Auctions: Lightly draped ladies for the garden

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The Independent Online
STATUARY has been less chipped and dented by the housing recession than other house-related sectors of the art market such as chimneypieces. Since the 1988-89 housing boom, garden statuary has fallen in value by about 20 per cent, indoor statuary by about 15 per cent. New money moving out of London into country houses is finding that a bit of marble or bronze makes a quick impression in an empty entrance hall.

Still out of favour: dull, historical 'doorstops' such as the 14 1/2 in bronze of a pensive Lorenzo de Medici after Michelangelo, est pounds 1,000-pounds 1,500 at Sotheby's on Friday (10.30am). This up-market sale includes bronzes and marbles held over since March. (Many of the cheaper pieces went into the first colonnade sale in June).

Lightly draped women are still easier to shift than the completely nude. A draped, 19th-century, 7ft 6in white marble Venus by Antonio Rosetti has top estimate: pounds 40,000-pounds 60,000.

DECO DELIGHTS

Christie's offers a novel mixture of British and continental decorative arts and contemporary ceramics on Friday (10.30am). Highlight is the biggest private collection of arts and crafts jewellery to come to auction: 200 pieces estimated from the low hundreds. Much of the furniture is strictly for style buffs, such as the 1953 bench by Hans Wegner - two bits of laminated wood est pounds 400-pounds 600.

COLONNADE SALES

Sotheby's first colonnade sale in pictures - an attempt at quick-moving, down-market picture sales, hastily renamed to avoid confusion with New York's 'arcade' sales - is on Wednesday (11am). A wide timescale (the 16th to the 20th century) and a narrow price range: pounds 300-pounds 3,000. Christie's South Kensington's small print sale, Wednesday (2pm) has some good, clear modern Brits (undervalued). Sporting prints: the racehorses will leave huntin' and shootin' behind.

COUNTRYWIDE

Stafford: Property from Sandon Hall on the premises, Tuesday (10.30am) by direction of the Earl of Harrowby: furniture, tapestry, ceramics. Sotheby's (0244 315531).

Warrington: Surprise packages - undeliverables from Parcel Force, no reserve, Tuesday (10.30am). Littons, Guardian Street (0925 572199).

Norton, off A38, near Gloucester: Architectural and garden items with a few film memorabilia. Norton Barn, Wainlodes Lane. Nationwide (0453 844733).

Coventry: Leading brand computerware, photocopiers, a boardroom table and an army of filing cabinets, Friday (1pm). Richard Ellis, 22 Central City Industrial Estate, Red Lane (0203 555180).

Ludlow: Good general art and antiques, including contents of Old Castle, Putley, and Tack Farm, Redditch, Tuesday (10.30am). Ludlow Antique Auctions, 29 Corve Street (0584 875157).

Hawkhurst, Kent: No-reserve goods from local police on the shelves of a former supermarket, also furniture, old and new household goods, various liquidated stocks, Monday (10am). Auction Centres, Highgate (0580 754545).

Northampton: Big, well-run sale (catalogue-only, no children) of furniture, household goods, liquidated commercial and retail stocks, next Saturday (9.30am). Heathcote Ball, Commercial Street (0604 37263).

Countrywide auctions supplied by Antiques Trade Gazette (071-930 4957) and Government Auction News (071-734 8291/8294; hotline: 0891 887700).

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