2beor02bmerlin's Profile

Display Name: 2beor02bmerlin
Member Since: 12/27/12

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Interesting thread (although I'm a little late coming upon it).

Interesting distinction that was made by one Poster on the Terms "Modern" and "Contemporary". I would argue with their interpretation, though.

The term "Modern" to me is a relative term and changes with styles. So something that was termed "Modern" in 1920 for instance, later becomes Vintage and then Antique. It is only Modern when it is in the Period in which it was made and following the fashion or style of that time.

You would not, for instance, call a Ford Model T a Modern car today. It is now a Vintage Motor. Yet when it was Produced, it would have been the height of "Modern" engineering. I don't think many Buyers would be happy going into a car Showroom and asking for a Modern Car and driving out in a 1930's 'flivver'.

As to the word "Contemporary", surely the most misused word in eBayland along with Retro. They are mirror images of each other in my experience and opinion.

Retro is something in a particular style which is actually manufactured OUTSIDE its original Period of Fashion or Style. Thus, as has been said by several Posters, Art Deco Ceramics and Art Deco Designs in Cloth are still being Manufactured today and termed as "Retro". The very word itself carries connotations of "Looking back" at something, so a Modern piece made in the Fashion of Edwardian England would be "Edwardian Retro".

As would, interestingly enough, a Vintage or even Antique piece that was made outside its period of fashion or style. A 1970s tea set made in the Art Deco style, for instance, could be termed both Vintage AND Retro.

Contemporary, however, could be of any age. It simply means that the item was made in the period in which it was in fashion. Which makes it the opposite (if you like) of Retro which is ALWAYS made in a period outside its fashion or style window.

Thus an Edwardian Dining Table and Chairs described as being made in the "Edwardian Contemporary" style, would in my opinion refer to a Set of Furniture made in the Edwardian Style AND in the Edwardian Period.

So the Terms "Antique" and "Vintage" refer to AGE ONLY.

The terms "Retro", "Modern" and "Contemporary" then will tell you whether the 100 year old Antique Settle you are looking at is typical of its period or not.

This is NOT a fine distinction in the world of Fine Arts.

Merlin


Age Defining: Antique vs. Vintage vs. Retro
12/27/12 07:49 AM