Today’s “mantique” is a simple little piece, yet a piece which means a lot to me. It’s one of just a couple of items I own that belonged to my grandfather, Joe. One of the other pieces I have is the bespoke suit he had made in 1945.
This piece is one of his old tools. A regular flat-headed screwdriver, wood handle and well worn. Of no real utility in my tool chest these days, as flat headed screws are near obsolete and the blade on this tool is too worn to work well. Yet this is a priceless item to me. A memory of my grandfather, toolmaker by trade. He worked most of his adult life at Jaguar Cars, from before WW2 till into the 1970’s. He worked building prototypes and racing cars, also joining the factory team at Le Mans as a racing mechanic on the C-type Jaguars. Although it probably wasn’t as impossibly romantic for those living then, I often feel like the 1950’s would have been a good time to live.
Feeling the worn and aged wood handle, and seeing how marked and resharpened the blade is, makes me think how many screws my grandfather used this on. There’s a lot of history in this handle. And to me, this makes my granddads old screwdriver a real mantique. Next week I’ll show you something else. I’ll leave you with a couple of photos from the golden days of Jaguar Cars and the C-type racing cars.