Posted by Chris on 09/10/2023
Our friends at The House Directory, with Westland London, discuss what makes antiques, vintage and collectables - along with top tips for buying timeless treasures - in this guest blog.
The terms "antique," "vintage," and "collectable" are often used interchangeably, but they carry distinct meanings. Understanding these differences will empower you to discern an item's true worth and appreciate its unique charm.
Pictured: Murano Paolo Venini Design Teardrop Glass Chandelier 1960's
Have you ever pondered the differences between antique, vintage, and collectible items? The House Directory members, Westland London, have written this guest blog to guide you through these terms and nuances - making them invaluable guides for anyone seeking to invest in timeless pieces.
In this article:
Pictured: Antique Mahogany Specimen Chest, c.1800
Authentic antiques are typically considered items aged 100 years or more. Antique dealers assess these items based on various factors such as condition, rarity, aesthetics, and historical significance. Antique furniture, for example, often hails from earlier times and exudes high quality craftsmanship.
In contrast to antiques and vintage items, collectables aren't limited by age. They encompass a vast array of items, from vintage cars to estate sale finds, and can even include newer, highly sought-after items. The key is their appeal to collectors, often driven by factors like rarity and demand.
Pictured: an Italian sputnik light from the Collection I Soli Alchimea, by Alessandro Guerriero, Milan. c.1988
Vintage items, ranging from vintage jewelry to retro pieces of furniture, are typically at least 20 years old but less than a century old. They serve as great examples of different styles from their respective time periods, offering a glimpse into the past while adding a touch of vintage style to modern interiors.
Pictured: Stylish Art Deco Walnut Compactum, c.1930s
To discern the era of vintage pieces, explore flea markets, estate sales, or vintage shops. Whether it's a vintage car or a piece of vintage furniture, each reflects the unique tastes of its time, be it the Art Nouveau elegance of the early 20th century or the sleek lines of Art Deco style from the 1920s and 1930s.
Pictured: Original 1930s-50s Tiffany & Co Art Deco Italian Silver Cruet Set
Research is key when considering a purchase. Ask about the item’s age, its rarity, and its condition, especially when dealing with antique pieces. Buy from reputable sources like antique stores and shops that specialise in vintage goods. The House Directory provides a list of trusted dealers, and you can find plenty of them on Antiques.co.uk too.
Keep in mind that the value of collectable items often depends on their popularity and demand. What's considered a collectable today may become a sought-after piece in the future.
By exploring these key differences and delving into the world of antique, vintage and collectible items, you'll gain a deeper appreciation for the craftsmanship and history that make each piece unique.