Mantiques: A tool with a past

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.


No doubt “Made in Britain”

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.


The C-type Jaguar ready for Le Mans. My grandfather on the far left.


C-type Jaguar in the factory workshop.


  • Misa Rahm 18/02/2014 at 19:47

    My name is Misa and I work with JaguarUSA on the social team. We really liked your story and the pictures of your grandfather. We would love to share it on the JaguarUSA Google + page. Please let us know if that would be okay, and if so, how would you prefer we credit the photo?

    • Well Dressed Dad 19/02/2014 at 15:01

      Hi Misa, the vintage photos are ones I inherited from my grandfather, though I imagine they are originally from the Jaguar factory in some way. I have no objection to you sharing my post. The other photos are mine.


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