I first want to mention the inspiration for this post. While researching terminology, I found a wonderful article from
in which they mention the dreaded "flea bite" term. I'm not sure who decided that "flea bite", was a good way to describe a chip to porcelain, but it's such a visual "yuck" that I can't ever imagine using it. That being said, today's post is on the changing terminology and lingo of vintage & antiques from a customer or new seller's view. When I first started selling vintage, I truly thought that a flea bite on porcelain, was actually a mark made by a flea bite...why would I not?... and more importantly why would our customers not think that. Not everyone who purchases our lovely items, is an antiques professional. My generation (we'll say 45+) was very connected to the older ways, sayings, styles and histories of all things antique & vintage. With the onset of technology, the younger generation is learning as they go. Thankfully, their love for vintage & antiques has brought an entirely new customer base to our shops.
Thank you Mad Men!!
However, with this resurgence of all that is vintage, comes the responsibility (as purveyors of such), to do our research, explain our terminology (believe it or not there are people who don't know what a "flower frog" or "epergne" is!:)).
Both are means of displaying flowers, click below for a list of both on Ruby Lane
As keepers of the past, it is our duty to explain these things when we list an item. Thereby teaching the meaning of term, that may have been otherwise unknown. "But you can "google it", people will say. Yes you can, but every click away from your site is one click too many.
And for the young, new or just uninformed sellers out there...try to stick with the originals, creating new names will only create confusion down the road.
Here is a list of some of my favorite terminology sites
There are many more wonderful sites to assist in the learning process...I will be adding more to my Vintage/Antique Reference Link Guide on G+
As always, thanks so much for reading!