Having worked with antique furniture for many years, we have a great deal of appreciation for all genuine antique pieces. We simply cannot find contemporary items that come close in terms of craftsmanship and overall quality. This is also true of vintage pieces. While there is some lovely vintage furniture out there, the difference between vintage and antique furniture is noticeable. In particular, the attention to detail and quality just doesn’t match antique furniture.
Quite simply, the difference between vintage and antique (furniture) is time. As a general rule, the furniture must be at least one hundred years old to be considered antique. Therefore, at the time of writing this blog, furniture made in 1921 or earlier is classed as antique.
The term vintage, on the other hand, covers furniture made less than one hundred years ago but no less than twenty years ago.
One of the reasons that the quality of contemporary and vintage furniture doesn’t match antique pieces is the craftsmanship. Unlike the mass-produced furniture we’re used to today, each piece of antique furniture was handcrafted by a skilled carpenter, who would have put a great deal of time and effort into creating a single piece.
Of course, that isn’t to say that all vintage furniture (or even all contemporary furniture) is mass-produced. However, there are other aspects owing to the superior quality of antique furniture. For example, the types of materials used over a hundred years ago were far more durable than those used in more recent years. As such, antique furniture has far greater longevity than other furniture – the piece would have already survived for over a hundred years to be considered antique! However, over time, access to these materials and the skillset involved in using them were largely lost – meaning that vintage and contemporary furniture is rarely made using such durable, quality materials.
Another reason to choose antique furniture is the historical value. Each piece has its own story and shows how people used to live in times that seem vastly different from today’s world. For us, this connection with history is invaluable.
Moreover, one of the reasons we love antique furniture is, quite simply, how beautiful it is. Whether you want an elaborately carved piece or something authentically rustic, there are many options to make a unique statement in your home.