Antiques Roadshow jewellery expert Joanna Hardy
Left: I bought the ruby for this ear stud as a rough crystal when I was visiting the ruby mines in Myanmar while researching for my book Ruby. A craftsman cut it by hand, with no electricity or eyeglass. I felt privileged to have witnessed a skill that is dying out. Right: My daughter Chloe [now 17] made this ceramic object when she was nine. I love it – there is a tremendous honesty to it as it’s not trying to be anything. I keep it in my office.
This is a photograph of my mother Julia. She went to Rada with Joan Collins and Paul Eddington and, at 86, she is still an elegant lady. She taught yoga to Yehudi Menuhin and Ava Gardner and became a vegetarian at a time when it wasn’t mainstream. I admire her individuality.
Left: My father John was a scratch golfer and a member of the prestigious Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. I keep his leather membership name tag in my golf bag hoping it will help me play better. He died three years ago, without knowing that I had taken up the sport. Right: My godmother Margaret had her own jewellery shop and whenever I went for tea with her, there were vitrines full of mineral specimens. I’m sure that my love of stones began there. I made these pieces when I was 15. The silver cuff is from an aerial photograph of salt plains in America and the blue brooch is the inside of a washing machine.
I’m allowed to play this CD two weeks before Christmas. The carols are performed by all the great and good – Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, the Choir of King’s College Cambridge…I’ve loved choral works ever since I sang Verdi’s ‘Requiem’ at school and I always go to midnight mass on Christmas Eve.
Jewellery should always have a feel-good factor. It is worn in order to never forget the good feelings about the person who wore, made or bought it. I wear my father’s Omega Automatic Chronometer watch every day.
I have started to collect photography and a gallery, Beetles + Huxley, mentors me. This photo montage by Ruud van Empel hangs in my office. I love insects and in this picture, you have to hunt for them. It’s like when I’m looking at gemstones, I’m looking for the details.
Left: This was the gavel I used when I was an auctioneer at Sotheby’s. The father of the head of security made it and I appreciate the craftsmanship. Now, if I’m doing a charity auction, I always take it with me. Right: I was sporty as a child and won this cup for being the best sports all-rounder at my school. It was my first real sense of achievement. I would have loved to be a tennis pro.
The Antiques Roadshow Entertainment Special will air on BBC1 on 31 December. Follow Joanna on Instagram @joannahardyltd