The Language of Antiquing

Understanding the language used is the descriptions of antiques is so important. It can often explain why one item is listed at €100 Euro and something that looks closely similar at €1000.

Here are some tips to get you started!

Antique : should normally mean more than 100 years old
For example in 2022 an antique would be anything earlier than the 1920s

Vintage : over 20 years old although most dealers would consider 30-40 years of age at the very least for an item to be described as vintage
For example in 2022 vintage items could be considered anything up to the 1990s

Mid Century or Mid Century Modern : Any items dated from 1945-65

Period : describing an item as a specific period piece would indicate it was manufactured at the time indicated. For Example Louis XVI period

Style : Louis XV style, Empire Style etc .. means that no guarantee is given, the piece of furniture could have been made during the indicated period or later. Style does not guarantee authenticity.

Regional styles most often mean an items is from the 19th Century. For Example Normandy Armoire, Provencale Vase etc

In France, Antique furniture is identified according to place and the time of manufacture.
We designate antiques by the sovereign under whose reign their were fashionable: Louis XIII, Louis XIV, Louis XV, Louis XVI, Napoleon III or by the name of the period: Regency, Restoration, or even by a well marked era: Empire, 1900. Until the 18th century the court of France set the tone in matters of furnishing.

When a region has it’s own style the antique can be described by the region name: Flemish, Provencal, Breton etc