Antique, Vintage or Retro?

Posted by on 11/19/2017
In both of our businesses (Victorian Fireplace Shop & here at Victorian Curtain Shop) we sell a selection of old items. How does the description of an item help provide you information about its age?

ANTIQUE is a legal term and refers to an item at least 100 years old. We commonly sell antique fireplace items, but fabric rarely survives that long, especially in everyday items we generally carry such as dish towels, curtains and bedding.

VINTAGE is interpreted by the user of the word, but is generally considered to be an item at least 20 years old. Virtually all of our linens are vintage because even the late 1990's items are now vintage. It's actually hard for me to think of items from the 1990's as being vintage since I'm still wearing shoes would now be considered "vintage", but that's the standard for use of the word as it applies to old goods.

RETRO describes anything made that's not considered part of the current era. You might buy a new chenille bedspread that's made to look like one from the 1950's and call it "retro" even though it's brand new. However, if you see the description "vintage 1950's" then you know it was actually made in the 1950's.