Are You Buying Antique or Vintage?

You will find all sorts of items at a reclamation yard some of which could be described as antiques, vintage or reproductions. So how do you tell the difference?

This question is a difficult one to answer even for seasoned antiques dealers and there is often disagreement over how old an object should be to be considered antique. It is widely believed that antiques must be more than a hundred years old, however this rules out items which are less than a hundred years old and meet another definition of antiques, which states they must be collectable and have a high value due to age and the quality of the item.

Defining the age of an item can be quite difficult to the untrained eye which adds another level of complexity. For instance how can you accurately date a piece of furniture? It might look old and it may have a visible patina, but if you lack the experience to tell from the finer details how old the item is, then you may be buying vintage rather than antique if you stick rigidly to the 100-year rule.

Often the ‘antique’ label can be a distraction from other important considerations when you are investing in an item. The more important thing to consider is the condition, scarcity and desirability of the object.