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|Collectable • Antique • Antiquities|
An antique (Latin: antiquus; old) is an old collectable item. It is collected or desirable because of its age, beauty, rarity, condition, utility, personal emotional connection, and/or other unique features. It is an object that represents a previous era or time period in human society.
It is common practice to define "antique" as applying to objects at least 100 years old.
Antiques are usually objects which show some degree of craftsmanship, or a certain attention to design such as a desk or an early automobile. They are most often bought at antique shops, or passed down as an estate. Some valuable antiques can be bought from antique dealers and auction services or purchased online through websites and online auctions. Antique dealers are often members of national trade associations, many of which belong to CINOA, a confederation of art and antique associations across 21 countries, representing 5000 dealers.
The term "antique" is pejorative in some instances to imply that something is out of date. This "term" has many incongurous and hypothetical influences for the general collecting public and is therefore seldom used.
Chinese "Antiques" have their own indication of what the Chinese Government considers as an Antique. As of the Cultural Revolution and China's opening of its trade to other countries, the government has tried to protect the definition of a Chinese Antique. The provenance of most Chinese Antiques already provide for the placement of a red "chop" placed there by the next owner. Only those Chinese poersons of prominence have possession of their own chops, which as themselves are pieces of Chinese Antiques. If a picture is followed by numerous chops, a Chinese antique collector will be able to read the names of the people who had owned the piece prior to the purchaser. Many Americans view these red marks as merely a part of the painting. The Chinese Government has tried to assist the collector of true Chinese Antiques by requiring their Department of Antiquities to provide a governmental Chop on the bottom of a Chinese Antique. This chop is visible as a piece of red sealing wax upon which the government chop is implanted thereby verifying the date of the antique. Unfortunately, chop artists are soon becoming a thing of the past as many had followed the new government to Taiwan after the war and have died off unable to find qualified apprentices.
With respect to "Antique Rugs" there are few from China. Most of the true antique rugs are found from Iran and Iraq. These rugs are not considered "Antiques" by the U.S Customs Bureau unless they are made prior to 1700. Yet, the government of Iran and Iraq have a long tradition of naming a rug that is over 50 years old as being semi-Antique, while a full Antique rug must be over 100 years old.
The definition of antique varies depending on the source, product, and year.
The only known exception to the "100 year rule" would be cars. Since the definition of the term antique requires an item to be at least 100 years old and the item in question to be in its original and unaltered condition, most cars would not meet these terms. Therefore, cars have generally been considered to be 'antique' if they are at least 25 years old or more. (Cars can be registered as "classic" when 20 years old.) Furthermore, this is not a universally accepted concern, but rather a consideration made almost strictly by car collectors and enthusiasts.
In the United States, the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act defined antiques as "works of art (except rugs and carpets made after the year 1700), collections in illustration of the progress of the arts, works in bronze, marble, terra cotta, parian, pottery or porcelain, artistic antiquities and objects of ornamental character or educational value which shall have been produced prior to the year 1830". 1830 was the approximate beginning of mass production in the US.
These definitions allow people to make a distinction between genuine 'antique pieces, vintage items, and collectable objects.
The term antiquarian refers to a person interested in antiquities or things of the past.
"Antiquing" is the act of shopping, identifying, negotiating, or bargaining for antiques. Items can be bought for personal use, gifts, and in the case of brokers and dealers, profit. Antiquing is performed at garage sales, estate sales, resort towns, antiques districts, collectives, and international auction houses.
Note that the word "antiquing" may also refer to the art of making an object appear antique through distressing or applying an antique looking paint application.
Antique furniture 
The collecting of antique furniture is a particularly popular area of antiques due to the practical characteristics of these antiques, as well as the value. Many collectors use the pieces in their homes, and also care for them with the hope that they will hold their value or possibly appreciate in value over time. This is in contrast to buying new furniture which will depreciate in value from the moment it is purchased. Antique furniture includes dining tables, chairs, bureaus, chests etc. The most common woods are mahogany, oak, pine, walnut and rosewood. Chinese antique furniture is often made with elm, a wood common to many regions in Asia. Each wood has its own distinctive grain and color. Many modern pieces of furniture often use laminate or wood veneer to cheaply achieve the same effect. There are a number of different styles of antique furniture depending on when and where it was made. Some examples of stylistic periods are; Arts & Crafts, Georgian, Regency, American Pastoral, and Victorian.
See also 
- List of antiques experts
- Antiquarian book trade in the United States
- Antique tool
- Antiques restoration
- Antiques Roadshow
- Del Mar Antique Show
- The San Francisco Fall Antiques Show
- Dolly Johnson Antique and Art Show