Confused About Antiques & Collectibles Terminology?
Antique - Vintage - Mid Century - Retro - Arts & Crafts - Aesthetic Movement - Art Nouveau - Art Deco…
Well, if you look at the items being sold on sites such as Trade Me and EBAY etc there is certainly some real confusion, and a real lack of knowledge, as to ‘what is what’. Not only is it ANNOYING, but in many instances it is TOTALLY MISREPRESENTING the age and description of the piece advertised. I cringe when I see something advertised as ‘antique’ when it is clearly no more than, say 40 to 60 years old. Or items described as ‘Deco’ or ‘Art Nouveau’ etc when they have absolutely no Deco or Nouveau characteristics. Mind you, if you're a 15 or 16-year-old then anything over 30 years old is probably considered ‘antique’!
Obviously it can be confusing as there can be some date fluidity and style crossovers within the various categories so it is a learning curve. However, what with all the information available online, and in libraries now so easily, the misinformation really shouldn't be occurring to the wide degree that it is.
Below is a brief general summary of terms used and also some photos of various pieces:
ANTIQUE -100 + years old. VINTAGE 50 + years. MID CENTURY - Post WWII - 1970. RETRO - (retrospective) a general term, pertains to those things of the recent past.
GEORGIAN 1714-1830 REGENCY 1830-1837 VICTORIAN 1837-1901 EDWARDIAN 1902-1911.
ARTS & CRAFTS 1860-1910 - ART NOUVEAU 1890-1915 - ART DECO
The Arts & Crafts Movement was one of 'realism' and simple forms without excessive decoration and within this, the Aesthetic Movement (1860-1895) was more about 'beauty' being the main pursuit of both art & life. Art Nouveau was also inspired by natural forms and structures such as flowers, plants, and curved lines. Art Deco on the other hand is an eclectic style that combines traditional craft motifs with machine-age imagery and materials. The style is often characterized by rich colours with bold geometric shapes and lavish ornamentation. The mid-century look is very 'in' now with the 'younger set', particularly the Scandinavian teak furniture and accessories.
Next month, Noelene and I will be reporting from the UK, bringing you an 'update' on car boot sales, fairs, and markets and some of the 'goodies' we have managed to find to bring home...and hopefully, great weather!
Cheers! - Bernard.
Molloy’s of Milford Antiques Centre. 2-162 Kitchener Road, Milford.