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Is it Antique, Vintage or Retro?

November 26, 20223 min read
Antique, Vintage or Retro?

Is it Antique, Vintage or Retro?

Have you ever walked through an antique mall and saw something for sale that you remember using when it was new?  If you are like me, your first thought is "Wow! If that is considered an antique, I must be old!" and it is often followed by nostalgic thoughts about my younger days. Sometimes, that might provoke the thought "I don't feel that old, so what makes something an antique?"

We often get the question, "What makes something an antique?"
It usually goes hand in hand with the question "What is the difference between antique, vintage, retro, etc.?

For some it is just a vibe or a feel that makes it an antique or vintage.  Others who want a clearly defined timeline say that an antique has to be over 100 years old, while vintage items need to be more than 20 years old.  If that is the case, what about collectible, retro and memorabilia?

When in doubt about meaning, let's pull out that old dusty dictionary like we did back in the day! gives us the following definitions:

"Antique" is defined as: ": a work of art, piece of furniture, or decorative object made at an earlier period; according to various customs laws at least 100 years ago"

"Vintage" is defined as: "a period of origin or manufacture" or ": of old, recognized, and enduring interest, importance, or quality," but most of the primary definitions relate to wine.

While we are at it let's look up a few more:

"Collectible": "an object that is collected by fanciers"

or alternatively,

"Collectable": ": suitable for being collected"

"Retro": ": relating to, reviving, or being the styles and especially the fashions of the past : fashionably nostalgic or old-fashioned"

"Memorabilia": ": things that stir recollection or are valued or collected for their association with a particular field or interest"

The take away is that unless you are importing something, you want to avoid tariffs and you need a legal definition that defines it as 100 years or older for the US Customs office, an antique does not need to be bound by a specific timeframe.  

The definitions also show us that there are more similarities between the words, than differences.  In fact we believe that the combination of the definitions are the ingredients of a great antique mall.

The best antique malls are made up of items from an earlier period (#antique), that are collected (#collectible) and have enduring interest, importance or quality (#vintage).  These items are fashionably nostalgic (#retro) and stir recollection and are collected for a particular area of interest (#memorabilia).  All together they make for an #awesomeantiquemall!

At Saugatuck Antique Pavilion, our dealers strive to bring in items with this thought in mind. Gone are the days of stereotypical stuffy antique store that your great grandmother visited.  Instead, we offer a wide range of great items from an earlier period that speak to the diverse interests and backgrounds of our customers. 

The next time you are in an antique mall and see something that catches your eye that you recall using when you were younger, enjoy those thoughts and remember that those memories are what makes shopping for antiques fun and special!

Are you looking to visit one of the best antique malls in Michigan?  Remember that the Saugatuck Antique Pavilion is open daily year round.  Come see what we have to offer!

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2948 Blue Star Highway

Douglas, Michigan 49406


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