What are Antiques? How are they Different from Vintages?

An antique is a piece of art, decorating item, pottery, metal frame, furniture, book, glassware, etc. that are very old, used but are still functioning and attractive.

There is no standard definition of antique until now and different people give different meanings to it. But, the U.S Customs services, framed a law in 1930 to allow items into U.S duty free. According to the law, any item which belongs to years before 1830 is called an “antique”. Since then, we call an item “antique” if its more than 100 years old. However, cars are an exemption. This is because, a car can be called classic or antique if its only more than 25 to 30 years old and, a car hardly performs (run) well after 100 years.

For example a table which belongs to 17h century, a wall clock which was used in 1870, painting which belongs to 19th century, etc. are called antiques. An antique is definitely used items but is rare of its style and is in good condition. The cost of an antique is fixed depending on its desirability, working condition and aesthetic essence, which are not lost since it’s manufacture. The cost of it also depends on the efforts it take to restore and maintenance of that item.

Collecting antiques is a hobby to some people, while it is challenge to some people who collects them for their social status, business etc. Some people connects themselves to the historical past by collecting the antiques which belongs to history.

What is Vintage?

On the other hand, a vintage is refererred to as an old and used item, but not as old as an antique (vintage is anything that is 50 to 100 years old). The word vintage is derived from a Latin word “vendage”, which means, “collecting grapes in a season for the preparation of wine”.

Vintages are not as expensive as antiques.

From the definitions of antique and vintage it is clear that age is the deciding factor for defining and differentiate between an antique and a vintage.

The age of a person grows, so as the age of the objects they use. That means, the object used by our grandfathers will be antiques for us or our children (provided they are in working condition). While, the items we used will be an antiques for our grandchildren or great grandchildren.

Antiques and vintages should not only be old, but it should be in a good condition and still functioning. This is possible only if the quality of an item is high and withstand all the climatic conditions since many years and wear and tear by many people. There should not be much modification done to it, but minor repairs are acceptable as long as they do not affect its original aesthetic essence.