How do you tell if something is an 'Antique?'

pmfinnegan2December 2, 2005

A few years ago I purchased a couch and chair. The people selling it told me they were antiques. How do I tell if they are antiques or just reproductions? Also, they are for sale if anyone is'd probably get a great deal if they are antiques. Feel free to email me if interested or if you have an answer to my question, Thanks!!!

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First of all you must clarify the definition of "antique".
Previously it was anything made roughly before the industrial revolution, roughly the 1830's.
Than 30 or so years back, the legal definition was changed to 100 years old.....and for import purposes that still stands.
Lately, people have been calling antique things which are merely 50 years old or so.
You can tell if something is antique, by noting methods used in construction.
This is not the place to try to sell anything....such actions are strictly forbidden.
I suggest you take it to a local resale shop.
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 10:58AM
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pm, do you have a pic you could post or maybe you're like me. I'm technically challenged when it comes to that! :)

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 8:52PM
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There is old and then there's antique. One thing to do is deal with reputable antique dealers. Frequently upholstered furniture is hard to tell unless there is an authentic story behind it. Merely saying something is antique does not make it so. Antiques remind me of cars. There are antique cars and then there are what are called special interest cars. A 1932 Ford with a rumble seat is an antique. A 1956 Chevy two door hardtop is a special interest car not an antique. There are many classifications of antique furniture so you need to know something of the era of which you are collecting. Finally, it depends on your purpose. If to enjoy as furnishings you can call it what you want. If your purpose is buying and selling as is mine, You need to have very good authentication for potential buyers.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 1:25PM
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And then to further confuse the issue-- some things can be highly collectible or sought after even if not technically "antique." And even if known to be a reproduction! Just depends on what it is exactly....

    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 2:02PM
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My understanding of the latest definitions is:

100 years old = antique
50 years old = semi-antique/mid century
30 years old = vintage

A collectable can be any of the above. But depending on age whatever the object is must fit into those parameters.

The problem is that not everyone uses those guidelines though I believe they are becoming a bit more standardized now thanks to ebay (or at least that's what I'm reading).

    Bookmark   December 11, 2005 at 2:19PM
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There are books that help classify sometimes the difference b/w reproductions, and what to look for when buying various different things like furniture, glassware, jewelry, paintings, etc. They are just general guides though.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 1:01PM
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