COUP SOUP – Vintage? Antique? How Old IS it?

There are always many questions surrounding all things old & historical.  ‘Ancient’ ‘Primitive’ ‘Antique’ ‘Vintage’ ‘Retro’ – ??  Running a large Vintage and Antique Group for the past year I’ve had to fine tune my knowledge of the oldies but goodies.  I think I’ve got it down.  Here’s what you need to know to be well versed in the world of Old’s Cool according to my experience.  That piece you’ve had stuffed under the stairs may be worth a pretty penny or could possibly make for some decent firewood.  You decide.


ANCIENT is anything that survived the earliest recorded events to the end of the Western Roman Empire in A.D. 476.

chair of princess sitamun found in the tomb of yuya and thuya and now in cairo museum

Chair of Princess Sitamun found in the Tomb of Yuya and Thuya, now found in the Cairo (Egypt) Museum.


PRIMITIVE is defined as among the first of something, potentially simple and crude, or made by an unschooled, preliterate artist by hand. It is assumed that materials and construction be at least 75 yrs. old.

Furniture - Primitive

Early 1900’s Primitive Hand Crafted Cupboard


ANTIQUE is a collectable item, at least 100 years old.   It is desired because of it’s age, beauty, rarity and unique features.   (Kind of the way French men revere their elder women)    I have to call my travel agent ….

Antique French Marriage Antique turn of the century

Magnificent 18th Century French Antique Carved Walnut Marriage Chateau Armoire from the Loire Valley


VINTAGE is of high quality and lasting value or showing the best and most typical characteristics of a particular type of item from the past. Basically, what is labeled vintage is between 30 to 100 years old.

chinese card table

Chinese, 1930’s rosewood w/mother of pearl inlay table & chairs


RETRO – is commonly used to describe Mid Century Modern and other linear designs of the 40’s to 60’s

1960s Z Chair Vintage Paul Jensen

1960’s “Z” Chair, Paul Jensen

Objects represent a previous era or time in human history and much of the time, evoke a personal emotional connection.  The older the fiddle, the sweeter the tune….  The more mature the grape, the finer the wine…   – you get it.





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