What’s the Difference Between Antique and Vintage? Everything You Need To Know!
Ah, the joy of ancient histories and hidden stories. Those little details behind every object that make it more dramatic, authentic, and magnificent always become the USP. Think about those times when a playlist called “Golden Oldies” on Spotify includes a song you enjoyed in your childhood. It reminds you that the song has been a popular choice for two decades!
Do you have a soft corner for such classic things? Does everything you buy for your home – rugs, furniture, lighting, artwork, décor pieces have labels like “antique”, “contemporary”, or “vintage”? There are so many different terms to define the age of an item, and all of them don’t carry the same meaning. For example, do you know the difference between antique and vintage? Having a clear understanding of what these terms actually mean can help you have a better experience as you shop.
The Difference Between Antique And Vintage
Antique and vintage are two terms that often confuse you because both of them refer to anything old. However, the definitions of “vintage” and “antique” are not the same. So, what exactly do these terms mean, and how old does something have to be to be considered vintage vs antique? Continue reading this blog to learn the critical difference between antique and vintage and how to spot them among each other.
The Difference Between Antique and Vintage :What is an Antique?
An antique is a collectible object, such as a piece of furniture or a work of art, that has a high value due to its age and quality. An antique exhibits some level of craftsmanship. It is a collectible item because of its age, rarity, condition, beauty, personal emotional connection, and other distinguishing characteristics.
According to common law, an item must be at least a hundred years old to become an antique. You can purchase these items at local antique stores, auction houses, estate sales, online auctions, and other locations. For instance, a gorgeous hanging lamp bought passed down the generations could qualify as an antique, provided that it is at least one hundred years of age.
The Difference Between Antique And Vintage :What is Vintage?
Before getting into the details of the difference between antique and vintage, let’s discuss what is vintage. The term vintage originated from the winemaking industry. In winemaking, vintage is the year or location where the wine was bottled, and some vintages are generally better than others. As a result, referring to an object as vintage now denotes that it belongs to a specific era or year. Importing this usage to other objects, we now have vintage cars, vintage clothes, and most importantly, vintage heirloom collections! However, vintage does not always imply antique. For example, your mother’s bronze pots can be termed as vintage but not as antique.
Furthermore, when a particular vintage item gets very popular, it can only mean that the era when they were crafted was outstanding, as is often the case with many such sought-after objects. This applies not only to cars and furniture but also to beautiful colonial-era inspired trays, paper stamps, lithographs and even lamps of a particular style.
How Do They Differ from Each Other?
Let’s get right to the point – the difference between antique and vintage.
Antiques must be at least 100 years old as a rule of thumb. According to reputable dealers, this distinguishes the items as genuine antiques.
However, vintage can range between two and nine decades old and generally captures a sense of nostalgia that is relevant to the culture in some way.
Depending upon the niche, numerous collectors explore the realm in search of the best the past decades have to offer, hoping to cherish them for the many more decades to come.
The Difference Between Antique And Vintage :How Does an Item Become Collectible?
A collectible is something worth more than the price paid for it. That’s the simplest way to put it.
There are millions of collectibles out there and millions of hobbies and sub-cultures that revolve around them. Which ones become valuable can only be determined by who created them, their historical significance, period, and other factors.
Most seasoned collectors at estate sales are looking for one or two different types of items that they are familiar with and have a strong interest in those. Others are voracious collectors of anything valuable or significant.
For instance, we can take into consideration old brass and bronze objects from many decades past, cast, hammered and forged in traditional methods. These radiant pieces reflect the craftsmanship of a time long gone, where the effort that went into creating a piece is far more arduous when compared to the improved casting techniques we see today.
Such objects become worthy of the term “collectible”, for they will no longer be made again using the same methods or be cast in unique forms in this day and age. This is often the reason why heirloom collections and statues passed down the generations are highly valued. To put it simply, they are a class apart when it comes to hand craftsmanship.
Antique V/s Vintage
|Don’t state the making year
|Comes with the year mentioned
|Art, furniture, décor, jewelry
|Vehicles, clothes, jewelry
How to Spot a Vintage Item?
Here are a few tips:
- To begin, see if you can quickly identify the item, such as a carved wooden panel or a bracket.
- Next, consider whether the piece is still in use today. If it doesn’t, there’s a good chance it’s an antique. With the shift in time, these beautiful pieces have been replaced by very easy-to-use and smaller counterparts that fit into one’s lifestyle in the modern age.
- Third, look for indications that the piece is handcrafted. When inspecting a piece of furniture, look for hand-sawn marks, imperfect sanding, and a prominent factor- a good amount of wear and tear. It is scarce for a piece to be preserved in all its glory and, if found, demands a higher compensation given its excellent condition.
How to Spot a Vintage Item?
Here are a few tips:
- With brass, bronze, and metals, you will look for a natural patination, often deeply settled into nooks and crevices, collected over time.
- Determine how well the item conforms to a specific period style. If you notice any inaccuracies, the piece could be a reproduction.
Over to You!
It can be difficult for an amateur to tell the difference between antique and vintage; however, not for you. You are now well-versed in the definitions of vintage and antique items.
Before you go looking for the perfect collectible to add to your archive, make sure you do your homework. Know what you want, how to find it, and how much it should cost. Then go ahead and buy it! With this simple information on vintage vs antique items, you’ll be more informed when you plan your next purchase!
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is 50 years old antique or vintage?
Broadly speaking, anything over 25 or 30 years of age and under 100 years of age qualifies as a vintage. Hence, an item that is 50 years old is a vintage item.
What is considered vintage?
Referring to an object as vintage now denotes that it belongs to a specific era or year. Broadly speaking, anything over 25 or 30 years of age and under 100 years of age qualifies as a vintage.
How old is an antique?
An antique item is an object that is at least 100 years of age.
What is an example of antique?
Coins from dynasties, sculptures of metal, carved wooden panels, artwork and frames, furniture from another era, old jewelry, etc, can all be referred to as antiques, provided that they are at least 100 years of age.