Marketers love adjectives. A sale? Blah. A Valentine’s Day Sale? That’s something else altogether. That tells the customer that this particular sale in this particular store will make their Valentine’s Day and without it, their life will be incomplete. The “stylish” shoe and “chic” handbag will sell much better then their word-poor and adjective-deficient counterparts.
In the tableware industry, description’s are second only to pictures. When Wedgwood looks to promote a new pattern, simply stating the dry facts (quantities, sizes, shapes) won’t cut it. They need to weave a pattern, paint a picture how this pattern is the nicest thing to come your way since your child’s first baby portrait.
The discontinued market has it’s own terminology to entice buyers. Among the words used get the juices flowing are vintage and antique. “Antique Haviland Apple Blossom“, “Vintage Royal Doulton Carlyle China“. Etc, etc. People don’t collect “old stuff”. Vintage dinnerware or antiques, why that’s a sign of class and sophistication. The question is when is an item really an antique or vintage and when is it just hype?
There appears to be no definitive, globally accepted parameter for these labels. However the most common use of the term antique is for items that are over one hundred years old. Vintage is mostly used as an adjective such as “this dinner plate is of sixties’ vintage”. This appears to be the grammatically correct use of the term as well.
The best way is for the consumer to determine the label/adjective himself. Find out when it was made and see if that fits your understanding of antique, vintage or just plain discontinued. After all, it’s your opinion that counts most to the buyer – yourself.