The definition of an antique according to the U.S Customs services law, framed in 1930 is, “Any item that is more than 100 years old and still in a good condition is called an antique”. There are many factors that evaluate the value of an antique. But it can be drawn from the above definition that there are two characteristics of an antique that plays major role in evaluating the value or cost of the antique. The two characteristics are age of the antique, quality or condition of the antique.
Age of the Antique
It is mandatory for an item to be more than 100 years old to call itself as an antique. Thus, age is the deciding factor of the cost of an antique. The older an item is, the more expensive it is or more value it gets. Age of an antique indirectly tells the quality of the materials used in its manufacturing. It is obvious that the item can last longer (more than 100 years) withstanding different climatic conditions and usage of it since several years only if the quality of the materials used in the antique is higher.
Thus, age evaluates the value of the antique.
Quality or Condition of the Antique
Antique does not fetch a great value only if its more than 100 years older. It is necessary that the antique should be in a good condition. There are millions of things in the world that are more than 100 years old, but all of them cannot be called as antiques. Only those items which are older as well as in good condition are called antiques. So, age itself is not the deciding factor, but age along with the quality of the item are the deciding factors of the value of an antique.
Older item without good quality or condition can be considered as “waste” or “scrap”.
For an antiques like paintings, decorative items, etc. quality plays major role in deciding its value. No matter how older are they, the value of it is negligible if the quality is not good.
From the two factors, it can be generalized that an older item can be in good condition and fetches more values only if that item is restored properly. So, good maintenance of the item by regular restoration processes adds the value to the antique.
If you have an item, which is more than 100 years old and if it is well maintained by regular restoration processes, then there will be a high demand to your antique and gets more money for you when you sell it.