Customers at Valley of Virginia Antiques frequently ask
questions that you may also have about
antiques and collecting. We have dedicated this
section of our Web site to
sharing our answers to a few of the more
frequently asked questions. Our answers are based upon our research and
experience gained as antiques collectors and dealers.
"What are Antiques?" In
practice, the definition of an antique mean different
things to different people. 'An antique is an item that
was made more than 100 years ago' is a commonly
Emyl Jenkin's Appraisal Book, Identifying, Understanding
and Valuing your Treasures suggests that, "an antique is
distinguished by its handcrafted uniqueness and fine quality,
and was made before 1820 or 1830." She indicates
that by 1830 hand-carved furniture, hand-beaten silver,
hand-etched and blown glass were replaced by manufactured
pieces and being sent from New England via train or boat to
Kentucky, Florida, Canada, or California.
While we recognize the 'purity' of this definition, we also know
it excludes most pieces bought and sold in the 'antiques'
From our perspective, most quality American 'Country'
Antiques were not made in New England. Immigrants
brought their craftsmanship skills with them to this country and from larger
cities along the East Coast moved ever westward with our
frontiers. Many were highly skilled and proved
themselves very adaptable to frontier needs and available
resources. This 'country' flavor imparts a unique value
and appreciation to such pieces. We define
antiques to be hand crafted pieces of good to fine
quality made at least into the1860's,
before the circular saw became generally available in
the countryside. Country antiques
vary greatly in
refinement and quality - they range from 'primitive'
to 'fine' period pieces.