Antique Law and Legal Definition

An antique is a piece of furniture, tableware or similar property, made at a much earlier period than the present. There are definitions of antiques based upon a precise number of years, such as 80 or 100. The 80-year span is derived from the length of time of two generations, each one covering 40 years.

The Tariff Act of 1930 defines antiques as "works of art (except rugs and carpets made after the year 1700), collections in illustration of the progress of the arts, works in bronze, marble, terra cotta, parian, pottery or porcelain, artistic antiquities and objects of ornamental character or educational value which shall have been produced prior to the year 1830."

The following is an example of one state's law defining antiques:

"NRS 647.012 “Antique” defined. “Antique” means a unique object of personal property that is not less than 60 years old and has special value primarily because of its age."