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The TV Lamp Collectors Blog » Blog Archive » Lamp of the Day

Lamp of the Day


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Maddux of California…what is it?

Maddux TV Lamp I believe that this TV lamp from Maddux of California doesn’t get the respect it deserves… what? No, I haven’t taken leave of my senses. (which I suppose could be suspect from the outset) While TV lamps have been elevated to a lofty position by collectors, it’s good to remember what catapulted them to the rank of “hot collectible” in the first place. The 1970s and ’80s saw considerable interest in the more tasteless artifacts of the 1950s, from B-movies to home decor, and this lamp would certainly have been appreciated then. TV lamps are a peculiar product of their time and today represent the epitome of ill-conceived, downright tacky design. This is too often forgotten, as they are today sometimes viewed with a solemn reverence once reserved for Roseville pottery or Tiffany glass. Providing that your sense of humor is intact, how can this cheesy (and cheese-colored!) lamp not bring a smile?
The design is fascinating, and I can’t help to wonder what they were thinking…what was the inspiration? With a little (ok, a lot) of imagination, one can see a vague resemblance to a sailing ship, but that’s a stretch. Then there’s the glaze, a yellow-orange (the only color I’ve seen on these) that was further “enhanced” by the addition of brown stain. The final touch is a red plastic piece, cut to fit perfectly within an area in the back.
Back of Maddux TV LampAll this sets the stage for a spectacular display, a dingy yellowish form that gives off a red glow. I’m thinking about the home decor that would be suited for such a spectacle… the mind boggles. Don’t tell anyone I said this, but my wife once had a living room whose “color scheme” was based on a stunning harmony of olive-green and orange. I suspect that one of these would have held a place of honor in such a room! Given their relative scarcity, they haven’t exhibited the sort of value I would expect, particularly given the fact that it’s by a highly collectible manufacturer and clearly “unique”. I would like to think that collectors will eventually lighten-up and appreciate these rare lamps for the delightfully awful designs that they are.

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