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The words "Vintage" and "Antique" are casually tossed about in the knife world. From a collector of older knives perspective, are these terms the same or do they have different meanings to you?

Tags: antique, definitions, vintage

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Is a thousand year old turd still a turd,although it it may not smell the same? 
I agree with you Roger, but ask any paleontoligist and he'll tell you that 1000 year old turd is a valuable fountain of information. Worth every stinkin' dime he paid for it or every hour he spent diggin' it up. :-) Ya know folks a hundred years ago could have never imagined what a Case Bros. knife would be worth now-a-days.
That all is true.But a hundred years ago a Case Bros.knife was considered a high quality product.
Yep, I reckon a turd is like a fine wine. It needs to age just a bit before it has much value to anyone. But...that brings me back to the original question. Does what many see now as the turd of a Pakistan built Frost knife become a diamond in 200 years? The original idea of this thread I think, was to determine what we as collectors consider vintage/antique. I guess for me, by definition a vintage collectable of any kind, is one that shows the potential to increase in desireability and value over a somewhat un-predetermined amount of time. Some I think become almost overnight vintage collectibles simply due to suply and demand. While others, like the turd, take a bit longer. And then there are those that come out of the gate screamin', but fail miserably a short time later. (i.e. Cabbage Patch Dolls, Beeny Babies, ELMO?) However, any of these are subject to a resurgence in collectability at any given time. Websters definition covers a broad range for the word vintage. But, for our purpose it states, "the type or model of a particular year or period", "representitive of the best", "representitive of or dating from a time long past". I don't know, but that sounds to me like practicaly everything collectable fits in there somewhere.

First of all, let me begin by defining an antique as an object of useful purpose with universal desire, such as a knife, for example, or an object of desire of no particular universal use, such an old painting, the Mona Lisa, for example, 100 years old or more, with the exception of objects of useful purpose which, though under 100 years old, were considered to be in the small number of the supreme examples in their category at the time of their manufacture or construction so as to be comparatively rare and highly desired then, of universal desire, one might say, but their design has been deemed obsolete since then and all within the same category manufactured or constructed ever since of a superior and universally, accepted design, causing these most shining objects of obsolescence to be re-classified as objects of universal desire but of no particular universal purpose.  Now, I cannot, for the life of me, happen to think of an example of the latter, at this moment, nor can I even state, with any certainty, whatsoever, if an object which falls into that category even exists or, for that matter, if one ever existed.  But the question put forth, to which I now reply, if I remember correctly, was, "How would you define ""Vintage" and how is that the same as an antique knife?" and not, "Do you ever, actually, know wtf you are talking about?", a question I would, normally, ignore, given a choice.  In retrospect, I realize that, so far, I haven't even begun to answer the original question, really, and I'm afraid that it's now time for my nap and so I will be unable to respond to the question in this single session and that, perhaps, dozens of similar sessions may be required.  My apologies.  (to be continued...)


Wikipedia says
Knife collecting is a hobby which includes seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloging, displaying, storing, and maintaining knives. Some collectors are generalists, accumulating an assortment of different knives.[1] Others focus on a specialized area of interest, perhaps bayonets, knives from a particular factory, Bowie knives, pocketknives, or handmade custom knives.[2]

The knives of collectors may be antiques or even marketed as collectible. Antiques are knives at least 100 years old; collectible knives are of a later vintage than antique, and may even be new. Collectors and dealers may use the word vintage to describe older collectibles. Some knives which were once everyday objects may now be collectible since almost all those once produced have been destroyed or discarded, like certain WW2 era knives made with zinc alloy handles which are rapidly degrading due to the material's shelf life. Some collectors collect only in childhood while others continue to do so throughout their lives and usually modify their collecting goals later in life.

They also say...Old age or, by extension, a description or nickname for someone or something that has endured and become comfortable or widely familiar.  So by their decsriptions, my knives and I are just OLD :(

There has been a debate over what an antique is for years. Some say an Antique is:
An object of considerable age valued for its aesthetic or historical significance. In the antiques trade, the term refers to objects more than 100 years old. 
Some dealers are attempting to lower the standard of an antique. They believe that items over 50 years old should be considered an antique. Those who are reputable antique dealers say the 50 years definition lowers the standard to a point that dealers can sell collectibles under the name of antiques.
This leads us to the word Collectible. A collectible is a term that describes valuable objects less than a hundred years old, often distinguished from antiques, which as a rule are more than a hundred years old.
Then we have the word vintage which originally applied to the age of a bottle of wine. This term was hijacked and is now used to describe item that has cycled back into fashion or less then 25 years old. This term is generally applied to the time period 1960-1979. The time period 1950-1959 is generally referred to as retro both these terms can be applied to items less then 100 years in age.
However, it should be known that the label “antique”, "vintage"or “collectible” has no real effect on the value of an item. The value of an item is determined more by whether there is a demand for it. There are very rare antiques which are sold for much less than a newer collectible, but this is because there is no demand for the rare antique and a high demand for the newer collectible.
When it comes to purchasing items on the antique or collectible market, the buyer should do a lot of research before handing over any money. Flea markets with antique stands, antique shops, and antique malls are plentiful, so dealers have a lot of competition in stocking their shops. This can lead them to price their items much higher than their true value, which is a bad investment for you. Why buy an antique or a collectible for more than its value?

So, when you compare antiques to collectibles, antiques stand the test of time. Their value remains stable. Collectibles, however, are priced more on a whim and their long term value is highly speculative. Implement caution when investing in collectibles as opposed to antiques.

* Antique HQ

Antique by definition is an item that is at least 100 years old. Vintage is a matter of opinion. Most people consider pre 1970 vintage, some say that vintage items are made before 1963 when Bar codes started showing up. Im 23 so to be honest I consider anything made before 1980 as vintage. 

 The actual Definition of the word "Collectible" is "Worth collecting; of interest to a collector". Baseball cards are "Collectible". Even some cards made in 2012 are "Collectible". The 2000 series of 911 coins for instance are collectible, and were collectible as soon as the became available to the public. The terms Vintage and Antique are completely different from Collectible. Vintage and antique refers to age, Collectible refers to a more of a worth or value. Really a knife made in 1895 is a Collectible and an Antique.because its over 100 years old and it has value to collectors. 

I think what you said "meanings to you" goes a long way. For me Vintage is pre 60's, Antique would be closer to 1900's, but that's IMO. I am sure it is different for all. Those terms are thrown out a lot, and you have to make up your own mind about it. Just saying.

Vintage 25-99 yes
Antique 100+

LOL, Wayne. Thanks.

Wayne Revis said:

I would think the concept of "Antique" would be defined by the type of thing being described. An antique flower may be 2 days, steel pocket knife 25 years, steel trapper 10 years, stainless pocket knife 50 years, and a stainless diving knife 5 years and the like.. The condition of the knife is not considered but the quality of the item would affect or determine the condition of the knife when it has reached the antique stage. The whole concept can get quite muddy. The idea of "Vintage" would be determined by it's presence at or involvement in the emergence of the field the item is in. A modern survival knife may be "Vintage" to the survivalists but could never be called "Vintage" to knives in general. This brings up an interesting concept. "Vintage" items tend to be of less refined technology and quality than the perfected stages that come later which would limit their potential for becoming "Antique". It's just a mess aint it.??

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