Antique or vintage?

Antique or Vintage?

Antique or Vintage

Most people, whether they admit to it or not, like a good antique. There’s just something about seeing something old, something of fabulous craftsmanship, that makes us take notice. A diyhomegoddess needs to know the difference between an antique and a vintage piece.

My Story

I am one of these people who actually prefer vintage items over antiques. Yeah, there is a definite beauty in antiques, but I’m a 40s-60s gal myself. My home is filled with vintage pieces, pieces that are made to look vintage, and the occasional antique. At least I THINK they are vintage over antique?

The Real Scoop

Some people think something is an antique if it is over 50 years old. That would include a lot of collectible items. Even this diyhomegoddess would be considered an antique by that definition. But a reputable antique dealer says it has to be at least 100 years old to be considered an antique. That’s the definition for right now. Whew! I’m just vintage.

An antique is usually an item that is collected or desirable because of its age, beauty, rarity, condition, utility, personal emotional connection, and/or other unique features. It is an object that represents a previous era or time period in human history.

Most other names associated with antiques have at least one of these particular characteristics missing.

Let’s look at the various definitions for the antique market.


  • Antique – Something that is at least 100 years old. And there are many furniture pieces that even have names, like Chippendale (not the cute strippers in tuxedos!)
  • Collectible – Something valuable that is between 50 and 100 years old. This would include things like doodads, comic books, and old advertisements. There’s even a website that sells new things with the collectible look, although they are considered retro looking. Click Retro Planet.
  • Vintage – usually used for something that has been brought back into fashion. Usually less than 25 years old. Although officially it is something from the 1960-1979 time frame. So the two prior sentences seem to contradict each other. But that’s what the pros say. Oh lordie, don’t bring back disco, please! And I personally despise that hip huggers and bell bottoms are back. I didn’t like them the first time!
  • Retro – the time frame of 1950-1959. Although these can be called vintage by those not in the know. Which the diyhomegoddess is in the know, right? Retro Planet is definitely a retro site.

What Does This Mean for Price?

Well, that all depends. If you think about it, the price for any item is what someone would be willing to pay for it. If you can find someone who wants your old Coca-Cola bottles, and are willing to pay $25 a piece for them, I’d consider them sold.

But there’s a something about antiques that can raise or lower the price of it.

  • Collectibles can pay more than an antique, but the antique will hold the value longer than a collectible. That is key!
  • Vintage items won’t probably have an increased value over the years, because they come and go as fast as clothing fashions.
  • And if you have retro pieces, and keep them in good shape, they may just become antiques one day.

What Do You Have? Or What Do You Want to Have?

That is all up to the diyhomegoddess. If you want antiques, you need to do research on them. Try here. This whole website is all about antiques.

I like stuff that is retro. Here’s a few things I have.

lane cedar chest
This is mine, mid century modern.
Flea Market
This is an antique sewing machine base with ambrosia reclaimed wood.
This could be an antique, at least according to dealers, but since it is homemade, we will never know.

If you want to know what I did with the middle picture, check out here.

And Voila!

Now you can start doing more research on finding out what kind of pieces you have in your home.

What do you want to have in your home?

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