Reference Library: Antiques
'Antiques' (Latin antiquus, old) are objects which have reached an age which makes them a witness of a previous era in human society.
Antiques are usually objects which show some degree of craftsmanship, or a certain attention to design such as a desk or the early automobile.
In a consumer society, an antique is above all an object whose atypical construction and age give it a market value superior to similar objects of recent manufacture. Any historical museum makes a considerable use of antiques in order to illustrate historical events and give them a practical context.
Just about any object can become an antique if it survives long enough, but snob appeal or social acceptance only can ensure that it is actually worth something in the market place.
The term "antique" is used as an insult in some instances, usually to depreciate the usefulness of an object or a procedure. Those who reject the trappings of a consumer society reject the markets which inflate the monetary value of antique objects, regardless of their usefulness or aesthetic qualities.
Antiques are bought at antique stores, or passed down as an estate. Some valuable antiques can be bought from antique dealers and auction services or purchased online through websites and online auctions.
Definition of Antique
The definition of antique varies from source to source, product to product and year to year. But, there are some time tested definitions of antique for you to consider.
*An item which is at least 75 years old and is collected or desirable due to rarity, condition, utility, or some other unique feature. Cars for example are considered antiques in the U.S. if they are older than 25 years.
*antique (noun) - Any piece of furniture or decorative object or the like produced in a former period and valuable because of its beauty or rarity.
Using this definition will help you begin to understand the differences between genuine antique pieces, vintage items and collectible objects.
The term is sometimes conventionally restricted to the remains of ancient art, such as sculptures, gems, medals, seals, &c. In a most limited sense it applies only to Greek and Roman art, and includes neither the artistic remains of other ancient nations nor any product of classical art of a later date than the fall of the western empire.
'Antiquing''' is the act of shopping, identifying, negotiating, or bargaining for antiques. Items can be bought for personal use, gifts, and in the case of brokers and dealers, profit. Antiquing is performed at garage sales, estate sales, resort towns, antiques districts, collectives, and international auction houses.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Antiques".