Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Antique, Vintage or Retro ??

Over the years I've lost count of the numerous different TV shows or interior magazines that have come and gone. With each new era or fashion that arrives there's a new programme or publication made and along with them what seems to be a whole new term of phrases.

When I came into the Antiques trade 20 years ago an antique was generally classified as an item of interest, a work of art or piece of furniture dating around or over 100 years old. These days something dating from just the past 30 years or so seems to fall into the same category.
The fairly recent trend in all things 1960's or 70's has been given the “Retro” label, which is I think is a suitable title given the style of that period, but just lately I've noticed goods from the 80's and early 90's mentioned under the same such name.
Then there's the “Vintage” label, which to the most part seems to cover a wide variety of items mostly dating from the past 10 or 20 years . Under this category could be put anything from an old video game to a piece of Louis Vuitton luggage or ladies purse.
Times they are a changing, so now what was once a good quality bookcase is a valuable piece of fine Chippendale furniture and the old flower vase now a rare Chinese antiquity, all carefully nestled securely in a museum or private collection somewhere in the world never to be touched or used again. Similarly the priceless family heirloom we all once liked to think we had has long fallen under the auctioneers hammer or been sold online in the hope of getting rich. Now although the occasional piece still shows up at an estate clearance or yard sale, most of the time we make do with things not so old and in turn the whole antiques trade has had to change to more of a interiors trade and now its not so much the age or provenance of the piece but more of does it have the right “Look”.
So whether you own a genuine antique table, a vintage piece of luggage, a retro lamp or collectable video game. Learn about it and enjoy it, then if you like it, live with it and if you don't just wait a while and then move it on to another category. 

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