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What Qualifies as Fine Arts and Antiques

Fine Art

Fine art generally refers to the media of painting, sculpture, drawing, original prints, photographs, and architecture. Fine art is distinguished from other art forms in which the aesthetic or intellectual expression is more prominent than the utilitarian purpose.4Professional appraisers of fine art have extensive training in their area of expertise.

Decorative Art

Decorative art includes objects that are primarily utilitarian in form or function, but that have aesthetic value provided by the design, decoration, or embellishment. Objects classified as decorative art include ceramics, furniture, textiles, glass, leather, metalwork, silver, arms and armor, clocks, and other household or utilitarian objects.


The term “antiques” is traditionally applied primarily to works of fine or decorative art and furnishings, but is currently employed for any type of man-made object of a past era. U.S. customs laws define antiques as artifacts whose date of initial purchase was at least 100 years before the present. All three categories are defined as personal property.

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