SPENDING / Auctions

Look out for . . .

Torquay: Two-day sale: Oriental and European ceramics, glass, Wednesday (10am), followed by silver and jewellery (12.30pm) and pictures (2.30pm). On Thursday (10am) collectables, clocks, artworks, then furniture (1.30pm). Bearne's, Rainbow, Avenue Road (0803 296277).

John Windsor

IN THE tiny world of miniatures, you meet a better class of people. Buyers go for work by named artists (many exclusive to the genre), named sitters, and in default of names, attractive ladies, dashing officers and children, in that order.

Sotheby's sale Thursday (11am) has a miniature of Prince James Edward Stuart, 'the Old Pretender' as a young man, painted in 1703 by Jacques-Antoine Arlaud for an estimated pounds 10,000- pounds 15,000. But you may obtain Lady Fitzroy Somerset, later Lady Raglan, painted in 1815 by Mrs Anne Mee - popular in her time, less so today - for an estimated pounds 450- pounds 550. Much of a 98-lot sale of miniatures at Bonhams Monday (2pm) is estimated under pounds 500.

The British Neo-Romantics, active in the inter-war years, are a class passed over by art historians but championed in recent years by collectors. Two of the the most rapidly rising names, John Armstrong and Keith Vaughan, appear on works at Sotheby's sale of modern British and Irish paintings and sculpture on Wednesday (10.30am). A surrealistic John Armstrong painting of umbrellas (he was obsessed with them) and faded vaudeville posters, dated 1952, is estimated pounds 6,000- pounds 8,000. Christie's modern Brits sale, Friday (11am), has a portrait by Sir William Orpen of his wife, A Woman in Grey, estimated pounds 120,000- pounds 160,000. More modern Brits at Phillips Tuesday (11am).

Best of the rest: carpets, decorative objects and furniture, Christie's South Kensington, Wednesday (10.30am).

Countrywide

Leyburn, North Yorkshire: 900 lots of antiques and residual house contents, including commemorative ceramics, architectural fittings, vintage and other motor vehicles, today (9.30am). Tennants, Harmby Road (0969 23780).

Bridgend, Kinross: former MoD vehicles - Land Rovers, Sherpas, Escorts, Metros, Cavaliers, Wednesday (12 noon). Kinross Motor Auctions (0577 862564).

Birmingham: pawnbrokers' unredeemed pledges, Thursday (10.30am). Fellows and Sons, 19 Augusta Street, Hockley (021 212 2131).

Woodbridge, Suffolk: remaining contents of Red Towers, Melton. Victorian furniture, Berlin plaques, fans. No buyer's premium. Wednesday (10.30am). Neal Sons and Fletcher, 26 Church Street (0394 382263).

Ringwood: computer systems and software by leading names at the recreation centre, next Sunday (noon). Mascot Computer Auctions (0202 823933).

Chichester: two-day sale: European and oriental porcelain, glass, jewellery, collectables, Wednesday (10am). Furniture, clocks, pictures, Thursday (10am). Phillips, Baffins Lane (0243 787548).

Bristol: police-recovered goods, other household goods and appliances. Taviners, Prewett Street, Radcliffe (0272 265996).

Southgate, London: modern and antique furniture and effects, county court recoveries, liquidated stock, Monday (6.30pm). Southgate Auction Rooms, 55 High Street, N14 (081-886 7888).

FAIRS

Antiques fairs today and tomorrow at Pavilion Gardens, Buxton (Unicorn Fairs 098 987312); Westpoint Exhibition Centre, Exeter (Devon County Antiques Fairs 0363 82571).

Donington Park, Leicestershire (Four in One Promotions 0455 233495).

At the cricket ground, Edgbaston, Birmingham (Warwickshire County Antiques Fair 021 743 2259).

Chelsea Antiques Fair, Old Town Hall, King's Road, London SW3, from Thursday to 20 March (Penman Antiques Fairs 0444 482514).

Tatton Park Antiques Fair: Knutsford, Cheshire, Wednesday- Sunday (Robert Bailey 0277 362662).

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

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