What is an antique?
The word ‘antique’ is typically synonymous with anything ancient. However, only certain categories of items are truly considered antiques. Bellamysworld, a specialist in antiques through its online marketplace, defines what antiques are, and how to spot them. Learn how to differentiate between antiques, vintage pieces and collectables.
By definition, Antique pieces are items that are over 100 years old that boast an exceptional added aesthetic value. Bold, yet elegant, rustic yet vibrant; antiques aren’t mere furniture pieces or accessories, bought at any store, they are statement pieces.
Embedded within them are stories of historical significance. The beauty of antiques lies in how much it has witnessed and endured throughout all ages leading up to our world today. Imagine owning a piece of furniture that was present during the rise and fall of nations hundreds of years ago. Antiques are objects that portray a transformation of mankind.
Differentiating between Antiques, Vintage pieces and Collectables
Antiques, vintage pieces and collectables are often confused. Hence, knowing the difference between these three categories, helps in making informed decisions. Antiques, by definition, are any items that are over 100 years old. A differentiation should be made - all antique items are considered vintage, but not all vintage items are antiques. Vintage pieces are the ones that emerged from earlier generations, approximately 25 years old. They are not old enough to be labeled as antiques. They could be home accessories, furniture, art or even fashion pieces that were pre-owned. As for items that fall under the collectable umbrella, they are typically pieces that have been produced within the last decade or so, and hold high aesthetic value.
Know the difference between real & fake antiques
Antiques are growing in popularity and demand due to the rarity of coming across signature pieces. That being said, manufacturers are eyeing the potential of this sector, and are reproducing antiques and selling them as real ones. To spot the different between fake & real antiques, follow these steps:
- Always buy from trusted sources. Ask the antique dealer numerous questions, to gauge their knowledge. This can help you negotiate the price tag.
- Visual check-up is the first step in identifying the true antiques from the fake ones. Always examine the wood as it’s the reflection of the item’s age. Wood tends to shrink, darken, and chip away with age. It should not look brand new or shiny. Manufacturers nowadays use plywood in production as it’s resistant to cracking and shrinking.
- Antique furniture is different than today’s mass production items, in two ways. For one, it is heavier – take the example of an antique chair – and two, it is rough in places that you don’t actually see. Try running your hand on the base of a chair to tell the difference. Antique pieces were created before wood was machine cut.
- What makes antiques unique, is their rarity; you won’t find multiple versions of an antique item at stores anywhere you go. It is a scarce item found in a few reputable antique stores.
The value of antiques
The world of antiques and collectables is vast and detailed. The value of antiques can range greatly, sometimes reaching six digits. However, the value of these rare items depends on three factors. The first factor is the availability of the same piece on the global marketplace, and how many pieces still exist in circulation. The second factor is the current condition of the piece and if it has been properly maintained. And lastly, value is also based on its perceived worth.
As a rule of thumb, collectors search for well maintained antiques, however, the odd dent, scratch or stain can add to the overall charm of the piece. Only experts should be responsible to enhance the piece or renovate it.