Lancashire men keen to catch on to the latest interior design trends should invest in ‘mantiques’, according to a recent report in the Daily Telegraph.
Anyone with a vintage typewriter, Edwardian cricket bat or a globe-shaped antique cabinet in their Preston home is guilty of owning a mantique – unless, that is, they are female. Leather steamer trunks, fossils, 19th century firearms and even fighter plane ejector seats also count as mantiques, which are basically those antiques and collectibles that hold a special fascination for the masculine members of society.
Apparently, there is a whole generation of male professionals keen to furnish their bachelor pads with manly vintage trappings, such as those connected to the Grand Tour, British Empire or wartime RAF pilots. This is nothing new; Cabinets of Curiosities, often holding geology or natural history collections, were highly popular in the Georgian era.
James Perkins, owner of Grade I listed mansion Aynhoe Park, says of his collection:
“It’s all about travel and adventure. I do feel like an eccentric version of Indiana Jones.”
Campaign furniture is another favourite with male collectors, with another antiques dealer adding that a passion for antiques can be kindled at an early age. He said:
“If you can say a piece was in the Crimean War or at Waterloo, instantly it comes to life.”
“Show [a school kid] a chair and say: this was on the deck of ship and it had to fold up quickly so they could … use the canon [and] their eyes light up.”
Nothing could be more manly than an antique mahogany partners desk , and Lancashire antiques dealers often have one or two in stock.