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What is Antique Furniture?

Antique is a term that is loosely thrown around by those who would describe any old items. They see the term as interchangeable with “vintage” or “retro”. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are distinct differences including chronological age, aesthetic and value (or cost). Let’s examine each of these so that we can clearly articulate the differences between all of the above.

How old is antique furniture?

Simply put, antique furniture is any furniture that is in excess of 100 years old. Some will try and blur those lines and suggest that anything over 80 years old can be classified as antique. Some less reputable dealers will suggest that 50 years is the necessary threshold to consider a piece an antique. More than likely, the reason for this has everything to do with how much a dealer can ask for the item. Anything between 50 and 100 years old is considered “vintage”  by more reputable furniture dealers and can often command less money on the used furniture market.

The reason antique furniture can cost more than it's vintage counterpart has little to do with age but rather what that age connotes. Antiques are frequently in less supply, creating more demand.

Vintage vs. Antique Furniture

Price isn’t the only or even the most significant difference between vintage and antique furniture. Antique furniture is frequently the product of a single craftsmen. Aesthetics were different over 100 years ago, too. This is evident in the ornate elements one might find in antique wood, the descriptive carvings and over the top excess in upholstery. By contrast, vintage furniture (specifically retro) was often mass produced and reflected an aesthetic in line with the birth of the pop art aesthetic with its flowing lines and defined geometric patterns.

Buying Antique Furniture

Finding antique furniture dealers isn’t difficult. Look for antique furniture dealers online or visit any one of several online auction sites. Your local flea market likely has an antique shop within it. However, finding a deal can be another matter.

Bassett Furniture was born in Bassett, Virginia over 100 years ago. We were there in the beginning, creating family heirlooms and collectable antique furniture for the next generation or two. Our lengthy history is a testament to our quality.

Stop by a Bassett showroom near you and walk the floor. Consider it a preview into the antiques of the future, your children’s family heirlooms. Welcome to your tomorrow and your grandchildren’s yesterday.

 
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