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Antique, Vintage, Collectible: A Primer

A collection of antiques including a typewriter, a camera, a pocket watch, a magnifying glass, a set of eyeglasses, a candle stick, and several skeleton keys.

In our last blog post, we shared some tips for decorating your apartment for Valentine’s day, and we want to follow that up this month with a post about another way to decorate using antiques, vintage items, and collectibles. If you’re looking for something that makes a statement and is unique, perhaps you’ll run across the perfect antique that is is just the piece to add to your decor at StoneGate Apartment Homes. Antiques, vintage items, and collectibles make great gifts too. Being a history and antique buff is a great hobby too, if you aren’t one already, think about giving it a go. Just like Williamsville itself, the bits and pieces from the past certainly have a story to tell, but let’s start with some definitions.

Definitions

— Antiques are items that are at least one-hundred years old.

— Vintage refers to items that are more than twenty years old.

— Collectibles are popular items that people like to collect. They may or may not be vintage or antique, but they often are.

— Provenance is the written history or proof of a piece’s authenticity, and it is most often found with more expensive items. It could be considered the paper trail of an antique and may include purchase receipts, marketing materials, documents from auctions houses, and even photographs of the piece.

Check shops carefully, as they often have a mix of antiques, vintage items, collectibles, and perhaps refurbished furniture and modern home decor replicas. Be aware of what you are getting.

On Value

Some good advice about determining the value of an antique, vintage piece, or collectible and how much one should pay for it is succinctly summed up in this adage: A piece is worth as much as you’re willing to pay for it. This concept brings up the idea that following your heart when it comes to shopping for antiques is a good idea — just be sure to balance your heart with your budget. If you love the idea of having a unique item in your home that has a sense of history and a patina, then a piece of antique furniture may be the perfect gift for yourself, or go smaller with lace, dishware, or jewelry. Antique tools are another way to focus — a collection of antique rolling pins could be a charming addition to your kitchen, for example.

Gifts

If you are looking for a gift, keep your intended recipients’ interests in mind as you shop. One of the best things about shopping for vintage items and antiques is that they are generally one-of-a-kind. Be sure to find out the return policy of the shop or vendor and if a gift receipt is available. Regardless of whether a gift receipt is available, always get a receipt, even for a cash purchase. The receipt should include the age of the item, the material it’s made from, any damage or restoration, its value, and the price.


To get you started, here are Yelp’s picks for The Best 10 Antique Shops near Williamsville, NY. So take a weekend soon to see what hidden treasures you can find, whether it’s vintage, antique, or simply a collectible.