How are Antiques Identified?

By | July 2, 2013

As we know any item that is more than 100 years old, is an Antique, according to U.S Customs Services Law, 1930. But is it right to call an item antique if it is just more than 100 years old? The answer is no. This is because an item should not only be old and functioning well, but also should have some exclusive features to make itself an antique. This article discusses the features, which makes an item an antique.

    • Rarity

Rarity is something which is not common and makes something special. In other words, the item should be special with its rarity to stand out as an antique. The rarity of an item could be its shape, color, design, function or mixture of them etc. which is not commonly seen anywhere or with anyone.

The item qualifies as an antique if its very old and rare of its category and its value increases as its rarity is higher.

    • Authenticity

Authenticity means being genuine or original. The item can be termed as an antique if its genuine since its manufacturer and not a copy of the original. It is very common for the antique collectors to face this issue of authenticity while buying an antique from a bad dealer.

Experts choose antiques, by careful studying it and assess its authenticity from the tags or the materials used in it.

    • Desirability

Desirability of an item means, worthy to desire to possess the item. Desirability of an item varies from person to person and from item to item. It may depend on collectors’ taste or need or the money they are willing to spend. Apart from being old and genuine, there should be something that is attractive and not present in other items and make a collector to have a desire towards it.

Most desirable antiques have great demand in the market and are often expensive.

    • Good condition

Antiques being old, should function well to qualify as an antique. Being old, rare and genuine it should be in good working condition without any major damage to make itself an antique. The item is called an antique only if it withstands any climatic condition since it is made, wear and tear by many people and still the quality or performance of the item is not disturbed.

    • Aesthetics

Aesthetics is nothing but the beauty of the item. It again varies from person to person. But an antique must be pleasing to everyone in common. The beauty or the specialty of the item should not be disturbed while restoring or repairing it. This reduces the value of an antique.

The beauty of an item may be due to its color or design or shape etc. Some antiques are very pleasing to everyone since they are manufactured, while some are made to look good by doing certain modifications. But, in both the cases the original essence of the item should not be disturbed.

Therefore, an item should have these qualities along with being more than 100 years old, to become an antique.