Circa 1965

Interested in collecting Bossons for over 40 years, Don  Hardisty's first Bossons was PUNJABI. Annual holidays and special events were then celebrated with more Bossons gifts. Finally, to obtain all the current Bossons available at that time from the only local gift shop selling Bossons in Las Cruces and the surrounding Mesilla Valley, New Mexico, Don was given a cooperative nod from his wife, Barbara, to purchase all the remaining current issues as a special reward for being promoted to full professor of music at New Mexico State University (NMSU) in 1979. At that time, Don's collection of Bossons numbered about 40.

Since then he has been challenged to collect every BOSSONS, including every Fraser-Art produced, but because he wanted his own collection to be perfect in every respect, he needed to learn as much as possible about restoring gypsum plaster artworks. The research and study are a labor of love. Though new discoveries are being made everyday, according to current knowledge, there are only a dozen or so Bossons, including Fraser-Art, left until the personal collection is complete.


January 1986 - Present

While working diligently to learn more about Bossons artware and build his personal collection of Bossons and Hummels (and a certified collection of Morgan Dollars), he and Barbara officially opened Don's Collectibles in 1986. It is exclusively a mail-order business.


During those years Don continued his work at New Mexico State University (NMSU). Don taught undergraduate and graduate music classes and performed regularly as bassoonist in local symphonies and opera productions.  Don holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees from the University of Montana, Missoula, and Doctor of Music Arts Degree from Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, NY, (1969). Don retired from full-time teaching at NMSU in 1994 as Professor Emeritus of Music. However, he continued to perform principal bassoon in the Las Cruces Sumphony until 1998. Several of his outstanding basoon students continue to perform in the symphony.


Music and administrative

Also during these years he also held several teaching positions in music to include leadership positions in the Music Educators National Conference, Southwest Music Educators Association, President of New Mexico Music Educators Association, Chairman of the New Mexico Alliance for the Arts in Education, and President of the New Mexico Music Teachers Association. In addition to two years as President, for eight years he served as newsmagazine Editor, and later Executive Administrator of the Association of Concert Bands of America. 


As special guest of Ray Bossons

As a recognized authority in the field of bassoon reed construction with his patented Video Instruction Series:  "Triple Crow Bassoon Reeds," Don was fortunate to be guest lecturer on this subject at a number of conventions and Universities, including the University of Edinburgh, Scotland (1980), and University of Graz, Austria in 1984. (References to this subject and subsequent publications from his Doctoral Disseration: Collection of Original and Transcribed Rounds for Bassoon,  Eastman School of Music (1969),  are detailed in the International Double Reed Society (IDRS) internet links.

While in Europe, by special invitation, he was a guest of Ray Bossons for three exciting days of personal tours through the Bossons factory and entertainment in the "grand English style." On this occasion, Mr. Bossons viewed Don's restoration work and continued to recommend Don to restore their products. (References to this tour and recent visits to the U. K. are included in the 2008 & 2009 IBCS yearly presentations listed below).


His List of Signed Bossons

From its inception in 1980, Don has supported and promoted the International Bossons Collectors Society (IBCS). He has contributed numerous pictures, articles and research findings about Bossons (Fraser-Art, Bossons Ivorex, Briar Rose) which are included in Book II (1994) of the "Imagical World of Bossons" by Dr. Robert E. Davis, and released in the BOSSONS BRIEFS, quarterly publication of the IBCS. In financial support of the IBCS, and build one of the most distinctive Bossons collection known today, Don purchased at IBCS convention auctions the following Bossons signed by Ray Bossons, Jane Bossons (his daughter), and Mrs. Alice Brindley: Desert Storm Fighter Pilot, Mountie, the original Liechtensteiner, Fisherman, Laplander, Squire, Doctor Watson, Fly Fisherman, Bears and Bees (Fraser-Art), York (two editions), Aviator, Mozart, Miner, Jolly Tar, Robin Hood, Shepherd and Dog, Golfer, King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Catherine of Aragon, Sherlock Holmes, Guardsman, Victorian Bobby, Col. Custer & Chief Sitting Bull, Officier-Trompette and Grenadier (mounted on plaques), Figian, Capt. Pierre Le Grand, Zapata, Sir Lancelot, Himalayan, Cossack and others. Additionally his private collection also contains personally signed Bossons from Mrs. Alice Brindley, Resident Modeler and Art Director for Bossons, 1977-1995. Don assisted in the research and development of two Bossons Characters: Zapata (1991) and Engineer (1992). Both Ray Bossons and Alice Brindley presented him a signed gift of these two Bossons. One of the last Bossons to have ever been produced (but not released or distributed) entitled "CRICKETER" (c) 1995 Bossons England, Sculpted by Alice Brindley, was a special gift from Mrs. Brindley.


Illustrates yet another Bossons "Rose" theme (c) 1995 from Bossons


Beginning at the first Annual meeting in 1986,  Don has given the following lectures and demonstrations at meetings of the International Bossons Collectors Society:

1986-Atlanta, GA - "Restoration Techniques for Bossons Artware: A Demonstration Clinic"

1988-Atlanta, GA - "Artistic Excellence in Bossons Artware: Those Fantastic Bossons (one Veiled Caspian Woman, two Bengalis and Six Snake Charmers)"

1990-New Orleans, LA - "Relative Rarity of Discontinued Bossons in North America: A Market Tested Listing and Rarity Scale"

1992-Orlando, FL - "Artistic Restoration: Beauty and Distinction Within the Imagical World of Bossons: A Pictorial Demonstration"

1993-Victoria, B. C., - "Bossons Look-a-Like, Fakes and Rarest of the Rare from an Artistic Perspective"

1996-Baltimore, MD - "Discoveries, Copyrights, Incisions & Formations in Bossons Artware"

1997-Burbank, CA - "Hands-On Cleaning of Bossons With Don," followed by Professional Cleaning: Lecture/slide demonstration

1999-Seattle, WA - "Authenticating Your Bossons: New Structural, Maker, and Copyright findings

2000-Tampa, FL - "The Wonderful World of Bossons in Sight and Sound" A World Tour of Countries Represented by the Rarest Bossons Known Today, Accompanied by Music and Dialogue.

2002-Phoenix, AZ - "Bossons Creation of Engineer, Zapata, and Recent Discoveries of Rare Bossons."

2003-San Antonio, TX- "San Antonio Rose Meets Friends & Enemies" The cherished and extremely rare "Rosa" from 'The Child Studies' and her other 'friends' (other magnificent Bossons) were compared through a pictorial study of fakes and fraudulent figures often sold on the internet as Bossons.

2004-Orlando, FL- "Discriminating Bossons Collecting:"  The Wonderful World of Bossons-2004 Edition, including some of the rarest Bossons known today.

2007-Burlington, VT- "My Life As A Collector" Traces Don's collecting activites from the age of one year through to the present. The 35 minutes iMovie was presented on DVD and includes all facits of his collecting including the 1984 visit to Bossons, the rarest Bossons known today and Don's collections of Minerals, Hummels, and rare coins.

2008-Omagh, Northern Ireland "Don's Bossons Reflectibles"  Another 25-minutes DVD presentation 'down Bossons memory lane'. In flashbacks and in real time, Don reflects on his many experiences in collecting Bossons. In advance of his traveling adventures back to the UK and return visits to Congleton, he meets with several Bossons friends including Jackie Brindley Thomas (Alice Brindley's daughter), Richard Bossons (Ray's Son), and Kevin and Ruth Phipps (see his web site). They take him to many places emortalized in Bossons plaques such as Warwick and Windsor Castles, Up-and-Down Along Clovelley, Ship Porlock, the beautiful river Thames, and then on to Ireland for the IBCS meeting. 

2009-Irving, TX- "England and Ireland Revisited" with the 2008 Cast: Carol and Charles Nike (Birmingham), Jackie Brindley Thomas and Barbara Potts (Congleton),  Richard Bossons (Henley-on-Thames), and Kevin and Ruth Phipps (Bristol, England). All the above is detailed for 2008, plus visits to twelve points of interest as shown on the "Pen and Ink Drawing of the Borough of Congleton" by Ray Bossons and as immortalized in Bossons Plaques; visit to the Congleton Museum where the original Bossons signs from the Old Mill are displayed; pictures from the home of Ken and Barbara Potts showing many rare Bossons; the 1964 "Pathe Movie" production of Ray Bossons, Fred Wright and Ken Potts working at Bossons;  finally, activities at the IBCS meeting in Omagh, Northern Ireland: the auction, banquet, costime party, all hosted by Frank and Gretta O'Neil with a visit to their home and viewing of their extensive collection of Bossons; all the above is included in a 48-minute iMovie DVD and backed by sound co-ordinated inspirational background music.

2012-Sacramento, CA  "Rosa Travels the Imagical World of Bossons" with her friends including Captain Whozhe riding on his magic carpet (Bossons Lamp) along the four traveling Disney Characters(the Bossons Mickie, Minnie, Donald Duck, and Goofy (they all join in and serve as Tour Guides). The 42-minute DVD production in iMovie in 2011 format on a 27-inch Mac  was inspired by the following music: Dvorak "Symphony #9 New World"; Bach/Gounod "Ave Maria" "That Old Black Magic" with Frank Sinatra; "Got A Black Magic Women" with Carlos Santana; Celine Dion "Over The Rainbow" from Wizrd of Oz;
"I Will Show You The World from Aladdin; "Oh Baby Baby"  Britney Spears;  James Galway "Belfast Hornpipe"; Tiki Tki Tki Room from Disney World; and finally Nat King Cole leads a Sing-a-Long of "Ramblin' Rose."  The Bossons Characters travel to Congelton and visit with the  "people" who sculpted them including Doris Condliffe, Fred Wright, and Alice Brindley; Ray Bossons and Don also celebrate together at the factory in 1984. Major Bossons works from Don's personal collection are featured in HD digital color. The show ends with a short U-Tube movie of a wildlife moive made in the UK of an actual Osprey fishing in its natural environment. It is a recapitulation of the earlier showing of Don's OSPREY ON WAVE, a rare Bossons prototype from his collection. In addition to the three Child Studies with Rosa taking a leading role, Mimi, and Pony Girl  are worked into the story along with all the rare Bossons:  Paul Kruger, Caspian Woman, Black Woman (Sophie Shelf & Nigerian Woman), Red Lady and Mexican Senorita. They are escorted to a showing of the final Osprey movie by Zapata and the Yellow Kurd, preceeded by the triumphant entrance of Queen Elizabeth herself guarded by the fifteen French and English Bossons Military Masks. It all comes to life in an IMAGICAL WORLD OF BOSSONS.

2012-Congleton, U.K.-The above iMovie was shown at the annual summer meeting of the European Bossons Collectors held at the Lion & Swan, August 11, 2012.  Many of the former employees and paintresses were there and both Phyllis Brightwell and Cynthia Charlesworth gave painting demonstrations after the show. During the week before the meeting in Congleton, Don and his wife, Barbara,  were special guests at the home of Kevin and Ruth Phipps.  Following the meeting, Don and Barbara gave a private showing of the movie to Barbara Potts at her home in Congelton. That same Sunday afternoon, along with her family, Jackie Brindley brought her mother, Alice Brindley to the the Lion & Swan for  a long-awaited reunion.  Don and Barbara had kept contact with Alice over all those years from Don's first meeing with her in 1984 until that day,  August 12, 2012. With movie camera in hand, Don recorded this special time with Alice as she reminisc ed about her work with Ray Bossons, Ken Potts, and many other colleagues and friends at the factory. In addition to other earler dates, Alice Brindley had worked as "Resident Modeller and Art Director at Bossons from 1977-1995." Along with Ray's direction, Alice created through sculpture all of our most cherished Bossons models from that date until the firm's closing in December, 1996.

2014-Orlando, Florida IBCS 29th meeting. Report on the state of IBCS Membership. Panel Discussion on the Future of the IBCS with Norm Derocher, John Cassidy, Don Hardisty and Scott Cornelia. Plans for 2015.

2016-Phoenix, ArizonaLecture and original Video Presentaion: ROSA TRAVELS THE "IMAGICAL WORLD"of Bossons. The 40 minute iMovie uses ROSA as a travel Gide though the world of Bossons. A historical survey in sight and sound in which the following Bossons are pictured with movement like that used in the PBS documentaries Edited by Ken Burns. the Bossons actually come to life right in front of the audience. Here'a chrololgoical listing of the Bossons that are pictured and woven into this cleavor story about Bossons: Sentimental Floral Mirror, Zodiac Barometer, Infantry Officer(with cigar), Lyre Clock, Heraldic Baromneter, Fraser-Art(FA) Stag, FA Viking Dradkkar, Lock Lomand 14{" Plaque, Derwentwater 14" Plaque, Minnie Mouse, FA 22" American Bald Eagle, FA 3-color variations of Sailfish, FA Osprey on Wave, FA Mustangs 3-coloring, FA Gazelle, FA American Bald Eagle 18", Wm. Shakespeare Bossons Ivorex, FA Fennec Fox, Set of 3 Birds on Magnolias., Set of 3 Teals, Set of 3 White Clemanis & Bullfinch plaque, Blue Tits & Cherry Blossoms 12" Plaque, Owlet, Wildlife(1982), Birds and Sunflowers, FA Bullfinch Bird on Apple and Blue Wren on Golf Ball, Anemones Still Life 14" Plaque, Circular Plaques in Bossons Wrought Iron Frames of 9-1/2" Orchids 1st Ed. and 2nd Eds., Falcon with Red Head, 2nd Ed. 1966. to be continued.....

D.M.H. current update