A CAMBRIDGE surgeon’s collection of Georgian shoe buckles will be included in an auction of silver at Lawrences Auctioneers, Crewkerne, Somerset. Many of the examples on offer date from 1750-1820, the period of best production as Georgian men and women sought out the most elegant designs. The buckles show off a silversmith’s skills and are exquisitely fashioned and adorned with paste stones, pearls etc. The auctioneers anticipate keen interest from collectors, so put on your best shoes and come and view what made footwear flashy in the 18th Century. Prices range from £30-250.

For a Georgian gentleman, few things said more about his status than the elegance of his buckles. They were made in silver, paste jewellery and even in gold. Most were worn on the shoes but others were designed for wear on the breeches or the cravat. After a successful sale of 90 fine buckles at Lawrences auctioneers in Crewkerne in 2016, specialist Alex Butcher was told by one of his collectors that that gentleman’s collection was also for sale. A selection will be offered in the firm’s October 11 sale of silver and objects of vertu. "These buckles are beautifully made, " says Alex. “Most date from the Georgian era, about 1750-1820. Prices range from £30 to as much as £250 for a single example. There is a great deal of social history in something as well made and as eye-catching as a little buckle.”

The vendor, a retired surgeon, collected for over 25 years. “It all began with the gift of single buckle from his mother. In later years, he was lucky to have been living in a cultural town like Cambridge,” says Alex. “Not only did he have the money and the inclination to add to his ever growing collection but there were plenty of shops that offered good buckles for sale. No-one buys buckles like this to wear any more – the makers died out when laces and buttons became popular in the early 19th Century - but they are very appealing to collectors nowadays : they are exquisitely made, varied in design, and are small enough to store easily but also attractive enough to be worth displaying. There is a great deal more of a silversmith’s skill apparent in a buckle than in a cream jug or a napkin ring. We have noticed increasing interest in recent years and we expect to see a lot of collectors putting a toe in the water.” The buckles will be included within the firm’s sale on October 11 and can be viewed online from the end of September at www.lawrences.co.uk