What is the Difference between Antiques, Vintage Arts, Collectibles and Associated Values?
Purchasing Awareness —
Antique — An antique is any object, (fine art, folk art, craft), created 100 or more years ago, which tells us something about the earlier times of its culture, its symbolism, and /or its myths and legends.
In many cases, older objects were born out of a utilitarian need for everyday living, but over time, were coveted due to the uniqueness of the workmanship involved. Of course, at the same time, fine pieces were also created, but were intended as gifts for special occasions and/or special people, and for the most part, were one-of-a-kind works of art. Underlying both the functional and finely-crafted objects, however, was the quality of work done by the craftsperson. As a result, the folk art object and the exquisite fine pieces have emerged as treasured, highly-sought-after antiques by collectors and enthusiasts alike, due to their scarcity. It is important to remember that the value of any piece is relative to its rarity and its desirability, so the market is in constant flux. Largely, though, prices usually escalate as the years pass.
Vintage — The same can also be said for ‘vintage’ objects, as a ‘vintage’ piece is at least 60 years old; will be well-crafted; and perhaps even unique by now, but will already have a potential investment quality for the collector. Or at least it must have an attractive quality, which appeals to the beginner or experienced collector.
Collectibles — A collectible is any object, antique, vintage, or contemporary, that is considered valuable due to its scarcity and/or demand. Usually, anything that is mass-produced does not qualify. The buyer of any collectible item should determine its value through comparison shopping, as a lot of objects are offered as ‘collectible’, as a marketing ploy by the seller, when in fact the piece is quite common, and therefore not so valuable. “The more you know, the better the decision” should be the collector’s mantra. Obviously, many people collect and buy for purely emotional reasons, rather than for investment purposes, and there is nothing wrong with collecting for collecting sake.
Your Objective —
– Your overall objective is to enlighten yourself about a culture you value and appreciate.
– Antiques are old, so they may have cracks, chips or repairs. That is part of the aging process and the basis of characteristics common in most antiques. The more perfect the piece, the higher the price because of its rarity and flawless condition.
– Buy the best you can afford, continue to upgrade in quality, and expand the diversity of your collection. Never insult any dealer, (especially in Japan),with offers that are unrealistic. Specialists are helpful, (and always use guideline suggestions), and know the fair market value for a similar object(s) of same quality.
— Buy what you love and enjoy seeing every day. ‘Haste makes waste’: be a very observant buyer, and celebrate your discovery.