Fri. Dec 3rd, 2021


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On this page we will explore the many meanings, terms, and the definitions of the categories “retro”, “vintage” and “antique” as they apply to the past, present culture.

Here we will share information from a multitude of sources to help define most aspects of these words, for a deeper understanding into the terms associated with them.



a decorative object or piece of furniture that is valuable because of its age.

valuable because of its age
old-fashioned or outdated, literary ancient

Latin antiquus ‘former, ancient’.


retro clothes, music, or style

imitative of a style from the recent past

French, from rétrograde ‘retrograde’


the time that something was produced

referring to something from the past of high quality

Old French vendange, from Latin vindemia, from vinum ‘wine’ + demere ‘remove’

What is an Antique ?

An antique (Latin: antiquus; old) is an old collectible item, collected or desirable because of its age, rarity, condition, uncommonness, utility, or other unique features. It is an object that represents a previous era in human society.

  • made in or typical of earlier times and valued for its age; “the beautiful antique French furniture”
  • shop for antiques; “We went antiquing on Saturday”
  • old-timer: an elderly man
  • out of fashion; “a suit of rather antique appearance”; “demode (or outmoded) attire”; “outmoded ideas”
  • give an antique appearance to; “antique furniture”
  • any piece of furniture or decorative object or the like produced in a former period and valuable because of its beauty or rarity
  • age-old: belonging to or lasting from times long ago; “age-old customs”; “the antique fear that days would dwindle away to complete darkness”

Antiques are usually objects which show some degree of craftsmanship, or a certain attention to design such as a desk or the early automobile. They are bought at antique shops, or passed down as an estate. Some valuable antiques can be bought from antique dealers and auction services or purchased online through websites and online auctions.

What is Retro?

Retro is a term used to describe, denote or classify culturally outdated or aged trends, modes, or fashions, from the overall postmodern past, but have since that time become functionally or superficially the norm once again. The use of “retro” style iconography and imagery interjected into post-modern art, advertising, mass media, etc. has occurred from around the time of the industrial revolution to present day.

What is Vintage?

Vintage is a generic term for new or second hand items originating from a previous era. The phrase is also used in connection with a retail outlet, such as “vintage clothing store.” It can also be used as an adjective, as in “This dress is vintage.” The word vintage is copied from its use in wine terminology, as a more elegant-seeming euphemism for “old” clothes. Vintage is used for many categories that include: cars, furniture, wine, clothing, jewelry, etc.



plural noun: ephemera; noun: ephemerum

things that exist or are used or enjoyed for only a short period of time. “there were papers, letters, post cards, and old boxes—all sorts of ephemera” items of collectible memorabilia, typically written or printed ones, that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity.