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What makes an antique, an antique?

Posted by David Calleja on 17th Jan 2021

What makes an antique, an antique?

It’s true what they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. We do wonder, however, how

many people, so quick to give up their ‘trash,’ had no idea it was actually treasure? There must be so

many people around the world with little idea the items in their garage collecting dust could actually

help fund a holiday home by the coast.


We’ve heard the stories so many times before – mother gifts daughter a brooch that actually turns out

to be a royal gem; old Nintendo video game sells for thousands; a vintage alcohol bottle lying around

someone’s kitchen worth hundreds of thousands. Yes, these are all events that actually happened –

the last one was actually only in 2020 (but let’s face it, stranger things did happen that year)!


So, that poses the age old question (literally) – what makes an antique, an antique?


1. It’s rare

Well, duh, that seems obvious, we know, but it’s a criteria that many miss. We’re searching for

those hand-crafted pieces; those small batch products; those no-two-items-are-the-same type

goods. Although in saying that, items that have been mass produced may still be considered

rare. This could be a run of defected coins or postage stamps – many collectors will pay big

bucks for those with colour distortions or other faults.


2. The condition

It’s important to not jump to conclusions on this one. Although it’s usually a matter of ‘the

better the condition, the more valuable the item is,’ that doesn’t stand true every time.

Sometimes discolouration of a product, for example, proves its authenticity and can even

increase its value. If it’s a product such as an old toy or board game, having all of the parts

there will also enhance the value.


3. It’s popularity

Sure, antiques are old, but they still go through fad phases in the modern day. The newest

collectable can be a household décor trend, and will therefore be worth more money. At the

time of writing this blog, antique tins are the trendiest collectable around! But we’re sure

when we refer to this in many years’ time, it’ll be something else topping the antique and

collectable charts (dare we say it – the facemask?)


So, when you’re going through your storage cupboards and garage later this evening, what types of

items should you look out for?


  • Furniture
  • Jewellery
  • Clocks and watches
  • Kitchenware, such as retro tins, spoons, stoneware and glassware
  • Board games and toys
  • Novelty barware
  • Original paintings
  • Cast iron doorstops
  • Rare books
  • Old cameras
  • Perfume bottles

  • Now, usually at this point we would encourage you to scroll through the pages of our online antique

    store, but we already know you’re dusting off the cobwebs in the garage trying to find antique gold.

    And to that, we say, good luck! If you have any questions about anything you may find, please drop us

    an email or a message on Facebook.