could be taken from it. On paper, comparable images by de Belleroche, a wealthy man who published only small editions for his circle, would fetch about pounds 500. The sale, one of two a year, also has more than 40 Shell posters lured out of their attic by the pounds 60,000 taken for 140 Shell posters in the same saleroom last year. These are estimated at pounds 150- pounds 250 for lesser artists, pounds 600- pounds 800 for the likes of Paul Nash.
Sotheby's mid-season offering of Impressionists and moderns, Wednesday (10.30am), contains another 47 Impressionists from the collection of the late Paris art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel. The most expensive will not be offered until the main Impressionist sale in December. These are relative trifles with the attraction of freshness to market, good condition and impeccable provenance - a tiny 6in x 7in Renoir of a cup and saucer is recorded as purchased from the artist on 6 September 1915 and estimated pounds 15,000- pounds 20,000. A private collection of 37 of Picasso's hideous and overpriced mass-produced ceramics is alleviated by two one-offs by the artist, evidently chafing at the production line - an incised and painted terracotta ram's head ( pounds 1,500- pounds 2,000) and a pitcher ( pounds 6,000- pounds 8,000). l
TRUE BLUE JOHN
A 64-lot collection of Blue John stone - calcium fluorite with coloured veins once mined in Derbyshire - at Christie's South Kensington, Wednesday (10.30am): urns, tabletops, goblets from around pounds 500.
A tie belonging to John Major is among celebrity ties offered for auction by Phillips, Thursday (7pm).
Sacombe Park, Hertfordshire: Big on-site historic house sale featuring Regency and Empire furniture, ceramics, clocks. Catalogue pounds 17. Christie's (071-839 9060).
Stirling: Ministry of Defence surplus including scrap machinery, furniture, clothing, household equipment, at King Robert Hotel, Thursday (9.30am). Harrison & Hetherington (0228 26292).
Manchester: Collectables, Tuesday (11am) chess and draughts sets, 20th-century paper money, commemorative coins, weapons and (6pm) toys, trains, die-casts, dolls. Capes Dunn (061 273 1911).
Bradford: Liquidation sale of new and ex-demo lawnmowers, garden tools and machinery, office and bathroom fittings, wine and spirits, Wednesday (10am). The Salerooms, 12 New John Street, Westgate (0274 734116).
Newbury: Watercolours of red grouse and snipe by Archibald Thorburn, landscape watercolour by Edward Lear, among paintings, prints and books, Wednesday (10.30am). Dreweatt Neate (0635 31234).
Erith: Specialist sale of computer wares, tomorrow (11am). Anderson Young, Birch House, Birch Walk, Frazer Road (0322 441197).
Tuesday-Sunday: London and Provincial Antique Dealers Association Show at Royal College of Art, London SW7; 65 exhibitors, prices from pounds 5 to more than pounds 500,000. Tickets pounds 10 single, pounds 15 double (071- 267 3224).
Tuesday-Thursday: Annual Hereford Antiques, Hereford Moathouse (Antiques in Britain Fairs; 0273 423355).
Friday-Sunday: Antique Dealers of Scotland: Hopetoun House, South Queensferry (Country House Events; 0937 541065).
Next Saturday-Sunday: Mammoth, Donnington Park, Leicestershire (Four in One Promotions; 0455 233495).
Countrywide: Antiques Trade Gazette (071-930 4957) and Government Auction News (0686 668851, hotline 0891 887700).