A true antique is an item perceived as having value because of its aesthetic or historical significance, and often defined as at least 100 years old, although the term is often used loosely to describe any object that is old. An antique is usually an item that is collected or desirable because of its age, beauty, rarity, condition, utility, personal emotional connection, and/or other unique features. It is an object that represents a previous era or time period in human history. Vintage and collectible are used to describe items that are old, but do not meet the 100-year criterion.
Antiques are usually objects that show some degree of craftsmanship, collectability, or a certain attention to design, such as a desk or an early automobile. They are bought at antiques shops, estate sales, auction houses, online auctions, and other venues, or estate inherited. Antiques dealers often belong to national trade associations, many of which belong to CINOA, a confederation of art and antique associations across 21 countries that represents 5,000 dealers.