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

Catch of the Day…


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These fish TV lamps are familiar to many collectors, but I wonder how many know that they were made by two different potteries?

Before I delve into their differences, I want to identify the sources of these two “2 fish” TV lamps. The brown one was made by Texans Incorporated, the lamp company in Bangs, Texas. But it should be said that it is not one of the Howard Kron designs… those came later. The gray and maroon example was produced at American Art Potteries in Morton, Illinois. I am confident in the attribution of both, as the Texans lamp has been identified by former employees and the AAP version is often found with their foil label.

So how do they differ? The most obvious thing is the number of “waves” on the base, as the AAP version has more, and smaller, waves than the Texans version. The glazes are also a good identifier, as the Texans fish are typically found in a single color with a lighter drip over-glaze. AAP on the other hand, seems to have always gone with two-tone schemes, some quite attractive and others, well… not so attractive!

It is easy to distinguish the products of the two companies even though, other than the details mentioned above, they are identical. This leads one to ask, why would two potteries a thousand miles apart produce designs so similar? I’ll throw out two theories, the only two I can come up with! First, it’s possible that the original design was produced by a mold company such as Atlantic Mold or Holland Mold, and treated as a “public domain” design. If so, any pottery so inclined could put it into production. (I’ve felt this to also be the case with other designs used by more than one pottery) The other possibility is that one company blatantly copied the other. The purported “15% rule” could play a part here, and could even explain why the waves were altered! (The 15% rule, an unconfirmed industry standard, was said to make copying acceptable providing that 15% of the original was changed.) Well, that’s all I’ve got for now… ya’ll come back now, ya hear?

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