There really is something special about antiques. Something about all of the memories and stories that come with each of them makes them magical in their own sense of the word. Rather than buying something new from some big chain store, buying an antique gives people the opportunity to adopt a piece of history---a story that they can take home and cherish. And the best part is antiques are insanely multifunctional. That old headboard can become the back to a bench that completes a front porch. That old captain's wheel? It's now a multi-piece mirror that adds sparkle to the end of a hallway. Even in their original state and purpose, an antique can bring a load of character to a space, like an old rocking chair in a sitting room, or a mid-century breadbox in a country style kitchen. Antique stores are like giant walk-in treasure chests full of character and collectibles!
What Makes An Antique?
Okay so technically speaking, an antique by definition is just something that can be collected and has value because of its considerable age. But what does that really mean? Surely anything can be collected, and therefore anything that is old can become an antique, right? Well, sort of. Considering something an antique purely based on its age plays more to the adjective meaning rather than the noun meaning of the word. For example, someone could call a person antique because they are from ancient times (yikes!). But the definition can range from being manufactured or made in a different era to being at least 100 years old according to various custom laws. For this sake, we will call anything that is from an earlier era, even just slightly collectible, and agreeably decorative as antiques. So what kinds of antiques are there?
Antique stores are usually arranged in a similar fashion regardless of where they are located. A person walks in, and there are furniture pieces EVERYWHERE, from tables to chairs, benches, bed frames, and even armoires. The furniture usually serves a purpose in the store, to help guide antique hunters through the store, and to serve as a vessel for holding collectibles and displaying their functions. Wicker chairs, ornate hand carved table legs, and upholstered wooden couches and chairs are examples of what one might find at an antique store as far as antique furniture goes. The beauty of antique furniture is hard to ignore; each piece is unique in either design or the character that its wear gives. This makes it not just a functional piece of furniture, but a piece of art all on it's own as well. A finely picked piece of antique furniture can light up a room, or serve as a focal point for any interior design, and they usually come with an interesting story!
Collectibles are so wide ranging and diverse, that almost anything can be considered a collectible these days. Antique collectibles seem to have their own special niches though. While baseball cards, bobbleheads, and comic books can all be really old and highly valuable, they are not usually categorized with antiques. Unique advertising signs from old companies, certain types of dolls, and classic car parts and logos are more along the line of antique collectibles. There is certainly a gray area, but people think wooden, patina, and nostalgic when picturing words to describe antique collectibles. Porcelain dolls and figures, silverware and teapots, and even glass bottles and jars can all be considered collectible antiques. Whether it is furniture or collectibles, for decoration or for functionality, antiques serve a purpose that can not be replaced, and bring character and warmth into any space that they occupy!