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100 years not antique

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Just when you think you know it all, someone always comes in and proves you wrong. Most interior designers, including me, thought there was one classic rule of thumb for antiques: If the piece was more than 100 years of age, it was considered an antique.

But that's not the truth. Or at least the latest experts tell us now that is not the truth. Supposedly, the 100-year-rule came about because there is a law stating that anything 100 years of age or older could be brought into the country duty-free. But, they say, that's the law and the law doesn't make it an antique.

To those who claim true knowledge of antiques, the designation is appropriate to anything made before or immediately following the Industrial Revolution.

Before the Industrial Revolution, they say, things were made mostly by hand.

So when is an old piece considered antique? The cutoff date for an antique ceramic is 1790. The cutoff date for furniture is 1830. The cutoff date for Louis XV is 1774.