Here’s a game to play as you stroll the stands at the 36th Petaluma Fall Antique Faire this Sunday: Mentally separate your favorite finds into collectible, vintage and antique categories (a little fuzzy, but still fun).
However, this can be harder than it sounds. Not all “antiques” are created equal.
With more than 200 booths, the annual event promises to be an eye-popping array of amazing rarities in downtown Petaluma. But even though the beloved event is actually called the Antique Faire, the truth is that a lot of what you’ll find isn’t technically antique.
There is a lot of “harvest” in it. Some are simply ‘collectible’.
Which is nothing to sneeze at, and please don’t sneeze at collectors. It’s still an epidemic here, and you’ll be in the presence of an estimated 8,000 other people.
Anyway, you may have noticed that we’re avoiding the word “classic” here because that usually refers to cars, certainly not Lost in Space lunch boxes. We will return to this later. When it comes to toys, when it comes to things like furniture and art, campaign buttons and old metal tools, Happy Meal toys and Beanie Babies, which category you place the item in depends primarily on your age.
According to the United States Customs Act of 1930, antiques are “works of art (except carpets made after 1700), collections illustrating the progress of art, bronze, marble, terracotta, Parian, ceramic or porcelain, artistic antiquities, and objects of ornamental or educational value , which were produced before 1830.”
It’s been nearly a hundred years since then—hey, in eight years the 1930 Customs Act itself will be an antique—and while today we tend to ignore the bit that an antique had to be made before 1830, we mostly follow the rule. that he must be at least a century old to receive the great At.
If it’s old but less than 100 years old, it can easily fall into the “vintage” category, which literally means “aged.” This is not as clear-cut as the 100-year delimitation of an antique, and opinions are divided on this, but some in the trade define the limit of “vintage” at 50 years, that is, if it is more than half a century old. but not so much as a full century, that’s vintage. But as we said, not everyone agrees. However, according to Farm Antiques.com, many dealers and collectors are willing to consider an item 40 years old or older as vintage.
So what about things under 40 years old that still look old enough to be valuable to those who collect cool old stuff? This is what we call collectible. Although for an article to merit this term, it must meet other tests besides age. A collector’s item is one that is worth more, or expected to be worth more, than it was brand new. So yes, collectibles can also be vintage.
Which brings us to cars.
Ages are coming to an end for cars. In general, an antique is any vehicle that is 25 years old or older. Classics are cars between 20 and 24 years old, and collectors are models between 15 and 19 years old.
Of course, you won’t find cars for sale at the weekend’s Antique Faire, unless it’s a toy car, which can be collectible and/or vintage. However, feel free to drive your own vehicle – antique, collectible or classic – to downtown Petaluma on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. And have fun finding old cool stuff in whatever category you put it.