Retro vs Antique

Comparing Retro versus Antique is like comparing a recently obsolete walkman to a rare vacuum tube radio, let’s find out!

The confusion is valid, often used interchangeably, retro vs antique debate goes on in newbie circles often and for the right reasons. What is retro, and how can one differentiate between a retro and an antique? The answer is simple! If something is out of fashion, but cannot be called too old, then it’s called Retro, if it can be called too old and quite unique, it is an antique. Also, remember that retro items can be manufactured new. So a new tape recorder can sometimes be called retro. Let’s elaborate:

What is retro?

According to Wikipedia “The term retro has been in use since 1972 to describe, on the one hand, new artifacts that self-consciously refer to particular modes, motifs, techniques, and materials of the past. But on the other hand, many people use the term to categorize styles that have been created in the past. Retro style refers to new things that display characteristics of the past.

Unlike the historicism of the Romantic generations, it is mostly the recent past that retro seeks to recapitulate, focusing on the products, fashions, and artistic styles produced since the Industrial Revolution, the successive styles of Modernity. The English word retro derives from the Latin prefix retro, meaning backward, or in past times. “

So long story short is that it started in France during the World war and retro was introduced into English by the fashion and culture press, where it suggests a rather cynical revival of older but relatively recent fashions. Retro is more of a style than a specific object. But you can call old things that are out of fashion but not antique to be retro. Even a hairstyle of the 1980s can be called retro but a hairstyle of 1800 cannot be called antique because antiques are objects and artifacts but not a style.

So a retro object of design is:

  • Recently out of fashion
  • Does not need to age as it can be a new item with an old design
  • Not as old as a 100 years
  • More of a re-emergence of style
  • Mostly associated with a nostalgic memory of the recent past

What is an antique?

Very old items, objects, and artifacts that have value are antiques. No, not everything old is antique. Useless items which hold no significance to history or did not involve any craftsmanship are not antiques. An antique is at least 100 years old. They are often bought and sold at antique shops. Usually, a fair value can be ascertained for an antique due to well-documented instances of such objects. So in essence Antiques are objects that retain some degree of craftsmanship. They have value due to collectability.  They have attention to design, such as a desk or an early automobile.

Antique dealers are often members of trade associations and have a guild. An antiquarian is a man or woman who collects and studies antiquities or things of at least 100 years of age. shopping, identifying, negotiating, or bargaining for antiques is called Antiquing. Some people buy new things, usually limited editions, and preserve them in new, unopened, to collect and pass down the generations as antiques.

So an antique has the following properties:

  • It is at least 100 years old
  • Has craftsmanship or design value
  • Is desirable for collecting
  • Usually have attention to detail
  • Or may have a historical significance
Continuing the retro vs antique argument | Photo by Sandie Clarke on Unsplash
1.Age of the artifact or styleUsually not very oldOlder than 100 years
2.Craft and artCan be a common style or itemShould hold some craftsmanship or art value
3. Object or styleObject as well as styleObject or artifact
4.Used as a fashion statementOftenRarely
*Retro vs Antique table of comparison

So there was our explanation of Retro and Antique words. Platformer is committed to all things retro. Here you will continue to find retro topics covered in detail. We will review retro stuff, fashion as well as how-tos on gaming, recovering, using, and continuing the retro nostalgia, so do keep us bookmarked and keep visiting!

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