Antique vs Vintage

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by war eagle, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. war eagle macrumors 6502a

    Jul 24, 2008
    What would be the time periods considered when evaluating antique and vintage in terms of purchases? Does the definition change depending upon the item in consideration? What are your thoughts?
  2. Mousse macrumors 68020


    Apr 7, 2008
    Flea Bottom, King's Landing
    Yep. Wine & cars is vintage. Furniture is antique.

    I'm sure there is a greater distinction them than my rudimentary understanding. But I'm not an antique collector nor a linguist, so I consider them pretty much the same thing. Po-ta-toes/po-tah-toes
  3. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Just my opinion:

    Antique: old for old's sake. Harder to find because they don't make it that way anymore.
    Vintage: old, and better than something new because they don't make it that way anymore.

    I don't think age has anything to do with it.
  4. Ray Brady macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2011
    As you can tell by the "vin" prefix, "vintage" is derived from the wine industry. "Vintage" does not literally mean "old"; it actually means "the age of the wine". In its proper context, you would say you have a 1983 vintage Cabernet, for example.

    If you want to extrapolate that to any other industry, the word "vintage" should technically be used to denote what particular age category a product belongs to. Thus, you could speak of a pre-war vintage Ford, or a 70s vintage Camaro. Using an expression like "vintage cars" is essentially meaningless, just as the phrase "vintage wine" tells you absolutely nothing.
  5. Scepticalscribe, Nov 12, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015

    Scepticalscribe macrumors Westmere


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Very interesting post.

    However, in the world of cars, the words 'vintage' 'antique', and 'veteran' all do carry a fairly precise meaning, although the actual dates covered by these definitions differ on each side of The Pond.

    In the UK, a car that has the right to be called 'vintage', is one that was manufactured between 1919 and 1930 (occasionally stretched to 1939). Cars manufactured before 1905 are described as 'veteran' cars.
  6. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    interesting seems that the US Customs Bureau settled on 100 years as the age for something to be considered an antique when it comes to import duties and their definition has become more or less the standard meaning in the USA. While common use of "antique" is a bit more flexible, "collectible" is a term suggested for old stuff that's not yet 100 years old, although it can also refer to things that aren't really all that old

    A dictionary definition of "Vintage", as an adjective; "(esp. of something old) of high quality and lasting value, or showing the best characteristics typical of the person who created it"
  7. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Aren't older cars referred to more commonly as classic these days rather than vintage?
    Vintage is often how they classify clothes from the 70's and 80's these days. How can that be vintage? I've still got some in my wardrobe from then!
  8. Scepticalscribe macrumors Westmere


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Well, @Apple fanboy - the US and UK use both terms, but define them differently.

    In the UK, a car is called 'veteran' if it was manufactured before 1905; (in Ireland, where different regulations seem to have been applied - cars from this era are called 'antique'). Only 'veteran' cars care permitted to take part in the annual London to Brighton road race (or run, these days).

    Technically, cars manufactured between 1905 and 1918 are referred to as 'Edwardian' in the UK (although Edward actually died in 1910), and 'veteran' in Ireland.

    "Vintage" in the UK refers to cars manufactured between 1919 and - depending on the source - 1930, or 1939.

    Postwar cars (those manufactured before 1973) are referred to as 'classic' cars.

    A car from the 80s would never be described as 'vintage' though a few unusually impressive cars from that era - such as, say, the De Lorean that featured in those threads quite recently when we were discussing Back To The Future - might be considered of sufficient artistic and automative merit to attract the the adjective 'classic'.
  9. AlliFlowers Contributor


    Jan 1, 2011
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    I found this on Wisegeek, and it pretty much goes with what I always believed:

    "One difference between vintage and antique appears to be the perceived relevance of the item. A horse-drawn wagon from the 1880s would be considered an antique, since it exists primarily as a relic of a bygone era. A restored 1957 Chevrolet convertible, on the other hand, would most likely be described as a "vintage" car, since it is evocative of a specific era and still has a considerable number of collectors today. Some collectors may even deem certain vintage items classic as an even more honorable distinction.

    The distinction between antique and vintage can be even more apparent in collectible markets such as clothing. A dressing gown from the turn of the century might be considered an antique, but designer gowns from the 1960s through the 1980s would all be considered vintage. Even a gown from two or three seasons ago might be described as a "vintage Halston." The term vintageoften suggest a specific year of creation, such as a 1968 Bob Mackie vintage gown." -Source
  10. Huntn macrumors demi-god


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    Depending on where you reside, cars can be designated as antique and/or classic, but may be referred as vintage, with a good point raised by @Ray Brady. The term vintage and its actual meaning has morphed to mean old.
  11. bunnspecial macrumors 604


    May 3, 2014
    I use the 100 year definition for Antique for watch collecting purposes. Within that same context, many folks regard anything before ~1970 as vintage. That works for me as it was the year Hamilton stopped production in the US.

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10 November 12, 2015