Antiques and Reproductions
Antiques and Reproductions
Antiques and reproductions are extremely popular items for the home. Antiques are defined as objects that are considered to be desirable and collectible due to their considerable age. However, just because something is old doesn’t automatically make it valuable; there are lots of different levels of value in the world of antiques and while some are extremely valuable, others are not. Reproductions are copies of something that came before. For example, this could be a copy of a vase or sculpture in a popular style of antique. It is important to note that even though some reproductions can be considered antiques in their own right, they are not ‘originals’ in the true sense of the word and, depending on the object in question, might not be very old at all.
Usually, in order for something to count as an antique, it has to be more than 100 years old. It used to be that an antique counted as anything that was made before 1830, but in recent times this definition has been relaxed. Instead, the onset of the Second World War is often taken as the ‘cut off point’ as to what counts as an antique. It is also important to note that antiques are different from antiquities: in order to be considered an antiquity, something usually has to be more than 1000 years old.
Popular types of antiques and reproductions typically include paintings, other works of art (such as sculptures) and furniture. Some antiques and reproductions are also popular because of the time period that they are from or that they represent, and there are lots of different categories that they can fall into.
For example, Elizabethan (or Tudor) antiques are very popular, as are Jacobean antiques, which are from the Stuart period. In the UK, Restoration antiques are also popular – the Restoration period follows the Cromwellian period, after the monarchy was restored, hence the name. The popular antique periods mentioned so far take us up to about 1689 and the end of the reign of King James II.
As you may have noticed already, antique and reproduction periods tend to be defined by who was on the throne of England at the time the original piece was created. Following the Restoration we have William and Mary, and then Queen Anne, which is sometimes also known as the early Georgian period. Then comes the main Georgian period followed by the Victorian and Edwardian period. After this we arrive at Queen Elizabeth II, our current monarch.
In terms of reproductions, when it comes to paintings there are two main types of reproduced antiques. These are digital prints known as giclee, which is the French word for digital, and something called offset lithographs, which are created with commercial printing presses. One reason that people buy this sort of reproduction is that it helps to make art more affordable for people who are unable to afford the original antiques.
As well as this sort of reproduction, where things are copied directly, other reproductions might simply copy the style of an antique, such as by building furniture in the tradition of William and Mary or making Jewellery similar to that from the Georgian period.
Many people want to know if the antique or reproduction that they own is valuable (since some reproductions can also be worth something in their own right even though they are copies of something else). There are a few factors you need to consider in order to determine the value of something: its authenticity, its rarity, desirability, what it looks like and its condition. If you want to know how much your antique or reproduction is worth, it is advisable to get it expertly valued. Experts can also tell you whether you have an antique or a reproduction, as in some cases it can be hard to tell.
Overall, antiques and reproductions might be somewhat different, but they are both very popular with people who like to collect things from the past as well as people who just love art. With so much history to explore and time moving ever forwards, hopefully we’ll never run out of antiques and reproductions to enjoy.