Do you know where the word Antiquities comes from?

The word antique has nothing to do with the word antiquity. The first one designates a historical period; the second one designates ancient objects that take on a second life after having been cleaned, restored, arranged and put on sale. In reality, the two words are well linked by their origin and their meaning. As early as the Renaissance, the word was used by the writer Joachim du Bellay as the title of his collection of poems: Les Regrets et les Antiquités de Rome to describe Roman society where the vestiges of another time are still visible. In the 17th and early 18th centuries, the word was superimposed on the collection of antique objects from Greek and Roman antiquity. 


However, it is in England that the term really took off in the middle of the 18th century to get closer to the meaning we know today. At that time, the English were interested in the remains of their national history. A movement that extended to France and gave birth to the magnificent collections of medieval objects of Alexandre du Sommerard at the beginning of the 19th century: Antiquities are therefore the collections of the Antiquaries.


With time, the meaning of the word was further expanded to include any old object, restored and arranged, that could be collected or integrated into one's interior.