What’s up with the Word “Antique”?


Educational Bookmarks, compliments of the Professional Show Managers Association, PSMA

Popular television shows make finding true antiques look easy. That’s not always the case.

It always amazes us how certain words in the Antique Business are abused and misused. Signage has often led us into a business, thinking we would find antiques and instead, the business is a flea market with shopping carts! What?! We’re not knocking flea markets, but call a spade a spade.

Deception is sometimes the result of error or ignorance, but not always. Remember “A” stands for Antiques and antiques are defined items over 100 years old. Be cautious when making purchases, ask for information and help if you are buying the item for the sole reason that it is an antique. Since we’re fairly new to the Antique Business, we’re lucky that we have professional help when we purchase items in England. Our English items must be over 100 years old to be described as antique.

At Robertson Gallery & Antiques, we use the following standards in describing our merchandise:

Antique: An item made prior to 1920s.

Mid Century: An item made during 1940-1970.

Collectible: Something that is collected. No time period is assigned.

Vintage: refers to a look.

Retro: A new reproduction of an antique. No value in the antique world. Decorative item.


For more information, check out this webpage: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt039.shtm

1 Comment

Filed under Tips & Ideas

One response to “What’s up with the Word “Antique”?

  1. Katie

    This is really great! 1950s rusty coke signs are not antiques!! 🙂

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