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How To Identify Vintage Lamps?

Having a Vintage Lamp in your home can add a beautiful touch to your home’s interior. Vintage Lamps can also be very expensive, and you can sell them off for quite a lot of money or just collect them in general if you wish to. You may differentiate between a valuable vintage lamp and a regular duplicate lamp by doing some historical research.

These lamps are very useful along with many other lamps for various purposes including painting. Some might say it is suitable for reading too, but it all depends on the lumens that the light source contains and weather it is appropriate for reading or not.

There are different tell-tale signs to determine the age of a lamp, and it can also be a fun thing to do. You can check for the wiring, the markings, and the lamp’s style when verifying if it’s vintage or not. Let us read on to know some ways that you can use to identify vintage lamps.

How To Identify Vintage Lamps

Steps to identify Vintage Lamps 

Step 1 : The Lamp Style

The first and most immediate thing you can do to identify if the lamp is vintage or not is by looking at what type of lamp it is, whether it is an art deco lamp or an art nouveau lamp etc. The lamp style can really help you figure out where or what year it was manufactured in.

Step 2 : Maker’s Mark

Makers Mark

By searching for some type of drawing or writing that can be found on the metal base with a magnifying glass, you might actually be able to narrow down the person who made it or the manufacturer of the lamp that you are trying to identify. Lift the lamp and look on all sides to check if there is any manufacturing mark or a date that might have been included on the stamp.

It is advised to keep a cloth or a mild cleaning solution to clean up the dust that may have been present in the base panels of the antique lamp because of examining it frequently.

An easy way to know if the lamp is vintage is by examining its Maker’s mark or the manufacturer’s mark. The lamp’s base can have the Maker’s mark, and it is advised to always check it for a clue about the era the lamp was made. Some lamps always list their makers, which can be an excellent way to spot a vintage lamp.

Step 3 : The Lampshade 

Another good way to identify a vintage lamp is by quickly examining its lampshade. Usually, the lampshades found in traditional lamps have a specific design or style of the era it was manufactured in. The fabric used in the lampshade or the shape can be a good indicator for identifying them. The lampshades found in vintage lamps are typically collarless and round or square in shape.

Step 4 : The Cords

Examining the cord of the lamp is another way to tell if the lamp is vintage. The old lamps have older cords in them. You can check for the size difference between the prongs at both the ends of what plugs into an outlet. Likely, the cords of the vintage lamps are also very old. However, it might be true that the cords could have been changed but that could bring down the value of the lamp.

Step 5 : Physically Touching The Lamp

Touching lamp

The way the lamp feels when you touch it can also be a factor when identifying a vintage lamp. When you touch the lamp, and it seems rough and rugged, it could be a good thing because it could indicate that the lamp was hand painted, whereas if the design feels smooth to touch, a machine could have possibly painted it. You should be on the lookout for brush strokes or dust and debris to know if the lamp was actually made in the olden times or just a replica.

Types of Vintage Lamps

Types of Vintage Lamps

With so many replicas around, some notable Vintage Lamps were found during the 17th to 20th centuries. The most popular types of lamps are listed below :

  1. Astral Lamp
  2. Argand Lamp
  3. Banquet Lamp
  4. Betty Lamp
  5. Bouillotte Lamp
  6. Phoebe Lamp
  7. Rochester Lamp
  8. Solar Lamp
  9. Student Lamp
  10. Tiffany Lamp


Identifying a vintage lamp can be a difficult task, but it can be a fun thing to do. It is advised to learn about history a little bit when searching for vintage lamps. If you are aware of the historical time frames and the eras, you might use this as an advantage when trying to spot a vintage lamp. The kinds of popular styles or designs during that age will be a key factor when determining the year the lamp was made.

You can always look for a reliable antique dealer who can possibly help you to determine whether the lamp is vintage or not. They will confirm if you were successful in identifying the vintage lamp and remove all the doubts you may have.

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