Antiques Forum FAQ see below, you will find a list of common questions regarding the Antiques & Collectables trade. If you have a question not answered below do get in touch and we’ll try and help.
Here in the UK it is generally accepted that an antique has to be at least a 100 years old. In other countries the age of what’s considered an antique could be more, or less.
In the UK it is considered that something to be vintage when it has an age (from when it was first made or produced) to be at around the 60 year old mark.
For example, the pottery (pictured below) is ‘vintage’ as it was produced in the 1960s-70s however it also has a style period associated with it being ‘Mid Century Modern’. See the timeline of Dates & Periods
First of all we have to determine what is condsidered as being valuable. In basic terms this can be divided in in two. On a personal level, and by a monetary value.
The personal reason could be that it is irreplacable at any cost (valuable) as it was given to them by a family member or a loved one. Therefore depending on what the item is (for example a 100 year old family photograph) it might be something of little monetary value to someone else.
The monetary factor. There are many factors that can add to an item’s monetary value. Some of these are subjective (to a personal point of view i.e. how much an individual wants that item and therefore prepared to pay a price), but generally speaking: Rarity, Condition, Item type and/or Style, Age, Provenance, Material type.
Just because it looks old it doesn’t necessarily mean it is! it intentionally could be ‘aged’ to look like it’s old (faked). Having said that, unless that single item under normal circumstances would fetch a high price it’s usually not worth the time to fake it. If you are not sure then you can always get an appraisal from an expert or a qualified person who has the knowledge and experience of the item type in question.
This is where something has a record of it’s existance or ownership. For example a document, receipt, or letter that details the item with a date, description or owners information.
There are many places online where you can find information about different types of items. For example, an item of pottery usually will have a makers mark or stamp on the underside (see photo). This useful website has lots of information on many of the English Stoke on Trent potteries, their history, ownership, place of manufacture and dates when particular back stamps came into use, see here.