UNWRAPPED: What’s The Difference Between Antique, Vintage, and Collectible

Many of you that come to our website might wonder why we put Antiquities and Vintage on different sections. You might also wonder why in vintage, there are some items that we sell below Rp. 1.000.000, but also there’s a few that cost a fortune. We understand that we never put this out there. There’s a confusion on what makes an item antique or vintage. Is that the style? Is that the age? How old does it have to be for an item to be labelled as vintage?

Age is hard to define. One could only guess. Those moments where you learn that what seems to you like a recent history is an ancient history to others. You thought Mariah Carey is still relatively hip, but “We Belong Together” was 16 years ago? Time flies. Period.

Everything you buy for your home and your wardrobe can be seen on a timeline based. Simply, when it was produced. Then, put the label, “Antique”, “Vintage”, or “Collectible”. The age of an item is appraised alongside its value, its condition, its rarity, and the demand in the market.

For an item to be labeled as Vintage, usually it takes below 60 years, but above 40 years. There is no fixed point, depending on what kind of item. Let’s say for a piece of fabric, like Batik, Tenun, or Ikat, it takes 40 years to be called vintage. When it’s above 60 years, it’s labeled as Antique.

Here’s an easy trick for fabrics. If you can see your mother wearing it, it’s vintage. If you can see your grandmother wearing it, it’s antique!

Imagine your grandmother bought a Kain 45 years ago. She’d been wearing it for a party in her late 20s, meetings in her 20s to 30s, maybe an arisan in her 30s, and a school reunion in her 50s, then a funeral in her 60s. As time goes, the fabric gets thinner and when you raise it to the light, you could see the sheerness of it.

However, for jewelry, furniture, and ceramic, experts say it takes 100 years for them to be considered antique as they have longer shelf life. Keep this in mind. If a piece of jewelry, ceramic, or furniture lasts longer than your grandmother’s age, then it’s antique.

Think of an antique like an old painting. Antiques are investment, not your everyday furniture and fashion. However, when it’s mixed with other modern pieces, antique pieces give a depth and statement to your home and fashion.

There’s also the term Collectible. A collectible is a term that describes valuable objects less than a hundred years old. It’s more rare than vintage, but not as old as antique.

Appreciating age is a part of learning history. Learning history is a way to rediscover and honor culture. By knowing when something is produced, we can understand the social, political, and economy context of what’s going on during that period.

Who made it?

For whom was it made? Where was it made?

Why did they use the material?

Why did they draw, carve, or weave certain patterns?

What was the function of the item?

The list goes on.

The questions lead us to the passage of time and to guide

us to the future through its wisdom.