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The survey, which is based on anecdotal evidence supplied by 54 auctioneers around the British Isles, showed a particular recovery in the £1000-5000 price bracket for the third quarter of 2010, with items in the £5000-50,000 bracket also doing well.

Items up to £1000 saw a slight fall for the period.

Gold, silver and jewellery enjoyed the best uplift, say the RICS, but oriental art and ceramics have also done well.

Most respondents expected to see demand increase in the coming months.