Antiques & Antiquities

Antiques & Antiquities

May 25th 2020

It’s curious to say that if you were to survey a substantial amount of people asking the question of what they would consider antique you would get a vast array of responses. Here at Jacksons Antique its commonly known that this can be interpreted in many, many different ways but we wanted to give an insight to what is commonly accepted in the trade as ‘antique’.


Antique Persian Vessel

Antique Persian water carrying vessel with archaic decoration, available to purchase at Jacksons Antique

So, let’s begin with what age makes an object antique. Would you consider a roman object to be antique, I think it’s fair to say universally across the board the answer is yes. Now let’s move ahead several thousand years and ask if you would consider the early 20th century to be antique, that’s where things get a little more blurred. To answer that let’s start with the definition of the word antique. Put together in so many words an antique can be described as an item whether it be an object, piece of furniture or work of art that is over a certain age (general rule of thumb 100 years old), without major restoration works, typically show a degree of craftsmanship and have a collectability factor.  Some people may add that the item requires to be of historic value or of a certain quality but I believe this is misleading as some modern items may bare historic importance and be of good quality but this does not make them antique however combined with age this may do. In the same measure an item which is 1000 years old, in very poor condition and with no historic value would be considered to be antique.

I’m going to go ahead and confuse matters with one exception to the rule. Motor cars often are considered to be antique when they reach 25 years old. To confuse matters further, the words antique and antiquities are often mixed up. To hopefully clarify slightly, antiquities are considered to be ancient artefacts or objects that are several hundred or thousands of years old that are more than often found through archaeology digs or recovered as opposed to something of an age over 100 years which may have been given through generations, bought/sold at auction or donated thus given the name antique. On a more light hearted note, think of the Indiana Jones films for a simpler understanding. The main character Doctor Henry Walton “Indiana” Jones Junior is a fictional professor of archaeology who ends up rescuing multiple antiquities throughout the franchise which are portrayed as objects of great age, historic importance and value. They are not referred to as ‘antiques’ but ‘antiquities’ due to the fact they are dug up or recovered opposed to being sold as an object of virtue, an antique.


Antique and heavily rusted parked motor car

Clear as mud right..!

Hopefully this snippet will give help in the future and if nothing more maybe a pub quiz question you now have a decent answer for! Its always interesting everyones different points of view on history, especially when it comes to being a critical part of your business and for us at Jacksons Antique its what really gives us purpose and enthusiasm to continue. Having so many different opinions can give such joy or sadness in every piece and after all every single antique, artefact and piece of history has a story and with that in mind we will sign off.



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