Collector David Burnett with his silver vesta valued at £200.

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The Derby-based collector of leg- and boot-shaped antiques prefers the term ‘microtibialist’ – micro, as in small and tibia, the leg bone below the knee.

Over the past decade the 83-year-old, a former accountant, has travelled around the country trawling antiques fairs, markets and centres in search of the tiny limbs, spending £6000 on his collection of 170-plus pieces of which no two are the same.

One of Bennett’s favourite events is Continuity Fairs’ event in Exeter, “where I have found plenty to add to my collection,” plus Jaguar Fairs in Derby and antiques shops and markets in and around Matlock, Belper, Heanor and Nottingham.

Bennett’s collection started in 2006 when he bought a leg-shaped nail-file for his wife Mary at the NEC Art & Antiques Fair. This was followed by some pipe tampers in a similar shape and that’s how it all began.


These 19 leg-shaped pipe tampers in the collection vary from antique to the early 20th century and are made of ivory, brass and bone.

His leg-and boot/shoe-themed artefacts now include bottle openers, vestas, corkscrews, pipe tampers, even a toothbrush, made of silver, wood, ivory and bone, both antique and vintage.

But Bennett has had few finds recently, saying: “I’ve only bought one piece this year and I’m sure there must be hundreds out there.”

He would love to hear from anyone who can help with his collection to add to his cabinets.

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