Sale Results



Antiques & Collectors

Antiques & Collectors

Date: 10th Oct, 2023 10:00

Including 1930s Leicester City FC and Welsh FA memorabilia relating to Dai Jones (lot 125); a private collection of vintage fishing equipment (lots 213-225); and decorative signage from Thurston's Fun Fair (lots 232-238)


The John Hardy Collection of Antiques, Arms, and Armour

The John Hardy Collection of Antiques, Arms, and Armour

Date: 10th Jan, 2023 11:00


John Hardy’s shop in Oadby was like no other. He was only really happy when the shop was empty and everything sold, although that gave cause to bemoan the lack of stock. He was resident at 91 London Road from the mid 1960’s and expanded into the adjoining property some 20 years later. The kitchen, warmed by an Aga all year long, was a place of slightly grudging hospitality: tea or coffee – don’t outstay your welcome and don’t, please don’t put your empty cup in the wrong sink – it was in the kitchen-cum-inner-sanctum that John held court and where the world was put to rights.

John was a general dealer without pretence, as his local paper advertisements claimed alongside his phone number, ‘If it’s broken or damaged, don’t worry, I will have bought worse!’ His adverts were actually rather canny, he understood that is you advertised for something specific it acted as an encouragement and prompt to the readership. It worked again and again in the pre-internet age.

John’s passion, however, remained militaria, especially edged weapons. The backroom upstairs was devoted to the objects he had began to collect in his youth, and over the following years he travelled around the eastern counties in search of the old and unusual – sticking to the mantra that if it is broken or damaged, no matter. The backroom was supposed to be secret but it was poorly kept, for he enjoyed showing his collection to those who expressed keen interest.

It has been a full year since John died. He is greatly missed. He was a character: curmudgeonly but kind, worldly wise but prone to naivety, knowledgeable but in a gloriously eccentric way; and funny in a way that disarmed and won people around. I recall fondly, his much-repeated response to my phone greeting: “Hello John, it’s Michael,” “Hello Michael, It’s John.” - Michael Mays, Consultant Valuer