Auctions: Addicts who need their weekly fix

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The Independent Online
IN London, auctions have wound down for the season until the show biz memorabilia sales later this month. Meanwhile, Saleroom and Auction Monthly has surveyed its auction-addicted readers: 29 per cent of respondents (three-quarters of them male) visit an auction every week, 34 per cent every two weeks; 45 per cent travel up to 50 miles, a quarter up to 100 miles.

Antiques are still the most popular buy for 76 per cent, while collectables draw 22 per cent. The most popular price range is pounds 50- pounds 100 (45 per cent), with 40 per cent prepared to pay pounds 100- pounds 500. A surprising one in 10 can afford pounds 1,000- pounds 5,000. The money comes from professionals (24 per cent) and managerial or self- employed (both 14 per cent). Most (64 per cent) are home owners. The biggest age group is 25-35 (31 per cent); 29 per cent are aged 35-45 and only 14 per cent 45-55. Most live in London and the South-east (43 per cent) or Midlands (21 per cent).

HOME SALES

Two low-priced small sales at Christie's South Kensington: fine-looking furniture in the low hundreds Wednesday (12.30pm); Oriental ceramics Thursday (10.30am) - impressive pots at pounds 100 or so.

FAIR

About 500 Midlands antique dealers at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham Thursday-Sunday. Includes bargain section. Thursday 2-9pm, Friday/Saturday 11am- 8pm, Sunday 11am-6pm. Entry Thursday pounds 4, Friday-Sunday pounds 3.50 (021-780 4141).

COUNTRYWIDE

Erith: More than 900 lots of computer hardware and software, many without reserve: next Saturday (10.30am). KTD Micro Showroom, Birch Drive, (0322 441197).

Bishops Stortford: Furniture, ceramics, pictures Tuesday (10.30am). Sworder, 15 Northgate End (0279 651388).

Leyburn: next Saturday at Tennants, Harmby Road (9.30am), 1,000 lots of antiques and collectables (0969 23780).

Deptford: No-reserve furniture, household effects, commercial liquidated stock at new auction company tomorrow (11am). Arch Auction Rooms, Unit 4, Deptford Trading Estate, London SE8 (081-694 1656).

Godalming: Glass, china, artworks - and two carousel horses, Beth and Mabel, est pounds 500- pounds 600 the pair - Thursday (11am). Hamptons, 93 High Street (0483 423567).

Manchester: Outsize designer clothes, 1,000 shell suits, footwear, engineering and gardening goods, DIY, Thursday (11am). Auction International, 51a Broughton Lane, Strangeways (061 832 2400).

Great Dunmow: 600 lots, effects of an estate, include cased objects of virtue, furniture, pictures, ceramics, firearms. Monday (10am). Hamptons, Old Town Hall (0371 873014).

Enfield: Weekly no-reserve sale of Metropolitan Police surplus vehicles, Thursday (11am). ADT Auctions, 620 Great Cambridge Road (081-366 1144).

Leominster: 600 lots of antique furniture, textiles, Wednesday and Thursday (10am daily). Russell Baldwin & Bright, Ryelands Road (0568 611166).

Breedon on the Hill: Entire contents (500 lots) of Highfield House, Overseal, sold at the Old Granary, Priory Nurseries, Wednesday (10am). Taylor Scott, (0530 416665).

Countrywide sales from Antiques Trade Gazette, Government Auction News (071- 734 8291/4), Saleroom and Auction Monthly (081-336 0393).

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