What is the value of old?

Antiques and time seem to go together. The older something is the more likely we are to call it an antique. Have you ever wondered how old something has to be before it is an antique? Rocks are very old and no one calls them antiques. One person’s antiques are often another person’s junk. The one thing I notice about antiques is that people of the “time” were more than happy to get rid of them. The last thing in the world they would have thought of was to hold onto these “antiques.” Back before their “antique” became “priceless,” if they could have traded up for something newer or better they would have. However, once something becomes an “antique” we want to hold on to it regardless of how useless or out of style it may be. Antiques seem to write their own rules for style.

Those who are into antiques would never question the style of an antique in comparison to some new product. The very virtue of an antique seems to lie in its age. The fact that it is old is one of the major determinants of an antiques price. Yet in some areas of the world, things that are antiques would be new items. I notice for instance that objects in the Midwest of the USA do not have to be as old as on the East Coast to be considered an antique. Of course, the condition and rarity of an antique also contribute to the value but the defining characteristic of an antique is age.

Why do we value (some of us anyway) old things, when our current society seems to devalue anything that’s old. If we say that something is out of style, no one wants it. However if it is really old and can be called an antique, then it becomes desirable. If this is true, then perhaps more old people should be classified as antiques. It does not seem that our society really values the aged any more.

I notice that there are those who love antiques and those who find them useless. I am in the latter category. I really do not care much for antiques. I do not value age as much as functionality and most antiques are obsolete by today’s standards. I have always liked the newest and most useful gadgets that are in the marketplace. I prefer Japanese motorcycles over old Harley Davidsons. Which group are you in? Do you love antiques? Why? What draws you towards an antique? Do you value the age in people or just in things? Do you think age is important and do you show as much respect for the elderly as you do for antiques? Do you value things over people?

2 Comments (+add yours?)

    Jul 13, 2011 @ 03:11:51

    I think most people love antiques , out of a love of history. Numismatists and philatelists associate their coins and stamps with history ; a Roman coin is not just a coin , but a fragment of an age that can be preserved only through that coin.

    Regarding old people , I personally value them , because through them you can experience history ; it is fun listening to old people recollect their days of old , especially since most of them can recollect those days very well !



  2. John Persico
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 14:02:09

    Thank you for the comments Narayan. I still think I remember pretty well but somedays I am not so sure. Fantasy seems to merge with reality. John



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