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An antique map
An antique ( ; old) is an old collectible item. It is collected or desirable because of its age, rarity, condition, utility, or other unique features. It is an object that represents 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. They are bought at antique shops, 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. Antique dealers are often members of national trade associations, many of which themselves belong to CINOA, a confederation of art and antique associations across 21 countries, representing 5000 dealers.

Purpose

In history

Any historical museum makes a considerable use of antiques in order to illustrate historical events and give them a practical context. Virtually any object can become an antique if it survives long enough, but value of an antique in the market place is determined by its appeal and social acceptance. For example museums exist of ephemera, that is of objects and items that would normally be thrown away, such as packaging and advertising flyers and posters.

Pejoratively

The term "antique" is pejorative in some instances to imply that something is out of date.

Definition

An antique U.S mailbox


The definition of antique varies from source to source, product to product, and year to year. However, some time-tested definitions of antique deserve consideration, such as the following:
  1. "An item which is at least 50 to 100 years old and is collected or desirable due to rarity, condition, utility, or some other unique feature. Motor vehicles, power tools and other items subject to vigorous use in contrast, may be considered antiques in the U.S. if older than 25 years, and some electronic gadgets of more recent vintage may be considered antiques."
  2. "Any piece of furniture or decorative object or the like produced in a former period and valuable because of its beauty or rarity."


In the United Statesmarker, the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act defined an antique as "works of art (except rugs and carpets made after the year 1700), collections in illustration of the progress of the arts, works in bronze, marble, terra cotta, parian, pottery or porcelain, artistic antiquities and objects of ornamental character or educational value which shall have been produced prior to the year 1830." 1830 was roughly the beginning of mass production in the U.S.

These definitions allow people to make a distinction between genuine antique pieces, vintage items, and collectible objects.

The alternative term antiquities commonly refers to the remains of ancient art and everyday items from antiquity, which themselves are often archaeological artifacts.

The term antiquarian refers to a person interested in antiquities, or things of the past.

Antiquing

"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 dealer, profit. Antiquing is performed at garage sales, estate sales, resort towns, antiques districts, collectives, and international auction houses.

Note that the word "antiquing" may also refer to the art of making an object appear antique through distressing or applying an antique looking paint application.

Antique furniture



The collecting of antique furniture is a particularly popular area of antiques due to the practical characteristics of these antiques. Antique furniture includes dining tables, chairs, bureaus, chests etc. The most common woods are mahogany, oak, pine, walnut and rosewood. In Chinese antique furniture the most common wood is elm a wood common to most regions able to sustain trees. Each wood has its own distinctive grain and colour. Many modern pieces of furniture often use laminate or wood veneer to cheaply achieve the same effect. There are a number of different styles of antique furniture depending on when and where it was made. The most common include Arts & Crafts, Georgian, Regency and Victorian.

See also





References




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