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Sierra-Columbia

Sierra-Columbia has a history that is unique in all of ceramics. Located on Fair Oaks Ave. in Pasadena, California, Sierra-Columbia was established around 1950 by Filmore C. Levy, who had previously been in the business of scissors manufacture. Mr. Levy determined that ceramics would be a more profitable enterprise, and the factory was converted to the production of various pottery items. A clever use of tin scraps leftover from scissors production was implemented, resulting in the metal bases for planters and TV lamps. Once the nature of their manufacture is understood, a scissors-shaped decoration can be clearly seen on many of their products, done in such a way as to completely disguise their origin. Sierra-Columbia also sold lazy susans and numerous ashtrays, often embossed with advertising for Lucky Strike and other tobacco companies.
In 1957-58 a kiln explosion resulted an all-consuming fire that put an end to the company after less than a decade of production. Levy later manufactured pottery under the name Mark-Charles, but this company was active only briefly, perhaps a couple of years.  Filmore Levy passed away in 1962.  Many thanks must go to to Mark J. Levy for sharing the background of his father's company.

Sierra-Columbia planter/lamp value:  rarity:
This planter/lamp by Sierra-Columbia is a fine example of one of their "scissors" designs. The pattern cut into the metal base was actually made from a leftover piece from scissors manufacturing!
Sierra-Columbia planter/lamp Back view.
Sierra-Columbia planter/lamp This close-up shows the Sierra-Columbia paper label.
Sierra-Columbia planter/lamp value:  rarity:
When designing their TV lamp/planter Sierra-Columbia followed a style that was frequently used by various manufacturers. Photos courtesy of A. Gribbin of Creston, British Columbia.
Sierra-Columbia lamp & planters Potteries often made TV lamps available with matching planters, but they've usually parted ways long ago.
Sierra-Columbia mark The metal base wears the UL sticker that shows Sierra-Columbia as its point of origin. In spite of the Los Angeles reference, they were in fact located in Pasadena.
Sierra-Columbia planter/lamp value:  rarity:
Another "scissors" planter/lamp from Sierra-Columbia!
Sierra-Columbia planter/lamp Back view.
Sierra-Columbia planter/lamp Close-up of the UL/Sierra-Columbia label.
Sierra-Columbia planter/lamp with figure value:  rarity:
Sierra-Columbia also made an unknown number of designs that included figurines, such as this planter/lamp with an oriental woman. Photos courtesy of eBay seller byusales.
Sierra-Columbia planter/lamp with figure Close-up figurine.
Sierra-Columbia planter/lamp with figure The various components separated.
Sierra-Columbia planter/lamp with Polynesian figures value:  rarity:
I love this lamp! Sierra-Columbia made a number of these planter/lamps with figures, but this one with the Polynesian/Hawaiian theme is my favorite.
Sierra-Columbia planter/lamp with country-western dancers value:  rarity:
Same format as the tropical lamp, but this time featuring western dancers!
Sierra-Columbia planter/lamp with country-western dancers The filigree base is common to several lamps, the planter and figurines being interchangable.

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