VAV!/July 3, 2011
Simply browse an antique shop, collector's showroom, pawn shop or scour a thrift shop and you're likely to come up arms filled to brimming with history. Take a trip to the local renovation store or visit the junkyard and, if you're a collector of anything yesterday, you'll likely find yourselves putting the stamp SOLD on incredible finds.
Of course, the coveted conglomeration of finds you tag and take are classic, aren't they? Perhaps they're antiques, vintage, retro or collectibles? Which of these elusive labels actually describes your purchase, both found and newly found?
The word vintage, antique, retro and classic, overall, implies 'dated from decades past'.
Let's get more specific...Classic often times is used to describe high quality and lasting appeal. Antiques are old, some say between 50 to 100 years plus, of a particular period in history and a style of manufacture of an era. Vintage is a venerable period of time, usually considered between 1920 through to pre 1980, when something appeared or began, to when someone was born or flourished. Retro is simply reviving the past through clothing, music,fashion, products and more. Collectibles refer to, yes as the word implies, 'sought after by collectors'. That word leaves a wide berth for collectors and some big shoes to fill, as anything can be collectible to anyone. Rounding out the possibilities of descriptions is contemporary which generally refers to the same or present period; restored refers to something that has been returned to a near original condition; customized refers to modification, replica is an accurate replication of an original product. Any of these categories may hold value in both dollars and sentiment to collectors. Of course these categories have further sub-categories...
To discern what category an item may belong to, look for the age, overall appeal, condition, the significant traceable history, rare or hard to find items, and the production era you're interested in. Defer to the experts in each area of your particular interest. Allow them to gently guide you along in distinguishing specific aspects of one treasure from another, too. They offer serious clues for serious enthusiasts who are intent on categorizing items. Other expert resources include the American Pickers show and pickers like Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz. Join in on the show, Pawn Stars, and find some really incredible items shared with television viewers.
Join others in your passion for historical finds through the camraderie of clubs. There are clubs that form exclusively around a singular common interest in classics, antiques, vintage, retro, and more.
One rule of thumb to leave you with...generally speaking, after about 20-30 years, depending on the items, a label can be penned on everything!
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