Mantiques for the gentlemen in your lives?

Typical mantiques, taken from the book Creative Walls by Geraldine James

Typical mantiques, taken from the book Creative Walls by Geraldine James - Credit: Archant

Our resident expert, Ali Heath, brings us all the latest – from the best fairs and where to bag a bargain or hunt out vintage trends - in Surrey Life magazine every month

With a sharp rise in the number of males interested in their homes and in collecting more manly pieces with provenance, it is no surprise that a new trend is hitting the antiques sector with confidence and verve. Mantiques is an emerging niche within the antiques industry catering specifically for men.

For many years, there has been a lean to more feminine antiques but suddenly those ahead of the curve have woken up and noticed that there is a whole target audience who are interested in more manly pieces to dress up their abode.

Think old leather suitcases, travelling trunks, globes, industrial artefacts, maps, decanters, sports equipment, shaving memorabilia, cocktail sets, leather writing sets, Dunhill lighters, antique racing car parts, vintage cricket gear, typewriters, taxidermy, fossils, ejector seats and plane pieces transformed into furniture.

This is a sophisticated group who are keen to add unique, individual and special pieces to their home interior; items that echo memories of adventure, heroism and travel. They may be manly finds but they are certainly chic – a modern day Grand Tour of treasures.

In fact, provenance can play a huge part in the value and deemed aesthetic of a piece. If there is a history attached, the story comes to life and the items take on a magical, theatrical status that becomes more covetable and intriguing.

Where to look

Most Read

With American companies such as Mantiques Modern gaining profile and the trend crossing the Atlantic at pace, many of our well-known antique haunts that are always ahead of the game, such as Alfie’s Antiques in London, are adopting this trend with artistic flair.

Here in Surrey, local dealers Heath-Bullock in Godalming and Kingston Antiques Centre are also great places to look for hidden mantique gems; and if you are prepared for an early morning start then Sunbury Antiques Market is a treasure trove of unexpected finds.

In fact, visit any auction or major antique fair and you will see that many dealers are starting to embrace this shift and making the most of a new target audience who are growing in numbers and spending power.

The look is also penetrating lifestyle stores such as Ben Pentreath, Liberty’s, Selfridges, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Abercrombie and Fitch, Andrew Martin and Hollister, where preppy, sporting, expedition-hungry design aesthetics can be seen in their displays and fashion advertising. It’s all about masculine chic, gentleman’s club and male den territory.

Whether or not the more traditional followers of antiques like this new term, it looks like this growing trend will continue to rise.


Ali Heath is the owner of Plum (see / To contact Ali about styling and writing commissions, e-mail