Tuesday, February 16, 2010


The Sashas enjoy their vintage hutch cabinet and the Victorian doll dishes displayed in it.
Take notice of the delicate floral hand-painted decoration on the cabinet doors.
Today we have a guest blogger who will help us to better understand the differences between antiques and collectibles. Please welcome Kay Davenport.

Kay writes: Whenever you put five qualified antique dealers into a room and ask the question, “How old is an antique?” you may receive ten different answers from the group. It’s not that antique dealers do not understand their business; the age of an antique is just a complicated question that can have a wide variety of answers.

All About Antique Age Categories:
Items can be classed into the category of ‘antique’ after they are 100 years old. In the United States, the U.S. Customs office uses this age100+ rule to define the line between an antique item and the vintage or collectible items that were made closer to today. However, there are times when reproductions are older than one hundred years, and newer items are considered old in their field. The term ‘antique’ becomes blurred when factors exist to cause exceptions to the 100-year rule. There are a variety of terms that can be used to describe an old item:

Antiquity = Ancient or very old items of interest.
Antique = All items that are older than 100-years.
Reproduction Antique = Reproduced items that are older than 100-years.
Antique Collectible = Items older than 100-years that people like to collect.
Heirloom = A vintage piece that is in a family for over 50-years.
Period Piece = All ages of items that are grouped by decade or time-period.
Vintage = Items that are over age 50, or early items from a newer time-period of collecting.
Reproduction = Reproductions can be of all ages and time periods.
Collectible = Everything new or old that people like to collect.

The bottom-line to the question of, “How old is an antique?” is that antique dealers and antique collectors all hold their own thoughts on what terminologies to use while describing their treasures, family possessions, or collections. Older people will refer to their antique items as ‘collectibles’ and younger people will refer to their collectibles as ‘vintage antiques’.
Kay Davenport writes for Antiques Furniture - her personal hobby blog focused on experiences related to antique furniture restoration . She helps her family and friends learn how to restore and evaluate their antique pieces. http://www.antiquesfurniture.org/