Home: Encyclopedia: Antiques
Antiques are objects which have reached an age which makes them a witness of a previous era in human society.
Antiques are usually objects which show some degree of craftsmanship, or a certain attention to design such as the Desk or the early automobile. In a consumer society an antique is above all an object whose atypical construction and age give it a market value superior to similar objects of recent manufacture. Any historical museum makes a considerable use of antiques in order to illustrate historical events and give them a practical context.
Just about any object can become an antique if it survives long enough, but snob appeal or social acceptance only can ensure that it is actually worth something in the market place.
The term "antique" is used as an insult in some instances, usually to depreciate the usefulness of an object or a procedure. Those who reject the trappings of a consumer society reject the markets which inflate the monetary value of antique objects, regardless of their usefulness or esthetic qualities.
Antiques are usually bought at antique stores, or passed down as an estate. Some valuable antiques can be bought at auctions, such as Sotheby's.
The definition of antique varies from source to source, product to product and year to year. But, there are some time test definitions of antique for you to consider.
Using this definition will help you begin to understand the differences between genuine antique pieces, vintage items and collectible objects.
Page Updated: Tue Nov 23 10:12:52 2004
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