An antique (Latin: antiquus; old) is an old collectible item. It is collected or desirable because of its age, rarity, condition, utility, or other unique features. It is an object that represents a previous era in human society.
Antiques are usually objects which show some degree of craftsmanship, or a certain attention to design such as a desk or the early automobile. They are 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 themselves belong to CINOA, a confederation of art and antique associations across 19 countries, representing 5000 dealers.
The definition of antique varies from source to source, product to product and year to year. But, some time-tested definitions of antique deserve consideration:
This definition allow people to make a distinction between genuine antique pieces, vintage items or collectible objects.
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.
The collecting of antique furniture is a particularly popular area of antiques due to the practical characteristics of these antiques. Antique furniture includes dining tables, chairs, bureaus, chests etc. The most common woods are mahogany, oak, pine, walnut and rosewood. In Chinese antique furniture the most common wood is elm a wood common to most regions able to sustain trees. Each wood has its own distinctive grain and colour. 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. The most common include Arts & Crafts, Georgian, Regency and Victorian.