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Maddux of California

Harry William Maddux's career in ceramics began sometime in the late '30s. He ultimately founded this now-famous Los Angeles pottery maker, which became one of the most prolific of the TV lamp manufacturers. While sales during the import-restricted days of World War II were brisk, post-war times proved tough financially, and Maddux sold the plant and the Maddux name in 1949. "Pre-sale" items are typically marked "Wm. Maddux" or "William Maddux", whereas items produced with the "Maddux of California" marking were produced by various makers after the sale. (All Maddux TV lamps were produced after the sale) In 1951 William founded Rembrant Pottery, which closed its doors in 1957. The Maddux name stayed in use, without any family affiliation, until 1980. Thanks go to Bob Maddux (son of pottery founder William Maddux) for helping identify TV lamps as well as permission to post his Maddux of California catalog pages.
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Maddux lamp/planter value:  rarity:
Produced in several colors, this Maddux planter/lamp isn't as collectible as a figural lamp, but is an elegant example of '50s style all the same. Maddux called this one the "Starlite Crescent Gleam TV Lamp", and was available in pink, white, turquoise, green, black or chartreuse.
1958 Maddux catalog This page from the 1958 Maddux catalog showcases their planter/lamps. Photo courtesy of Bob Maddux.
Maddux TV lamp/planter value:  rarity:
Referred to in the catalog above as the "Starlite TV Planter Lamp", this example lacks the airbrushed shading that is shown in the catalog photo. This must be the color they referred to as salmon, although it lacks the pinkish quality that the name would imply. The '58 catalog states that these went for the princely sum of $27 per dozen!
Maddux Dual Planter value:  rarity:
Here's an unusual variation on the "planter on a brass base" theme, with two small ceramic planters on either side of the lamp.
Maddux mark The back of each planter is marked, No. 303w MADDUX of CALIFORNIA.
Maddux Swan value:  rarity:
Quite common, this swan is an affordable, attractive TV lamp. It is sometimes found with coloration (blue or brown) on the base.
Maddux Swan Here's the Maddux swan with the base done in blue. Photo courtesy of an eBayer seller from Indiana.
1960 Maddux catalog This page from the 1960 Maddux catalog illustrates several TV lamps with a bird theme, including the swan seen above. I'd sure like to have one of those Pheasants! Catalog photo courtesy of Bob Maddux.
Maddux Two Ducks value:  rarity:
Referred to in a 1960 Maddux catalog (above) as a "Double Duck Accent Lamp", it's interesting that the term "TV lamp" wasn't used in this case. These ducks posing on a branch are in a style reminiscent of another Maddux, one depicting two swan. It's an attractive and rare TV lamp. Photo courtesy of Woodland Trace Collectibles/Bill Keller, Knoxville, TN.
Maddux Mallard value:  rarity:
It seems that everyone had to make an airbrushed mallard duck, and this Maddux example was extremely popular. Maddux sold these to retailers for $36 per dozen. Yep, that's $3 each! The small mallard is mounted on a brass base.
Maddux mark The mallard is marked, MADDUX of CALIF. made in USA.
1958 Maddux catalog The mallard shown above appears at the top of this 1958 Maddux catalog page. Photo courtesy of Bob Maddux.
Cockatoo value:  rarity:
Also seen in the catalog above is this pheasant TV lamp, featuring "Natures own magnificent colorings."
Maddux mallard duck value:  rarity:
I always suspected this pretty little duck was by Maddux, and that attribution was recently confirmed on Bob Maddux's website. This one is unmarked.
Maddux mallard value:  rarity:
While unmarked, this one is yet another mallard TV lamp by Maddux of California.
Maddux mallard This is the same mallard as viewed from the back.
Maddux Mallard value:  rarity:
This Maddux Mallard is considerably less common than the others, and a bit different in design than the many other Mallard TV lamps. Photos courtesy of Patricia Allen.
Maddux label Here's a look at the Maddux label on the Mallard.
1960 Maddux catalog Here's the mallard shown above as it appeared on the back of the Maddux catalog of 1960. Photo courtesy of Bob Maddux.
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The marketplace had a voracious appetite for mallard lamps, and Maddux (and others) were only too happy to meet the demand. Photos courtesy of Kim Gayheart of Nicholasville, Kentucky.
Back view of the mallard.
Maddux Asian Woman value:  rarity:
Here's a beautiful Maddux design that was obviously the work of a master sculptor. Such asian motifs were commonplace, but seldom were they done with such elegance. Photos courtesy of eBay seller almeriadit.
Maddux Asian Woman Details show the care with which this TV lamp was designed.
Maddux Asian Woman Back view. It is marked 840 Maddux of Calif., Made in USA, 21855-M, but no date is provided.
Maddux TV Lamp value:  rarity:
Clearly related to the design shown above, this Maddux TV lamp was called the #851 Quan Yin Head.  Photos courtesy of eBay seller rmelera.
Maddux TV Lamp Back view.  The "Quan Yin Head" is 14½" tall.
Maddux TV Lamp Side view.  The white glaze on this lamp was called White Crackle.
Maddux TV Lamp It is marked Maddux of Calif. 851 ©59 Made in USA on the bottom.
Maddux Owl value:  rarity:
This one is a curious example as it's dated 1970, roughly ten years after most TV lamp production had ceased. It's possible that it wasn't marketed as a TV lamp, but rather a night-light for a child's room. Photo courtesy of Woodland Trace Collectibles/Bill Keller, Knoxville, TN.
Maddux TV Lamp value:  rarity:
This beautiful off-white abstraction by Maddux has gold, green and pink coloration which are better seen in close-up. Rather large at 12" tall, this uncommon lamp/planter would make a fine addition to anyone's collection. Photos courtesy of Janet Giliberty, St. Petersburg, FL.
Maddux TV Lamp Same design as the Maddux above, this one wears a different finish. Nice! Photos courtesy of eBay seller gwsru2.
Maddux TV Lamp Back view.
Maddux TV Lamp Here's a close-up of the lovely airbrushed glaze.
Maddux Basset Hound value:  rarity:
This cute Basset Hound shows the wide variety of styles that Maddux produced. Photos courtesy of Pioneer Square Antique Mall - Seattle, WA.
Maddux label Here's a look at the label on the Basset TV lamp.
Maddux TV Lamp value:  rarity:
Very similar to the more common horse (and clearly sculpted by the same hand), this Maddux deer is attractive and rare. Maddux called it the #818 Deer Accent Lamp. Photo courtesy of a collector from Ohio.
Maddux Horse value:  rarity:
Also found with airbrushed color, this #810 Stallion Accent Lamp looks especially nice in white.
Maddux label Maddux would often have a specific "Maddux" label, but in this case simply added their name to the Underwriter's Laboratories label.
1960 Maddux catalog The white horse shown above is seen (with airbrushed color) in the 1960 Maddux catalog. It's interesting to note that the catalog refers to these as "accent lamps". Photo courtesy of Bob Maddux.
Maddux TV Lamp value:  rarity:
While stylistically similar to the previous horse, this design is much less common.
Maddux TV Lamp Back view of Maddux's jumping horse TV lamp.
Maddux TV Lamp Maddux marking.
Maddux TV Lamp value:  rarity:
Another horse TV lamp from Maddux of California. This one, most likely an early design, shares little stylistically with their other products. I wonder if the designer was the same person that did the Hollywood Ceramics lamps, as they are very similar. Photos courtesy of eBay seller, dadwarbucks.
Maddux TV Lamp The back is marked, Maddux of Calif, Made in USA, E 21855 M, 85 S.
Maddux TV Lamp value:  rarity:
Here's another odd-ball from Maddux, a design with little stylistic similarity to their other products. The fanciful horse is vaguely similar to the seahorse by Jarra Ceramics.
Maddux TV Lamp Back view.
Maddux TV lamp value:  rarity:
I believe we've definitely crossed the bounds of good taste with this one! One of the strangest TV lamps I've seen, it in no way resembles any other designs from Maddux. (Or anyone else, for that matter) It is orange with brown lightly scrubbed over it in an "antiqued" fashion, and a red plastic shade to diffuse the light. Bizarre, and I love it! Photos courtesy of Jared's Antiques, Fine Art, and Collectibles, Endicott, NY.
back view From the back you get a better view of the red shade, as well as the Maddux label. While fiberglass shades were commonly used, plastic is quite unusual. The shade on this lamp appears to be original, as I've seen other examples of this lamp with the same red plastic used.
Maddux Dancers value:  rarity:
Not a typical subject for Maddux (or anyone else), these latin dancers make for a nice TV lamp! Photo courtesy of Woodland Trace Collectibles/Bill Keller, Knoxville, TN.
back view Another view of the Maddux dancers.
Maddux Quail value:  rarity:
Not too many Quail TV lamps around! Maddux gave the subject a nice treatment. This is one that you're not apt to come across very often. Photos courtesy of Woodland Trace Collectibles/Bill Keller, Knoxville, TN.
back view Another look at the Maddux Quail lamp.
Maddux rooster value:  rarity:
This Maddux rooster/chicken TV lamp is rare and very collectible. Photos courtesy of Jane Reding from Montgomery, Alabama.
Maddux rooster A look at the back of the Maddux rooster/chicken lamp. It is marked with the year 1958.
Maddux Fawn value:  rarity:
Tiny Maddux Fawn uses a bulb similar to those found on old decorative Christmas lighting. Photos courtesy of Woodland Trace Collectibles/Bill Keller, Knoxville, TN.
back view Back view.
Maddux covered wagon value:  rarity:
This wagon looks a little out of place when compared to the rest of the Maddux line, but it no doubt was suitable competition for other TV lamps with a similar theme. Photo courtesy of a donation from Clifton, Colorado.
Maddux Mt.Rushmore TV lamp value:  rarity:
The Mt. Rushmore TV lamp from Maddux is one of their little-known products. Photos courtesy of Jim Semonchik of Batavia, Illinois.
Maddux Mt.Rushmore TV lamp Back view of the Maddux Mt. Rushmore TV lamp.
Maddux marking As indicated by the marking on the back, the Mt. Rushmore TV lamp was made by Maddux of California, and sculpted by renowned artist Carl Romanelli. Romanelli is known for many publicly displayed sculptures as well as his extensive design work with Metlox. It is a faithful reproduction of the Gutzon Borglum original, located in South Dakota. Quite a pedigree for a humble TV lamp!
Maddux saddle TV lamp value:  rarity:
Although they seldom used western themes, Maddux tackled the subject with originality, achieving great results. The designer, who is unknown, sculpted this piece with great attention to detail.
Maddux saddle TV lamp Back view of the Maddux saddle lamp. The faux-wood finish is reminiscent of many Treasure Craft pieces.
Maddux saddle TV lamp Rather than placing the Maddux marking behind the bulb, this one was marked on the bottom.
Maddux Little Bo Peep value:  rarity:
When does a TV lamp become a nite-lite? I suspect that Maddux of California marketed this "Little Bo-Peep" lamp as lighting for a child's room, as it would be decidedly odd if placed on a television!
Maddux Little Bo Peep Back view of Maddux's Bo-Peep lamp. The foil Maddux label is faintly visible below the socket.
Maddux Rooster value:  rarity:
This Maddux rooster has an unusual orange glaze, with traces of gray showing through the transparent orange.
Maddux Rooster Back view of the Maddux rooster.
Maddux marking A "Maddux of Calif" marking can be found on the bottom, along with USA.
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This planter/TV lamp was called the model 3950 Candle Light, but was also referred to as the Flower and Butterfly Planter Ring Lamp. Go figure. Whatever the name, it's a distinctive and attractive design. Photos courtesy of Global Auctions/Roger & Liz Erwin.
The cylindrical fiberglass shade is nicely decorated.
This is a look at one of the nice details on the fiberglass shade.
From the bottom one can see the complete framework of metal of this lamp.
Here's the model 3950 as it appears in the 1958 Maddux catalog. Photo courtesy of Bob Maddux.
Maddux Ship value:  rarity:
This ship TV lamp by Maddux of California is reminiscent of similar lamps made of cast iron. Photos courtesy of Mike from MAJENT.
Another view of Maddux's ship.
The marking on the back of the ship is in a scripted style, unlike the block letters typically used by Maddux.
Maddux of California took a page from Helmscene's book with this religious picture lamp. The 1960 catalog sheet shown here describes the three images that were available. Photo courtesy of Bob Maddux.
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Here's the Maddux picture lamp with the Prince of Peace image in place. Photos courtesy of Rick from the Pacific Northwest.
Illuminated.
The bottom shows the Maddux markings, and clearly shows the matte brown finish that Maddux often used in later years.
A close-up of the image itself.
Back view.
Maddux TV Lamp value:  rarity:
While Maddux of California didn't produce Siamese Cat TV lamps in the volume of the competition, their "single-cat" lamp is one of the most collectible. There's has distinctly cartoon-like facial features, and was undoubtedly intended to give it an "oriental" look. Photos courtesy of Judy from Kunkletown, Pennsylvania.
Maddux TV Lamp Back view.
Maddux TV Lamp value:  rarity:
The Maddux single-cat TV lamp is rare, but this variation of it is crazy rare! Based on the same design, it has been reworked, "customized" if you will, with additional modeling. Even the eyes have been changed! Awesome. Photos courtesy of Barb Webber.
Maddux TV Lamp The whimsical decoration added to these cats is amazing. I don't know all the colors that were produced, but I've also found it in green.
Maddux TV Lamp Back view.
Maddux TV Lamp Flower power? Whereas the original single-cat has definite roots in the '50s, these variations have 1967 written all over them!
Maddux TV Lamp value:  rarity:
Given the cute-kitty motif and tiny "Christmas bulb" electrics, Maddux of California undoubtedly intended this lamp to be used as a night light. Photos courtesy of Peggy.
Maddux TV Lamp Back view. No date is present on this Maddux design, as was their habit in later years.
Maddux TV Lamp Is it just me, or could this cat also pass for a dog, or even a lamb?
Maddux TV Lamp The tiny bulb still gets the job done.
Maddux TV Lamp The Maddux cat shown above looks enough like a dog that I wondered if it was a cat at all, but then I saw this lamp. This one is definitely a dog, so the previous lamp must be a cat! Photo courtesy of Don from Carrollton, Texas.
Maddux TV Lamp value:  rarity:
As with the Mt. Rushmore TV lamp, this unassuming Maddux of California Fish TV lamp was designed by the renowned sculptor Carl Romanelli. Photo courtesy of George Martin from Little Valley, New York.
Maddux TV Lamp The Romanelli marking is on the back.
Maddux TV Lamp value:  rarity:
Looking rather like something from a Merrill Lynch advert, this Maddux bull is a fine piece of sculpture. Photos courtesy of Ron from Caldwell, Idaho.
Maddux TV Lamp Back view.
Maddux TV Lamp The bull is clearly marked on the back.
Maddux TV Lamp value:  rarity:
The Maddux of California Cockatoo TV lamp is beautifully sculpted! Photos courtesy of R.L. Rising of Rising Sky Artworks.
Maddux TV Lamp value:  rarity:
A theme also used by Lane & Co., this rare Maddux of California Boy on a Dolphin TV lamp is finished in a glaze with an antique bronze look. Photos courtesy of Chris from Ashton, Illinois.
Maddux TV Lamp Another angle.
Maddux TV Lamp Back view.
Maddux TV Lamp While TV lamps are generally considered to date from the '50s, this Maddux is clearly marked 1966.
Maddux TV Lamp It looks particularly nice when seen in silhouette.
Maddux TV Lamp value:  rarity:
I must confess that this is the first example of this Maddux TV lamp I've seen...I need one of these! Photos courtesy of Janice from Canada.
Maddux TV Lamp Back view of the Maddux ship lamp. The only reference to the maker is on the UL label, which reads: UNDERWRITERS LABORATORIES INC INSPECTED PORTABLE LAMP ISSUE 42152 MADDUX OF CALIFORNIA.
Maddux TV Lamp value:  rarity:
Seldom did Maddux of California fail to place the company name on their products, but that is the case with this colorful flamingo planter/lamp. Photos courtesy of eBay seller rustydans.
Maddux TV Lamp Side view of the Maddux flamingo lamp. Maddux produced a number of flamingo designs, many being small figurines that are prized by collectors.
Maddux TV Lamp Back view. The light fixture is missing on this example.
Maddux TV Lamp The Maddux name absent from the lamp, it is marked simply, Made in USA #11 E-21855.
Maddux TV Lamp The flamingo featured prominently in the 1958 Maddux catalog, reproduced here with the kind permission of Bob Maddux.
Maddux TV Lamp value:  rarity:
A rare and unusual lamp, this design from Maddux of California emulates the look of a classical vase. (And also looks vaguely like a rocket ship!) Photos courtesy of eBay seller, bisbee_az.
Maddux TV Lamp Back view. The red/orange glaze is a stand-out!
Maddux TV Lamp One more look.

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