Why is an Antique an Antique?

Why is an Antique an Antique?

When an item celebrates its 100th birthday, it graduates from “old” to “antique” according to government standards-it doesn’t matter what that item is. Dealers and collectors usually hold to that standard for furniture, but are a more liberal in their timeline with other items and offer antique status to anything about 60 years old. Examples of these include; photographs, postcards, textiles, pottery, china, jewelry and the list could go on. Some unscrupulous sellers will label anything 30-40 years old as an antique, so when you see that word without a year listed in a description, always, always do your research before bidding or buying. The term antique has nothing to do with the item, and everything to do with age, so as a buyer it is important to know what age the seller considers to be an antique. You’ll often see descriptions online that read “Antique chair. Leather. Great condition. Clean. Picture says it all.” Well, no, the picture does not say it all. How old is it? What hardware is on it? What does the underneath look like? Was it refinished? What is the seller’s definition of antique? That is why it is very important to stick to the standard age of 100 years as a seller describing items. It won’t hurt your sales as long as you list the year in the description and as much information about it as possible.

A collectible on the other hand, is all about the item. Collectibles are highly sought after items that are less than 100 years old. Collectibles are related to current demand, nostalgia, pop culture, and trends of today and once an item hits 100 years of age it is officially an antique. (Collectibles are often sold in antique stores because they do generate a great deal of revenue, so be aware of this when antiquing offline.) Collectibles include “brand” items such as Coca-Cola items, PEZ dispensers, Beanie Babies, old baseball cards, Hollywood and or pop culture items all under 100 years old. “Collectible” can be a relative term. To some sectors of the world an item is a highly sought after collectible with market value and to others it is just “a thing.”

Another term you will often hear is “vintage.” Vintage describes what is neither an antique nor a collectible, but may still have value. It may be collectible to someone, but doesn’t really have a large demand in the antique/collectible marketplace. Examples of vintage items include sweatshirt (lưới an toàn cầu thang) (vintage jeans, vintage t-shirts), furniture, jewelry, kitchen or farm items, and wedding dresses. As a buyer the term “vintage” has an appealing sound, remember to perform extra research to determine its value. Vintage items are huge in the home décor and crafting industries.

How do you know something is old?

It is not difficult to manufacture an item in the same style as a period piece, but it takes work to age it. When something is old, you can usually tell and it will come easy the more you attend auctions, estate and garage sales. Remember, you don’t always have to go to an auction or sale to buy something–it can be a learning experience simply to attend. Look over the items. Hold them. Feel the fabrics. Compare old pieces of glass, porcelain and pottery to newer ones. This is also a good way to study how others grade items. The more you see it, feel it, and study it, the more of an expert you become. But age does not equal authenticity. Knock offs have been created for centuries–as long as people have paid large amounts of money for antiques. Older reproductions require more research to identify, so do your homework.

write by Ethelbert

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