museum piece

Idioms & Phrases

museum piece

An elderly or old-fashioned item or person, as in When are you going to sell that museum piece of a car? or Aunt Jane comes from another erashe's a real museum piece. This expression originated about 1900 for an article valuable enough for museum display but began to be used disparagingly from about 1915.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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