A ruling by US Customs, I don't know how long ago, established that no duty would have to be paid on works of art, collectors pieces and antiques 100 years of age or older. Voila! One could make a case that a chicken feeder made at least one hundred years ago is an antique. But while that may help you when you are importing vintage items from overseas, it covers a large number of items that don't have any particular distinction. The underlying assumption, I have in mind when designating something as antique is that it is crafted rather than manufactured on an assembly line. Using furniture as an example, the piece should be made with hand tools and by an individual in a craftsperson's shop or home. For most items, 1820 -1840, the beginning of the industrial revolution, becomes the span that distinguishes antique from vintage unless we are talking about folk art. (Maybe another blog post at another time). Bespoke objects continued and continue to be made after the industrial revolution, for those, I would use the term artisan made. In classifying items in my shop and on the net, that's the criteria I use. What's your definition of antique?
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