Letters to the editor: age of ‘antiques’; leave Jackson in the tabloids

Readers answer: “U.S Customs rules aside, what do you think is the acceptible age to call something an ‘antique’?”

At our shop our owner defines “antique” as 100 years old or older. Anything newer is a “vintage collectible” and we date as close as possible to the actual year of manufacture.
Peggy Friesen
Antique Avenue, Manteca, Calif.
From the AT blog

Traditionally, antique means 100 years old or older, however, some items that were not in existence 100 years ago are considered antique today, such as radios. The term that needs to be put out of usage when referring to antiques is “vintage,” which has no reference to age whatsoever, but is only representative of the best of an era, and can be five years old as in the case of vintage wine. (BTW, this is not my wife’s opinion, as she tosses the term vintage around with abandon).
Randy Chase
The Antique Chasers
From the AT blog

In commercial code settings I believe there are legal definitions for “antique.” Generally speaking, the 100 year old definition seems to be prevelant; however, not entirely expansive enough. For me, antique should be a set age at which normally used pieces no longer would be regularly available or useable. For example, for vehicles, 25 years or older are considered antiques, and that seems to fit nicely since there are few 25 year old cars still useable and available. Of course, there are ought to be industry standards developed and perhaps reviewed every so often.
Joseph A Barton
Via e-mail

A lot depends on the article in question. Most think an item needs to be 100 years old is to be an antique, but sport trading cards and comic books from the 1950s would be antique. Postcards, which I am very fond of, I would consider anything of the old standard size of 5 1/2 x 3 /12 to be antique. A lot of the 1950’s furniture is considered antique. Certain items like glassware and hand tools would need to be around 100 years old to be considered antique so a lot depends on the item. Some early collectables may have not exisited 100 years ago yet the early pieces would be considered antique.
Steve Casagrande, Stuart, Va.
Via e-mail

I think an antique should be over 100 years old and vintage 50. Classic, I thank maybe 30 years.
Via e-mail

Legally, an antique is 100 years old or older. Vintage is clothing and or accessories that are more than a generation old. Old is dependent on who is asking the question. Then we have the area of collectible which includes hundreds of subjects; military, baseball cards, movie stars, character toys of one’s childhood, political, etc. Of course collectibles, vintage and old can also be an antique if they are l00 years or more.
Celia Fleishhacker
Nostalgia Alley, Tupelo, Ms.
Via e-mail

I’ve always heard ‘older than 20 to be vintage; older than 100 to be antique.’
Via Twitter

Leave Jackson in the tabloids!

Some of us are old enough to know what the word pervert means. How dare you take up pages with this garbage about this creep. Do I need to cancel my subscription? How can you put John F. Kennedy[’s] name in the same sentence with this worthless human! I want stories about Antiques. Not about a glove that has nothing to do with anything! I have been reading this paper since 1977  and have never been so mad! Thanks for a great magazine. I love Antique Trader, but this story should stay at the water cooler!
David Gainey
Via e-mail

Ed. note. The article in question, “Jackson’s death sparks surge in collectibles prices” published in the July 15 issue, documented the effect Michael Jackson’s death had on the collectibles and memorabilia markets immediately after it was reported June 25.

Questions? Comments? Great collecting insights? Please send your Letters to the Editor to eric.bradley@fwmedia.com or c/o Antique Trader Letters to the Editor, 700 E State St., Iola, WI 54945. Due to the volume of mail, we cannot guarantee a personal reply.