Vintage and Antiques 101 – Definitions

The terms “Vintage”, “Antique”, and “Estate” are frequently used describe second-hand merchandise. These terms are often used incorrectly, or with intent to deceive. Here are the definitions of these terms and a few caveats:

Antiques – Antiques are items that are 100 years old, and older. This definition is accepted in the trade, but also has important legal and financial implications.

In the United States (and some other countries) no import duty is paid on antiques so you can save a lot of money if you know that your purchases are antique. This applies to items acquired on a buying trip, vacation, or online purchase so get a receipt from the seller stating that it’s an antique or, if you buy an antique online from a foreign seller, make sure they describe it as an antique on the customs form. More information can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 19 Part 10, Section 10.53. read more

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Repairs Made Easy: Conversions of Screw-back Vintage Earrings to Posts

Those of us who love vintage earrings are often frustrated to find that a newly-acquired pair is unbearably uncomfortable because of its screw-back or clip-back fitting.   If this were an occasional issue it wouldn’t be a big deal; however for the first three-quarters of the 20th century pierced earrings were out of fashion in many parts of the world.  For me, this time period encompasses many of my favorite styles of earrings:  long, elegant Art Deco earrings; Mexican silver hoops and enameled earrings; sculptural Modernist earrings; and dangling 60’s mod earrings.  While a jeweler can convert almost any pair of earrings to pierced, the cost runs at least $20-50 and sometimes higher.  While this is worth doing on some earrings, it can get prohibitively expensive. read more

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Artfully Adorned: Jewelry from the Christie Romero Collection at FIDM in LA

Scottish Agate Brooch
Scottish Agate Brooch

A few weeks ago I was in Los Angeles to attend the Vintage Fashion Expo and was excited to learn that nearby, at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) museum, there was an exhibit of jewelry from the Christie Romero Collection.

The late Christie Romero was a renowned jewelry historian and author of Warman’s Jewelry, a guide to jewelry of the 18th through 20th centuries.   If I had to choose one jewelry book to recommend to a novice, out of the dozens I own, it would be Warman’s Jewelry 3rd edition because it is highly informative, covers all eras and genres in surprising detail, and contains a realistic range of prices; it also contains Romero’s invaluable timeline of jewelry history alongside landmarks of world history and industrial history.  This book is out of print but can be found on Amazon.  Warman’s Jewelry 5th Edition is also excellent and more widely available. read more

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Antiquing in Los Angeles: The Vintage Fashion Expo, the Long Beach Antique Market, and Art Deco Architecture in Downtown LA

A few weeks ago I spent a weekend in Los Angeles on a buying trip. I timed my trip to coincide with the Vintage Fashion Expo which is held three times a year in Los Angeles and twice a year in San Francisco (where I am a seller). The weekend of the Vintage Expo coincided with the monthly Long Beach Antique Market so I spent Sunday shopping there.

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Event Calendar 2015

January

Alameda Point Antique Faire, Alameda, CA, First Sunday of the month

Renningers Antique and Collector’s Extravaganza, January 16-18, Mt. Dora, FL

Jewelry History Series at the Miami Beach Antique Show, January 28-29

Original Miami Beach Antique Show, January 30-February 3

Brilliant:  Cartier in the 20th Century, November 16, 2014-March 15, 2015 Denver Art Museum

February

Alameda Point Antique Faire, Alameda, CA, First Sunday of the month

Original Miami Beach Antique Show, January 30-February 3

Hillsborough Antique Show, San Mateo, CA, February 6-8 read more

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Event Calendar 2014

June 2014

Las Vegas Antique Jewelry and Watch Show, May 29-June 1

Alameda Point Antique Faire, First Sunday of the month

Alameda Point Vintage Fashion Faire, June 13th and 14th, Alameda, CA (I’ll be selling there)

From the Village to Vogue:  The Modernist Jewelry of Art Smith, Dallas Museum of Art, June 14, 2014 to December 7, 2014

“Charles James:  Beyond Fashion”, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY through August 10, 2014

“Gilded New York”, Museum of the City of New York, Ongoing

“Multiple Exposures:  Jewelry and Photography”, Museum of Arts and Design, through September 14, 2014 read more

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For Lovers of Antique Jewelry and Traveling the World to Find It