To identify a real Victorian table lamp, first identify the manufacturer and the lamp's date of production. This information is generally found as markings on the bottom of the lamp in the form of letters, numbers or certain types of graphics.
The manufacturer or designer's name is the first clue for identifying the lamp. Common manufacturers of the Victorian Era include Aladdin, Roswell, Gleason, Eben Smith, Caper Molineaux, Isreal Trask, Boardman, Calder, Sandwich Glass Company and Bryce, McKee and Company. The bottom of the lamp sometimes identifies the manufacturer with either letters or graphics. Often, lamp makers stamped a lamp's date of production on the bottom as well, and genuine Victorian lamps have a production date during the 1800s.
Victorian table lamps are known for their decorative shades, which usually feature a floral pattern. Common material used for Victorian-era shades include glass, silk and satin. Another way to identify a real Victorian table lamp is to look through old catalogue pictures, newspapers or museum photographs. You can also use antique lighting books and publications as reference guides. If you are unable to identify the date or the manufacturer, take the lamp to a reputable antique dealer for identification and appraisal.