Like many words, we tend the use “antique” quite loosely. These days, we throw the term around to describe everything from two-year old, “obsolete” smartphones to the pro football player in the twilight of his career.
It’s also sometimes a matter of perspective depending on the age of an individual. A teenager and have grandparents might have vastly differing views as to what constitutes an “antique”.
But in the actual antique world, we take the word a little more seriously. Actually, there has been quite a large amount of thought, and even some debate, over what earns an item the right to be called a hallowed “antique”.
Of course, we get technical about the term, and pair an exact number with the word. In the case international transport in and out of the United States, the only number that should matter is the one adopted by the U.S. Customs Service. That federal agency considers any item 100 years or older to be a true antique. In addition to setting shipping and transport terms, this also exempts the items from certain government regulations.
Of course, we wouldn’t determine whether or not something is an antique by an exact number of years. Naturally, we chart time in the antique world by major stylistic shifts and changes in the design and construction of a piece.
To most antique experts, age is not the only determining factor. For our purposes, it would be silly to call a piece of lumber, cut in half during the Civil War, an “antique”. Items must reach a certain level of craftsmanship, style, and historical significance to be given the moniker. This is another area where perspective sets in, and one man’s trash could be another’s treasure, or in this case, antique.
While the true test of being an antique is somewhat subjective, the only way to learn the authenticity, significance, and—most importantly—value of your possessions is to from experts like B+F Estate Sales. Appraisals can be complicated, but we’ll help you make an accurate judgment on whether or not your item or collection can truly be called an antique.