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An antique is an item of human design and manufacture from a past era. Antiques are prized and saved for any or all of several reasons: they may be significant examples of human ingenuity or innovation, they may demonstrate the particular creative ability of a certain designer, they may have historical significance or give clues to life in the past, or they may simply be highly decorative or attractive.

Typically antiques are preserved in museums, collected by aficionados, or bought and sold for profit by dealers. Some antiques can be bought for modest sums, others sell for millions.

The words antiquities, antiques, collectibles, vintage and retro all have a related element: they indicate a tangible item considered worth keeping. In general, however, when one speaks of antiquities one means items from the ancient past, an antique is something from the more recent past but at least one hundred years old; vintage items are from the recent past, usually at least 20 years old, but not old enough to be considered antique, while collectibles can be items of any age that people consider worth saving: e.g. Harry Potter collectibles. The word retro suggests items that hark back to a not-too-distant past: 80s retro, mid-Century retro.