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Antique, Collectable, Vintage (and Numerous Other Labels): What Do They Mean?

4 October 2013

Many people are confused by the terms used to refer to antiques and collectables. As in all specialised areas, the terms used take on connotations different to common usage and become jargon. To further confuse the situation, the terms can vary from place to place and local usage may be distinctly different from that of a relatively nearby location. Definitions used by experts are often seen to be too complex for laypersons who only need general guidance. This article provides a list of dates, periods and ascriptions together with a few pertinent comments to help non-experts with “what is an antique”.

Cast Iron [Australian Antique Trader]

29 June 2012

[from article in Australian Antique Trader, originally published June 1989 - see full article for more information]

Short history of the development and then use of Cast Iron from 1709 to current day.  Includes information on the initial development of the cast iron industry in Shropshire, England, to the range of products and implements created by casting iron and some of their uses.  This includes in fireplaces, chimney flues, stoves, cauldrons, pots, door-knockers, letterbox door plates, door knobs, boot scrapers, door stops, fenders, irons and pans.

Features and the time period they were introduced are given for some items which will assist in dating original items now antique and considered very collectable by many.

Some Things Owners of Antiques and Collectables Should Think About

25 June 2011

[The following is a paper that IAC director, John Mildwaters, was requested to give to Retirees at the 2011 Ipswich Home Show]

In my various jobs, I have dealt with ‘People With Antiques’ who were in a variety of situations; most pleasant, some neutral, occasionally sad. I will use those three situations as a framework to address some of the things I believe owners of antiques and collectables should, at least, think about when considering the future.

The pleasant aspects of antiques and collectables are many, including -

  1. The not to be underrated pleasure of simply owning and living with beautiful things.
  2. Keeping artefacts as a way of preserving links with family history.
  3. The financial benefits of furnishings that hold their value rather than becoming worthless after a few years.
  4. Not having to redecorate as fashions change - antiques never go out of fashion.
  5. The environmental plus - antiques are constantly recycled and any carbon costs were extinguished years ago.

General things can include -

  1. Maintenance and preservation.
  2. Insurance.
  3. Recording.
  4. Valuation.

The sad things can include -

  1. Loss of the items.
  2. Forced disposal.
  3. Estate planning.
  4. Family disputes.

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