January 4, 2016 by  
Filed under New, The Den


What about collectible mantiques?

When I first read the term mantiques I was immediately intrigued. I began a search for a definition that I could make sense of. Not finding anything that was clear I looked for whatever items I could find classified as such.

Classifying anything of this sort is subjective. This is my interpretation.

The term itself is a fresh label on a previously unrecognized niche.

Though that niche has been around all along with varying overlaps. After reading through you may realize you’ve been collecting mantiques all along. I know I did.

But my collection of particular items fit into many different categories. To be honest it was a large range with overlapping niches. It was difficult to organize let alone keep track of in my head.

As with any niche once it has been given a crisp title then the collecting parameters become more clear as well.  This is a case of not only defining a niche by giving it a label but also the fine-tuning of a collection so it will conform to the parameters of that new label.

Mantiques first and foremost are masculine items that are associated with unique endeavours. Those unique qualities may include strength or a physical skill. It might be described as having a macho factor. Some examples could be military or Police memorabilia.

Another key factor is the association with a higher station or class of gentleman. It may be a political, financial or educational distinction. This would be easiest to recognize with a name association.

So just what exactly are collectible mantiques?

Politics and entrepreneurship also stand out but there are many areas. The single most pivotal element being fame.

This particular distinction seems to carry more weight if the famous person actually did something worthy and relevant for their fellow-man. Think in terms of great accomplishments without the fanfare.

Interestingly I didn’t find this same power with the fame of say …an actor or well-publicized criminal figure. Not in every circumstance anyway. While it’s true that actors can have incredible fame it’s rare to find one that stands-out for their contribution to humankind or society.

Actors may be collectible because of their association to a particular film franchise or genre. Or in the worse case scenario a public display of bad behaviour usually on a grand scale. And in those cases any high prices for their associated collectibles come with wide margins. Which leaves a lot of room for volatility.

While some of my own collectibles are military and Police items I’m not certain that by my own definition they would even qualify. I say that because the sale prices I expect to get are relatively low. Though they are still in line with what I paid.

While the price shouldn’t be a deciding factor in defining your niche it should affect your direction.

For example in comparing a Russian fighter jet helmet to Police uniform dress gloves from small town USA, I would say hands-down the helmet would qualify.  Mostly because the helmet was rare and therefore difficult to acquire. Hence the greater cost.
They absolutely must have a ‘cool factor.’

This is another big factor to consider for mantiques. The cool factor is easily determined by which item you would be quick to display. And in the example above a fighter pilot helmet is extremely cool indeed.

To illustrate the point further I did a quick search. Some items I found that would definitely fall into the mantiques category would be alligator skin luggage, a vintage jet aircraft control panel and a hand-written journal by a politician. So while it’s a little subjective I think you get the idea.

“I also noticed the entry prices for collectible mantiques to be relatively high.”

What’s the bottom line?

Collecting can be such a haphazard activity that anything able to make us more organized can only help in the end. We live in a period with strong social awareness. Everyone wants to label and package themselves with clever names and profiles. The territory of niches is no different.

I think at the very least this creates a strong category identity that can only benefit us as collectors. In my case I now have a clear and unique identity for collectible mantiques.  It will surely enable any collector to groom their collection accordingly.

Best of luck and collect well.

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