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The TV Lamp Collectors Blog » Blog Archive » A Tail of Two Mermaids

A Tail of Two Mermaids


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Two Mermaid TV Lamps

Two “mermaid and shell” TV lamps, similar in size and with many design elements in common…did they originate from the same pottery? That question can be answered with a definite “maybe”. On the left is the Cali-Co of California version, and on the right a product of Comer Creations. Certain aspects of the lamps are clearly similar, such as the detailing on the shells, the twin planters, even the styling of the base seems derivative. With a little imagination you can see that the front of the Comer design, the area below the mermaid, looks rather like a softened variation of the same part of the Cali-Co. They could be assumed to be from the same pottery if it weren’t for the markings. As with all their products, the Cali-Co lamp is marked on the bottom, Cali-Co of Calif ‘52 in a fancy script lettering. The Comer lamp on the other hand has a simple blocked letter marking, Comer Creations. So, we know they were made by two different companies, two rather obscure potteries. Or do we? It seems likely enough, and it’s not hard to imagine that one companies design inspired the other, but notice the foil label in the picture below…this is where things start to get complicated.

Cali-Co Marking and Label

What we have is a foil label on the bottom of a Cali-Co Mermaid, and it reads: Comer Furniture Mfg. Unfortunately this generates more questions than it answers. I do believe its proof of some sort of connection between the companies, possibly a buy-out of Cali-Co by Comer, but it’s also possible that the company simply changed names. In either event I feel that Cali-Co of California, because of the early dates, came first. But unless some dedicated historian in California gets down to some serious research we may never know. And that, loyal readers, is why I toss this sort of thing out. It’s a cry for help. Hopefully someone will get busy studying these potteries before I do something desperate….like going to California for a year to do research!

2 Responses to “A Tail of Two Mermaids”

  1. Debbie Goodwin Says:

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    I just bought a Cali-Co. of California mermaid TV lamp just like the maroon one pictured in your article. Mine is a yellowish green color. Could you possibly give me an idea of what it’s worth? I noticed you had recently sold one. I bought mine at an estate sale for $10.00. I am new at collecting, and have no idea of the value of this piece.

  2. Mark Says:

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    Ten dollars?! Why, I’ll give you twelve right now! That was definitely a good buy, and is probably worth around $75 at the moment. Even thought they’re not extremely rare, they are a solid value because of the attractive design. Wow, why can’t I find those deals?

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