Phase 2 Coming Soon!
Joe Ley Antiques Absolute Inventory Liquidation Auction
Wardlow Auctions has been selected to liquidate the remaining inventory of Joe Ley Antiques. While the store is still operating, we will be conducting auctions in multiple phases...
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Wardlow Auctions has been selected to liquidate the remaining inventory of Joe Ley Antiques. While the store is still operating, we will be conducting auctions in multiple phases over an approximately four month period. Sign up below for Joe Ley auction updates and to be notified when the first phase is online.

October 14, 2019 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wardlow Auctions Selected to Sell Joe Ley Antiques’ Remaining Inventory

Louisville, KY – The iconic Joe Ley Antiques, which has been in business for 56 years, will be open and operating while Wardlow Auctions is preparing for Phase One of a multi-phase liquidation auction. The plan is to sell the remaining contents of the three-story 1890 schoolhouse to the public through online auction. Wardlow Auctions, Inc., of Louisville, will be managing the sale consisting of a massive two acre inventory of antiques, collectibles, and oddities that will include a large number of items from the old Fontaine Ferry Amusement Park that was in Louisville from 1905-1969.

“Business has never been better, and Nulu is booming,” said Owner and President of Joe Ley Antiques, Joe Ley. “The decision to leave was a heartbreaking one, and I really don’t want to leave. However, when you have health problems that is not only affecting your day-to-day existence but also the driving force of your business operations, decisions have to be made.”

Joe Ley grew up as an orphan. Never formally adopted, he aged out of the orphanage at 18. His survival instincts sparked his humble beginnings as he would scour the neighborhood for discarded items that could possibly be of some worth or recycled in some way. The first building Joe Ley Antiques Inc. established collapsed with everything inside. Since no one would insure his business back then, he was forced to start over again, creating the Joe Ley Antiques that Louisville residents and visitors know today.

Through the vision and hard work by Joe and his daughter, Sheila, Joe Ley Antiques is one of the largest single owner antique stores in the country. His massive volume of unusual antiques and collectibles has garnered attention from people all over the country who have made a point to visit Joe Ley Antiques when visiting Louisville. His customer list includes collectors, celebrities, and restaurant chains from coast to coast. From movie and music video set directors to “just everyday folks” all have played a part in the 56-year-old journey. Ley has been established in the industry as a go-to guy for the unusual and obscure.

 “It’s a privilege to be asked to do his auction,” said Rick Wardlow, Owner of Wardlow Auctions. “For a private business owner to create a business that garners a spot as one of Louisville’s sightseeing destinations is remarkable. Joe has worked hard all his life; now it’s our turn to work hard for him.”

While Wardlow Auctions is primarily known for Real Estate and Estate auctions, massive inventory liquidation auctions are in their repertoire. Wardlow Auctions conducted the auctions for Jim Porter’s Good Time Emporium and Phoenix Hill Tavern when those Louisville legends closed in 2015.

Wardlow Auctions anticipates the Joe Ley Antiques auction to be conducted in multiple phases, spanning approximately four months. “There’s just so much cool stuff,” said Caitlin Wardlow, one of the company’s Auctioneers. “We want to give these pieces the recognition they deserve and tell the incredible story of Joe Ley. And we want everyone to have the opportunity to own a piece of this history.”

The first auction (Phase 1) will be online before Thanksgiving. To learn more and to sign up for the Joe Ley Auction updates, visit


Media contact: Caitlin Wardlow – 502.541.0948 –

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