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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Vintage vs Antique...
As I would look at it an antique knife is an "old" knife. Don't ask me now old, because I can't answer, but I'm sure that there is a specific age to classify a knife as an antique. It could be used or still mint in the box, it's the age that determines it.
A vintage knife is "used". I'm sure that there are some used knives that would'nt be classified as vintage but I'm of the opinion that it would be a subjective classification.
I've been "Vintage" for some time now, but I think I've got a year or 2 before I become an antique.
To me ,Vintage knives 1970 and before.Antique, prior to 1940.
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.??
yeah, my head is spinning. good stuff though.
I can accept that, but you are right. Both terms are tossed about as being the same....which is why I stirred things up with the question :)
I actually read something, I'll see if I can find where some "knife expert" attempted to classify and define knives by these two different terms.....but don't hold your breath on me, OK?
Just for the sake of discussion I like to stretch the thought to see if the principle still applies. If a caveman can be described as vintage but never made it to antique by our standards then I can NEVER become vintage (this is sounding good) since I was not there at the beginning. Could I be a vintage modern man.? Is it possible to BECOME vintage.? OR must something BE vintage.? Would you describe a Model "T" Ford as vintage. No, because cars were around more than fifty years before the "T" showed up. A vintage "mass production" vehicle to be sure. Would the "T" be described as "antique".? By the government definition it would fail which does not seem right. A Model "T" Ford IS an antique. But to illustrate the difficulty> a Roman Gold denarius would not be vintage but will be antique. The gold in the coin is neither vintage or antique. But the King that had the coim made was vintage but did not make it to antique. So what principle have I learned.? I can never be vintage and I will not become antique - I'm happy......
As stated by others, the word "antique", at least as I've heard it defined on Antiques Road Show is an item that is at least one hundred years old. If that is the case, then I have a few antique knives.

The word, "vintage" is defined as being indicative of the time during which something was produced. If that is indeed the case then most of our knives, regardless of age, could be considered vintage. Those little red and yellow Camco space ship knives with the siren whistle are certainly vintage to the 1950's, as are the Hopalong Cassidy knives. Any old green or brown bone pre-WWII made pocketknives made by any American manufacturer are vintage to those times. Most of us can spot an old pre-war knife on a table at a knife show, even if it were surrounded by newer knives. Modern tactical folders are now and will continue to be in the future, indicative of these times.

Old Sheffield made horseman's knives with ivory or old stag handles can be both antique and vintage, in that some exceed one hundred years of age and are indicative of the times, late 19th century or earlier, during which they were made.

Just my thoughts.

Charlie Noyes
In Canada we have two official antique categories as defined by Canada custons. Anything 50 years old that isn't spirits or wine enters the country duty free but you pay excise tax. Anything 100 years old is duty and tax free. In Britain an antique is pre Victoria (1835ish). I have done antiques shows in Canada that called antique anything pre Canadian confederation in 1867. Hope this clears things up ;-)))


"Old" sounds like it is probably the best. Antique is a 100 years old then (I only have a handful of those....well maybe a few more than that, but you how hard it is to narrow a Case Brothers down to less than a 15 year period, ie. 1900- 1915. In fact, it is impossible). Vintage references an era and not "age" and is therefore too broad, so I guess that leaves us with old, which is so bland.
.....you're thinking too much buddy! Slow down, have a beer..and enjoy those knives of yours!! You know.reverse the picture...our knives (...no matter their age) don't realy care if the hands that use/fondle them is filled with wrinkles or baby fat..they just like to be handle and appreciated. Let's do the same..it's alot more fun.....
I think sometimes we have a need to put labels on things so we can say "this is more valuable than that" Heck....if I can remember the initial excitement and motivation to purchase or own a piece...I think that's what's important and that's what keeps getting forgotten...too bad.. After awhile we start "hoarding" things and the initial excitement is forgotten...when we get to this point I believe collecting takes another road...and I just don't believe it's as much fun! Botom line for me..I don't really care if it's vintage, antique, or old......if it's what I've been looking for...and I have a chance to acquire it...I'm excited.


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