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ORIGINAL artwork, whether for adult book covers, comics, children's books or posters, is the latest saleroom craze: 70 original paintings for Thirties railway posters found in an attic in Southgate, south London, are expected to fetch pounds 30,000 at Onslow's, Monday (2pm). Some had been nailed to the rafters for insulation after being salvaged from the London and North-Eastern Railway's headquarters in 1945. Other, sale- worthy pictures, some by the 'big five' poster artists employed by the company - Tom Purvis, Fred Taylor, Frank H Mason, Frank Newbould and Austin Cooper - are estimated from pounds 50- pounds 60 to the mid-hundreds. Top estimate, pounds 4,000- pounds 5,000, is for James McIntosh Patrick's golfers at North Berwick.

Children's books predominate at Bloomsbury Book Auctions sale Thursday (1pm).

Christie's South Kensington reaffirms its pre-eminence in costumes, an auction sector it founded, by its small but fascinating sale, Tuesday (2pm). Jackets, a coat, a kaftan and a purse designed by Maria Monaci Gallenga, mentor of the Italian Futurists, are in five lots mostly estimated under pounds 300. Two fresh-looking 18th-century gentlemen's suits are estimated at pounds 2,000- pounds 3,000 and pounds 4,000- pounds 6,000. A court suit including turban, made for the King of Oudh's coronation in 1827, is pounds 800- pounds 1,000.

Extra-ugly Martin brothers stoneware birds are still attracting buoyant estimates at Phillips sale of British art pottery, Tuesday (11am). Two pairs with removable heads, among 15 Martinware lots, are estimated at pounds 300- pounds 400.

The salerooms are still quiet, so it is a good time to rummage at sales that are small or down-market or in usually lively sectors such as clocks, watches, mechanical music and scientific instruments. Sotheby's is combining all four on Thursday (10.30am) and has a Colonnade Sale of 19th- and 20th-century jewellery Thursday (10.30am). There are small, unobtrusive sales at Bonhams of musical instruments, Monday (2pm) and clocks and watches Tuesday (2pm), and at Phillips, pictures, Tuesday (2pm).


Wotton-under-Edge: Around 100 lots of antique furniture, silver, ceramics, glassware and collectables including textiles: Tuesday and Wednesday (10.30am daily). Wotton Auction Rooms, Tabernacle Road (0453 844733).

Solihull: A collection of 19th-century blue and white meat platters is among British, Continental and Oriental ceramics, Wednesday (11am). Phillips, Station Road, Knowle (0564 776151).

Birmingham: Police recovery sale: electrical, hi-fi, video, bicycles, tools, clothing, wine, toys, games, Tuesday (10.30am). Fellows and Sons, Augusta Street, Hockley (021 212 2131).

Guildford: Specialised collection of Matchbox 'models of yesteryear' die-cast series, Wednesday (11am). Vectis Model Auctions (0983 292272).

Southampton: Government surplus stores: electrical, precision, laboratory, recording and communication test equipment, marine stores and navigation aids, tools, furniture, carpets, blankets, curtains, clothing at the Forte Posthouse, Wednesday (9.30am). Austin and Wyatt (0489 893466).

Cambridge: Two-day sale (11am daily) - ceramics and silver, Wednesday, furniture, paintings, prints, Thursday. Cheffins, Grain and Comins (0223 213343).

Loughborough: Sewing machinery (including embroidery, knitting) on-site at Keith Wilson Sportswear, 26a Hudson Street, Tuesday (noon). Heathcote Ball (0455 285588).


London Original Print Fair: Royal Academy of Arts, Thursday-Sunday (071-439 2822).

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

Bi-Annual High Wycombe Antiques Fair: Royal Grammar School, Thursday-Saturday (0494 673674).

Bath and Bradford-on-Avon Antique Dealers Association Decorative and Antiques Fair: The Pavilion, Bath, Thursday-Saturday (0225 442215).

Annual Chester Antiques Show: The racecourse, Thursday-Sunday. Penman Antiques Fairs (0444 482514).

Yeovil Annual Antiques and Collectors Fair: Johnson Hall, Friday-Saturday. West Country Antiques and Collectors Fairs (0225 424677).

Ceramics Fair: Margam Park, near Port Talbot, Friday-Sunday. Wakefield Fairs (0634 723461).

Kent Antiques Fair: Somerhill, Tonbridge, Friday-Sunday. Country House Events (0937 541065).

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

Look out for . . .

Old Weston, Cambridgeshire: At the village hall, sale of US government surplus; vehicles and kitchen appliances, including food processors, machinery, electrical and electronic, lawn mowers, tyres, storage cabinets, Thursday 10am (0480 842630).

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