Things to look for when buying an old hurricane lamp include quality, burner, color, brass collar and glass. Assess the overall condition of the lamp as well. Check the flat section of the stem to know the manufacturer, patent number and manufacturing date.
Check the burner to be sure that it is made of brass. Pry the globe and burner to gain access to the brass collar, and then examine it. An original collar must be brass and have one or two thread extensions. The lamp should have a glass stem, glass chimney and marble base. Generally, an antique lamp has a metal or glass fuel container that sits on the base font.
A real hurricane lamp is made of heavy glass that features special patterns. Seams are usually attached on the sides of the glass. The lamp uses oil or kerosene and may have a mantle instead of a wick. An authentic hurricane lamp has a unique combination of colors.
To care for the lamp, pry the globe, and wash it with soapy water to remove soot and dust. Unfasten the cap that encloses the wick, remove the wick from oil, dispose it of, and replace old oil with fresh oil. Use a moistened rag to clean oil off the surface of the lamp. Purchase a new wick, and put it in place. Be sure to keep the lamp in a cool, dry place.