Art and memorabilia could have similar values, but each has a different purpose. Yet, both often seem as if they are one in the same. Is anything that is displayed, a form of art? Something to think about! Of course, art is appreciated for its value as well as its beauty, while it seems memorabilia often has a more personal attraction. Memorabilia ties the object to some event, person, situation, or memory. One could also own a piece of art by one of our sports artists and this would also serve as memorabilia because of beauty, value and emotional connections. For example, I could own an autographed original oil painting of a sports hero or athlete that is personally connected to me in a special way.
Can anything created by a human be considered a piece of art? I think so! Therefore, much of what is collected as memorabilia can be considered art as well. Now, there could be a stone, rock, seashell, or a multitude of other objects that could represent an emotional attachment and be classified as a collectible; but not art, for a human did not create it. Couldn’t a souvenir also be considered both? Yes, however a souvenir is not as highly valued as collectible art or memorabilia.
Collectibles are just that – items that people collect. “A collectible is an item with value that someone takes the time to collect,” according to Pamela Wiggins with about.com. They are not necessarily valued by anyone but the person collecting them. Collectibles are generally classified such by popular consensus—people tend to ‘collect’ these things; dolls, stamps, coins, figurines, etc. Although, a collectible could have value and there is a market for it; a track record of trade and monetary exchange. Certainly fine artwork (sports art) could have a much greater market value and still could be considered a collectible piece of memorabilia. Memorabilia can have market value, but not be considered “art” in the fine art sense, as it was mass-produced and not an original piece or developed as an artistically displayed item. Baseball cards are a great example of this.
Ask Antique Art Appraiser has this to say about antiques and memorabilia, “Generally among experts, something is considered antique when it is 100 years old or older. An antique item is normally well designed and crafted and some may even consider it a piece of art because of its function and design. In addition, an antique is normally a rare item that not many other people own because time has passed it by. Although many antiques appreciate in value and (are) purchased and sold as investments, other antiques hold no monetary value except to the person who owns it, the value being more nostalgic or personal. That is the difference between antique and memorabilia, which should not be confused with collectibles.”
Vintage or antique may be considered the same and attached in classification to a “collectible” or piece of memorabilia. Vintage is associated to an era or period of time or stage in the lifetime of an object. Doo Wop music, the Swing era records, Model-T’s, tool and die machinery, steam engines, cars of the 40s or 50s are examples of vintage periods of time that exemplified collectibles of those eras. Another blog, Paulie Antiques, also discusses the difference between antique and vintage: “Although widely misused, the term ‘vintage’ refers to an item that is at least 20 years old.”
Essentially, a quality piece of sports art could be considered an antique, vintage, a collectible, and a piece of memorabilia, all at the same time!
Good hunting, sincerely, dl/SAI.