Sean Arnold was introduced to collecting sporting memorabilia when his uncle in Ireland passed onto him his own extensive collection. Sean was then a resident of County Kerry, close to the world famous golf course at Ballybunion. He established “The Olde Irish Golf Shop”, buying and selling items in conjunction with many exhibitions in Europe where the collecting of golf artefacts was prolific.
A permanent exhibition was on Berlin’s Kurfustendamm at the KADEWE store, the Lafayette in Paris and St. Andrews in Scotland also hosted exhibitions.
These were the ‘stepping stones’ to Sean Arnold Sporting Antiques which quickly became famous in London with a prestigious gallery in London’s Mayfair; as well as in the world famous Portobello Road Market where many more new collectors were created from the many thousands of visitors who arrived every Saturday.
Retail outlets within Lillywhites and Sogo, both in Piccadilly Circus, were also opened. London was the natural home for sporting antiques, being the home and centre of so many world famous events.
During this period in the 1980’s Sean became the proud owner of J. Salter and Sons, founded in 1884, Polo specialists bearing the Royal Warrant for bespoke polo equipment. Various other sporting goods were also manufactured on and sold from the historic premises.
This acquisition was the ultimate addition to Sean Arnold Sporting Antiques. Situated in Aldershot, the birthplace and home of British
polo, Salters had a world-
By this time almost every conceivable sport had been incorporated into the collection of goods for sale, plus a wonderful selection of vintage luggage and leather goods including Louis Vuitton and Asprey. These items proved to be very popular and in constant demand for use in shop displays, as film props and interior design, creating yet another dimension for the business.