Glass gems: Stallholder Max Hardman with some of his beautifulglassware on sale at the Alstonville Rotary Antiques and Collectables Fair on Saturday.
Glass gems: Stallholder Max Hardman with some of his beautifulglassware on sale at the Alstonville Rotary Antiques and Collectables Fair on Saturday. Cathy Adams

Life's little treasures on show

WOULD you pay $12,000 for a figurine of a woman?

That’s how much you would have to fork out if you wanted to buy Max Hardman’s rare Shelley China ‘advertising lady’.

He didn’t take it to the Alstonville Rotary Antiques and Collectables Fair because it is too valuable, but it has pride of place in his Armidale home.

“It’s a figurine of a 1920s ladysitting on a stool,” he said.

“She’s very rare. It was only given to department stores and there aren’t many in Australia.

“It is absolutely magnificent.

“When I last had it valued it was worth $12,000.”

But the true value of the figurine wasn’t realised for many years.

After Royal Doulton bought out Shelley, the figurine was thrown in the bin, only to be rescued by a cleaner who used it as a doorstop.

Then Mr Hardman picked it up at a garage sale.

He won’t reveal how much he paid for it, but says it was definitely his best discovery, apart from an antique sports car that he was working on.

“I’ve only ever seen two of these Shelley ladies,” he said.

“I was very lucky that day at the garage sale.”

Mr Hardman has been collecting ‘odds and ends’ since the 1960s and says he has been a ‘full-on collector’ for about 27 years. At one point he even owned an antique shop.

So he was in his element at the Alstonville Rotary Antiques and Collectables Fair.

People flocked to the event for the antique furniture, jewellery, coins, toys and lamps. Some people took in their own treasures for dealers to value.

The event, which was held in the Alstonville Leisure and Entertainment Centre, was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Alstonville and supported by The Northern Star.



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