Antique Talk

Antique Talk

There’s always something new to learn about old antiques. Here’s a little lingo to get you started and take you back in history.

The word “antique” generally refers to an object more than 100 years old valued for its aesthetic or historical significance. Complimentary to antiques, is the word “collectible.” There are three types of collectibles: 1) artistic and historical treasures less than 100 years old, 2) something that is mass-produced but may not have any individual artistic merit like Hummel statues; and 3) an object that gains value because of its association like an Elvis jacket.

Art Nouveau-flamboyant, exotic, organic and curved. The style, which means “new art,” gets its name from a design shop, La Maison de l’Art Nouveau, which German entrepreneur Siegfried Bing opened in Paris in 1895. But it was artist Louis Tiffany who typified American Art Nouveau with natural designs from plant forms in jewlery, lamps, pottery and windows.

Art Deco-a sophisticated style that is angular, geometric, and sometimes Egyptian; genteel-looking, yet made for the masses. Came to light in 1925, the year of the Paris Exhibition of Decorative and Industrial Arts (hence the shortened phrase, “Art Deco”). Reflects the 20s, an age of machinery, exploration, jazz and exoticism.

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