Sunday, December 21, 2014

Antiquing and junking among men is surging


The Hunt & Gather shop in Minneapolis attracts men looking for vintage items. Norbert Schiller, left, and his son, Tamer Schiller, look for items for Tamer to display in his dorm room. SHNS photo

From page A5 | October 11, 2013 |

By Aimee Blanchette

Jason Koenig winced at people using taxidermy as decor until he did so himself. Now the St. Paul, Minn., real-estate agent has a 4-foot barracuda mounted above his stone fireplace, along with life-size teal-and-yellow bulldog statues flanking the staircase.

“I never thought I’d own a fish mount,” Koenig said. “But it’s so cool. I had to have it.”

Koenig’s living-room conversation pieces were purchased at the Bearded Mermaid Bazaar in St. Paul. The hodgepodge vintage-style shop belongs to an emerging segment of the antiquing market that’s tailoring its inventory to men. This movement of guys who sift through trash to find their treasure even has its own name — “mantiquing.”

Thanks to the popularity of TV shows like “American Pickers” and “Storage Wars,” antiquing and junking among men is surging. As the American home grows in size, family members have spaces of their own, and collectibles that were once relegated to the garage or wood shop are finding space on walls and bookshelves in the basement bar or in the proverbial man cave.

For some mantiquers, the more offbeat the better. The Bearded Mermaid’s collection of oddities has included a stuffed raccoon with its paw on a Schmidt beer can (it now resides in a local barbershop).

“This isn’t your typical grandma’s antique store,” said Bearded Mermaid owner Nick Soderstrom. “I have what guys are looking for — good American-made stuff.”

Among the “stuff” in question: An 8-foot-tall taxidermy giraffe — which may or may not be American-made.

That’s not to say women don’t appreciate such eclectic decor, said Jim Bailey, a longtime antiques dealer and artist. Generally speaking, however, women are after fine pottery, porcelain and glass, while men are drawn to tools, hunting and fishing gear and sports memorabilia.

“There’s not too many guys dealing in dishes,” said Bailey. “But I don’t know a guy who wouldn’t want a moose head on his wall.”

Sue Whitney, editor and founder of Junk Market Style magazine, admits she searches specifically for those collectibles that appeal to the masculine sex and makes sure they’re visible from the window of her shop, Get Fresh Vintage in Lanesboro, Minn.

“Junk,” as Whitney proudly puts it, is becoming more acceptable in general. That’s why more antique stores are morphing into vintage shops.

“I’m very attracted to things that would be in a mantique section of a store,” she said. “Mantiques can help take the lacy edge off a feminine look.”

Male shoppers outnumbered women this one recent afternoon at Hunt and Gather, a mantiquing mecca in Minneapolis.

Inside, a silver serving plate held turtle shells for $16 apiece. Baby alligator heads — teeth intact — were displayed neatly across from a basket of old baseball mitts. Wooden water skis hung in the window and a collection of teacups sat atop an old medical stretcher. Turns out some mantiquers have a particular interest in quack medical equipment, such as doctor’s kits and anesthesia devices.

Lee Fisher, 31, of Minneapolis, was looking for a unique wedding gift; Tamer Schiller, 17, of Minneapolis, hunted down items to display in his college dorm room; and Cory Meyer, 45, of Minneapolis, was prowling for unusual pieces to spruce up his wholesale furniture-showroom displays.

“This is the antiquing for the new generation,” Meyer said.

Veteran mantiquers advise spending with discretion. Too much mantiquing could earn you a night or two of sleeping on the couch.

“Much to my wife’s chagrin, I’m usually looking for old, heavy things,” said Jim Kitchen, 45, of Woodbury, Minn., who bought four lathes in one month. “I also have a fairly good-sized G.I. Joe collection.”

Here’s another tip. When scouring for junk with your friends, be prepared for some tough bartering — both for your rare finds and with the partner in your life.

“You have to use judicious foresight in regards to marital bliss,” said Kitchen. “Set limits, because ideally you want to stay married.”

Kitchen has since gotten rid of three of the lathes. But he’s holding on to the G.I. Joe collection.

— Minneapolis Star Tribune



Scripps Howard News Service

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    No-nonsense Musser voted Citizen of the Year

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Sharing a meal, and so much more

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Brinley Plaque honors environmental stalwart

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    What’s new at UCD? Construction projects abound

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Downtown crash results in DUI arrest

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    March trial date set in Davis molest case

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    North Korea proposes joint probe over Sony hacking

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    AP sources: Cops’ killer angry over Garner death

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Raul Castro: Don’t expect detente to change Cuban system

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Police seek help in finding runaway twin girls

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Supplies collected for victims of abuse

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Donors, volunteers honored on Philanthropy Day

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Enterprise plans Christmas, New Year’s holiday hours

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Luminaria display planned in West Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Soup’s On will benefit NAMI-Yolo

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Surprise honor is really nice, dude

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Konditorei presents free holiday concert

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5



    It’s not a pretty picture

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B4

    Google me this: Should I hit that button?

    By Marion Franck | From Page: B4

    E-cigs surpass regular cigarettes among teens

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    Too late to pick a fight

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    All police need to humanize

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Are we only a fair-weather bike city?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Join us in making our world more just

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    The electronic equivalent of war

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    The Green House effect: Homes where the elderly thrive

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A11



    Stenz shines as DHS girls take a tournament title

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Aggie Manzanares not quite finished carrying the rock

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD women look to improve, despite game at No. 7 Stanford

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Second-half run spurs Aggie men to 8-1

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    49ers fall to San Diego in overtime

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10







    Sierra Northern Railway names CEO

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Sink your teeth into Vampire Penguin

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Marrone Bio expands its product reach in Latin America

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4





    Comics: Sunday, December 21, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8