Feb 22, 2011

Vintage-- Just what is vintage?

The scavenger hunt at ESN this week is for Vintage pieces.

This got me to thinking about "just what is vintage?"
I decided to do a little research.
This is what I found.
First, I did a dictionary search of the word: Vintage
I found that it mostly, or primarily, refers to wine. 
Here are some definitions of Vintage as an adjective.  I think in describing our items we usually use "Vintage" as an adjective.
6. (of wine) of an outstandingly good year
7. representative of the best and most typical: vintage Shakespeare
8. of lasting interest and importance; venerable; classic: vintage films
9. old-fashioned; dated

I also found some who claim that the term "vintage" is over-used.  It probably is.  I know, I was not really aware of the nuances of vintage. Maybe we tend to use it as "old fashioned and dated" rather than as "representative of the best" of an era.  There seems to be a consensus that vintage items must be well made.Some sources say that vintage items should be at least 40-50 years old.  Others say at least 20 years old.  I also get the idea that a vintage item should be listed with a date or at least a date range, like 1950's.

It is pretty standard to consider that an antique must be 100 years old.  This has always fascinated me, because things that were not considered antiques when I was a child can now be antiques.  In fact, I have quite a few pieces of antique reproduction furniture that I acquired new in the 1960's and 1970's.  I have joked that it is wasn't a real antique when I got it; but I've had it so long that it is now--or soon will be.  I wonder now how these reproduction pieces fit into the "vintage" "retro", "antique" scheme of things.
Here is one take on antique vs. vintage furniture. As you can see here, not everything old is vintage.
Apartment Therapy also offers some insights into the difference between antique and vintage.

With all this in mind, I searched ESN photos for "vintage" items.

Carolina Blue Lady has a number of vintage Avon pieces listed. These are from the 1980's which at this point qualifies as vintage, using the 20 year old criteria.
One example is this 1984 Avon Christmas Lyre Ornament
which you can purchase here
Carolina Blue Lady also has some lovely vintage glass pieces available.

I found that Bargain Express has several sets of vintage Salt and Pepper Shakers. Even though there is no date listed, they are "made in Japan" which puts them well back in time. One example is this bird/pheasant nodder set.
Look here to get details and/or purchase.
You can also find vintage collectible coins at Bargain Express.

ComycGyrl has several Easter Cards that are described as Antique.  There are also a number of pieces of vintage glasssware including some neat collectible character glasses and advertising collectibles in her store.
Here is one of the antique cards:

See it in more detail here.

If you are interested in the good quality old "vintage" things or in collectibles of any sort, or even antique items take a look at ESN.  You are likely to find what you are looking for plus many ecrater shopkeepers are even happy to look for that special item for you. Of course, I would like for you to check out my store, Hazel's HodgePodge soon.


  1. Thanks for the information. I really never quite understodd the vintage, antique and retro terms.

  2. As usual an informative and interesting blog. You keep coming up with a lot of interesting information. I really love reading your blogs.

  3. It's funny you mentioned about older things in the 1950s and 1960s are now antiques. I was just thinking about that earlier this week. When I was a child, Greentown glass was not antique as it was manufactured from 1894-1903. But now it is. Thanks for including me.

  4. This reminds me of when the hubby and I were just starting our lives together, almost 21 years ago now. My lil stepdaughter, 4 then, noticed an old photo of my mother in it's original 'old' frame, taken her senior year in high school. She asks me, 'who's that'? I said, 'it's my mother, your grandmother!' She looks at it quite intensly and says, 'wow, she's an antique!' lol. And just think Ms. Hazel, if the furniture and things that we bought new back in the 60's n 70's (80's in my case)are antiques, she was right, we're antiques too now! lol. Loved this blog, thank u. :)