How to Determine the Year a Table Lamp Was Manufactured

Determining the year in which a table lamp was manufactured will not only provide an accurate price value, but it may give you something to brag about if you end up with a genuine antique.

Decorative elements can help to determine the age of a table lamp.Decorative elements can help to determine the age of a table lamp.
Sometimes figuring out the year of manufacture can be tricky. Just remember that while general tips can help, the knowledge of a professional may be necessary for precise dating.

Check for a date on the bottom of the lamp. This is the easiest and most accurate way to determine the year a table lamp was manufactured. The date may be carved into the underside of the lamp or it may be stamped on the bottom. A stamp will generally include where and by whom the lamp was manufactured. If the date has worn off, do some research online to locate the manufacturing company if it is still visible.

Visit your local library and pick up a book about antique furniture. Many antique books will provide style guides with pictures that can help you to figure out the time period your table lamp was made. Make note of decorative elements such as shade style and base shape. Take into consideration anything that has been painted on the lamp as well. Try to match your table lamp to the lamps in the books. While you may not be able to determine an exact year this way, you will still get a ballpark idea.

Ask an antique dealer. Many antique dealers have a keen eye for determining the age of old furniture. Find a dealer in your local phone book or online, and drop by his shop with your lamp. He may be able to give you a good idea as to when your lamp was manufactured, or he may have additional resources to help you with your search.

Tip

  • If you find that your table lamp is worth some money, understand that any scratches, dings or dents will generally decrease the value. An antique dealer will be able to give you an accurate price value for your lamp and may even offer to purchase it. If you choose to sell it on your own, consider using an online marketplace like eBay.

About the Author

Residing in Morgantown, W.Va., Heather Preston began writing professionally in 2010. Her work has been published on Web sites such as eHow and Travels.com. She holds a Bachelor of Science in design and advertising from West Virginia University and is currently attending Fairmont State University as a graduate student in the Master of Business Administration program.