Monday, February 2, 2009

What is considered an antique?

Being an antique dealer in the business of buying and selling antiques I come across this question often. The United States government defines an "antique" as any object 100 years or older. In 1966 the US Customs department made this definition legal. Items of less time fall into a collectible category.
However, that being said there are plenty of others that will disagree. When I began selling antiques this became the basis that I use to label and identify my pieces.

Originally from Massachusetts I was use to seeing lots of early antiques and an antique was a true antique.
Since moving to the south the term "antique" is used loosely. A young women came into the antique shop where I work wanting to sell some "antiques". She presented a religious plague and said it was her grandmother's, and then went on to say her grandmother was 86 years old. Although the grandmother was old the plaque was not, it was from the 1960's. Gosh I thought, am I considered an antique here in Tennessee as I approach that dreaded 50, if that's the case I may heading back to New England! This truly happens all the time. I especially see it with dishes and glassware that were grandma's. I hate to be the bearer of the disappointing news that the item is not antique but vintage and or the item does not have the value they hoped.

Today's collectibles will be tomorrows antiques.
Find something that you like and start collecting, it is almost always a good investment. Ask questions and have fun!!

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