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The Independent Online
When the Shah was deposed in 1977 and many Iranians fled their country, they also left the London Islamic artworks market. Now those exiles who have become wealthy are seeking to reassemble their collections. Last April's Islamic sale at Christie's sold 85 per cent by value, 73 per cent by lot, on the back of reduced estimates, yielding pounds 1,033,000.

Star lot of the two-day bi-annual sale, Tuesday (10.30am) and Thursday (2.30pm), is a unique 37in-high Islamic 11th or 12th-century stylised bronze of a lion, expected to top pounds 500,000. Christie's regards it as the most important Islamic bronze at auction this century. Its twin is the famous Griffin of Pisa Cathedral. A vase-shaped bladder in the lion's rump is thought to have been part of a device to make it roar.

Sotheby's showpiece in its Islamic artworks sale, Thursday (10.30am), is a complete gilded and painted wood interior from about 1750, removed from a rich merchant's house in Damascus, where it would have witnessed a lifestyle of music, wine and dancing. Estimate: pounds 50,000- pounds 70,000.


Bonhams' annual sale of Lalique glass figures, scent bottles, car mascots, vases, Wednesday (6pm), includes 50 from the famous Shapiro collection. Ests pounds 100 to pounds 7,500.

More than 100 portraits of the stars by star photographers - Beaton, Snowdon, Bailey - are being sold to help London Lighthouse, the Aids charity: Christie's, Tuesday (8pm). Snowdon's photograph of Frank Bruno flexing his muscles - hurry while they still flex - is estimated pounds 300- pounds 400.

More photographs at Christie's, Wednesday (11am): moderns include Beaton, Penn, Bailey, Newton, Stieglitz, estimates pounds 100- pounds 25,000. And Thirties photographs by Humphrey Spender of the Jarrow hunger march and decadent life in Berlin are at Bloomsbury Book Auctions on Thursday (11am); one lot of 19 photographs of the march are estimated pounds 3,000- pounds 5,000.


Glasgow: Fifth annual football sale at Christie's, Wednesday (11am), includes jerseys, trophies and caps collected by Ray Kennedy, victim of Parkinson's disease; pounds 200 may buy a jersey, pounds 2,500- pounds 3,000 a medal (041 332 8134).

Alnwick: At Chillingham Castle, art, antiques, scientific instruments, classic cars, today (11am). Jim Railton (06685 359).

Sheffield: Collective catalogue sale including office equipment, garden ornaments, Chinese rugs, vehicles, Tuesday (10.30am), at Irish Social Centre, Brunswick Road. Willis & Beckett (0742 767156).

Shrewsbury: Private collection of portrait miniatures, part two, Friday (11am). Artists include Engleheart, Forster, Plimer, Smart, plus French and Venetian schools. Ests pounds 200- pounds 5,000. Halls (0743 231212).

Ossett: Police lost property, garden machinery, cars, Monday (10am), at Ashfield House, Illingworth Street. C W Harrison (0924 279005).

Worcester: Retail stock and equipment in on-site liquidation of Checkout UK, Lowesmoor, Thursday (9am). Stevens, Champion & Slater (0216 431942).


Tomorrow: Giant fleamarket, Cheltenham racecourse (Melba Fairs; 0934 624854).

Monday: Newark and Nottinghamshire Showground, Newark: International Antique and Collectors (0636 702326).

Wednesday-Sunday: Bath Antique and Fine Art in the Assembly Rooms: 50 dealers. Louise Walker (0823 323363). Grasmere Autumn Antiques, Grasmere, Cumbria (0798 824095).

Thursday-Saturday: Cheltenham Antiques and Fine Art, Pittville Pump Room (Whittington Exhibitions; 081-644 9327).

Countrywide: Antiques Trade Gazette (071-930 4957) Government Auction News (0686 668851, hotline 0891 887700).

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