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Lane and Company

The California manufacturer Lane and Co. was one of the most important makers of TV lamps, and are renowned for their great production volume and varied styles. They displayed a fierce creativity, which resulted in many extravagant and unusual designs. But oddly enough, little is known about the history of this manufacturer.  Lane & Co. was originally located in Los Angeles, moving to 14660 Arminta St., Van Nuys in the early 50's.  Most pieces indicate Van Nuys as their place of origin, but the panther TV lamp, dated 1953, is marked L.A. Calif.  The oldest date I've seen on a Lane product is 1950, with some of the early pieces marked Nickerson.  Undoubtedly a designer in the early years, the Nickerson marking does not appear on TV lamps.  The company is believed to have folded in the late 60's.  The vast majority of their production is marked Lane & Co., but some pieces were produced with the Sunkist Creations marking. It appears that they went back to the Lane & Co. name, only to become Lane Ceramics, a Division of Condecor in later years. Condecor was based in Mundelein, Illinois, and also sold picture frames under the name "Decorative Arts."  The products of Lane & Co. are extremely popular with collectors for their beautifully airbrushed coloration and elegant designs, and their flamingo is one of the most highly prized TV lamps.

Lane Mallard Duck value:  rarity:
Mallard ducks were one of the common themes used by various companies, and Lane produced several variations.
Lane label This lamp retains the original sticker, which is the only source of identification for many Lane TV lamps.
Lane Mallard Duck value:  rarity:
Another Lane Mallard, this one is quite small. It even uses a Christmas light style of bulb.
mallard While not discernible in this picture, the back of this lamp is marked LANE & CO. VAN NUYS, CALIF USA 1959. In contrast to their frequent use of paper labels, this one has a mark etched into the mould.
Lane Mallard value:  rarity:
Yet another Lane Mallard! This small lamp/planter is very similar to the one shown above. The only significant difference is the planter. Photo courtesy of Tony from MA.
Lane Mallard The back of the lamp seen above shows the tiny socket and bulb used, and is marked with the year it was designed.
Lane Siamese Cats value:  rarity:
One of Lane's two entries into the popular Siamese Cat TV lamp market. While this "two cat" version is a highly collectible lamp, the "three cat" variation is less common and as a result, more valuable.
Lane Siamese Cats value:  rarity:
This Lane "three cat" TV lamp is extremely popular with collectors, and it's high demand is usually reflected in the prices it brings. Much less common than the "two cat" Lane, it's also hard to find one that hasn't fallen victim to careless handling. Photos courtesy of Woodland Trace Collectibles/Bill Keller, Knoxville, TN.
Lane Siamese Cats A back-view of the Lane Siamese Cat & Kittens.
Lane Flamingos value:  rarity:
Here's a lamp that is prized not only by TV lamp collectors, but flamingo collectors as well. This lamp's popularity is due to several factors, not the least of which is its visual impact. Its large size (14" tall) and silly subject-matter (by today's standards) make it an attention getter, an icon of 50's kitsch.
back view A back view of the Lane Flamingos. This lamp is hard to find, especially in pristine condition. The birds wings and necks are susceptible to damage, so one must look closely for repairs before paying top dollar. It usually brings over $300, but can easily fetch twice that amount.
Lane marking A look at the Lane marking on the base of the flamingo TV lamp, showing the 1957 copyright date. Photo courtesy of Woodland Trace Collectibles/Bill Keller, Knoxville, TN.
Lane Flamingos value:  rarity:
Here is a rare variation of the Lane flamingo that's strictly a TV lamp...no planter. This one is dated 1961. Photos courtesy of Mike from Connecticut.
Lane Flamingos This is the back view of the "planterless" Lane flamingo lamp!
Lane Bluebirds value:  rarity:
A beautiful and relatively uncommon Lane, it has the distinctive "look" that's common to their products. Photo courtesy of Woodland Trace Collectibles/Bill Keller, Knoxville, TN.
Lane Yellow Birds value:  rarity:
This Lane is a lovely companion piece to the one above. Photo courtesy of Woodland Trace Collectibles/Bill Keller, Knoxville, TN.
Lane Tropical Foliage value:  rarity:
A beautiful lamp, showcasing Lane's skillfully applied airbrushing. Photos courtesy of Esquire Estate Sales.
reverse The reverse of the lamp above shows the care taken in designing the mould, assuring structural integrity. Painted detailing was even applied to the back! The manufacturer's mark is clearly visible.
Lane & Co. TV Lamp value:  rarity:
Here's a terrific design from Lane & Co!  This tropical beauty is surrounded by foliage similar to that seen in the previous lamp. Rare. Photo courtesy of eBay seller, beachdudeinc.
Lane & Co. TV Lamp Back view.
Lane & Co. TV Lamp This sort of detail is what makes Lane & Co. products really stand out.
Lane & Co. TV Lamp Our tropical lamp is sharply marked on the back, Lane & Co. Van Nuys, Calif, U.S.A. L-49 ©1960.
Lane Poodles value:  rarity:
A very desirable Lane TV lamp, also manufactured in pink. Was originally sold with gold collar/leashes, and it's sometimes found on a black base. The white poodles typically bring somewhere around $75-$100, whereas pink ones are liable to fetch $125-$175 or more. The black base also tends to pump up the value a bit as well. Photo courtesy of Woodland Trace Collectibles/Bill Keller, Knoxville, TN.
Lane Poodles value:  rarity:
The pink version of Lane's poodles is very popular, perhaps because of the very '50s color, and has been known to bring insanely high prices. This one has the black candy dish base.
Lane mark The underside of the poodles has the Lane marking with the date 1956.
Lane Leaves & Log value:  rarity:
Definitely one of their more uncommon lamps, this is a fine example of how Lane was able to successfully create products from intricate, difficult moulds.
leaves & log This is the reverse of the lamp pictured above.
Lane Matador value:  rarity:
While not the usual Lane subject matter, this bullfighter TV lamp was sculpted with care. Photos courtesy of pastmemorytreasures (eBay)/Tom & Penny Anderson, Jeffersonville, IN.
Lane Matador This is the reverse of the bullfighter lamp.
Lane Matador This Lane bullfighter is the same as the one above except for the glaze. The yellow glaze has been further accented with orange and brown around the bullfighter's shoulders and cape.
Lane Matador This is the reverse of the bullfighter lamp.
Lane marking Behind the light bulb is the Lane marking, which reads, "Lane & Co. Van Nuys, Calif. U.S.A."
Lane Ballerina and Swan value:  rarity:
Again, something different from Lane. This one has a simplicity that makes me think it's one of their early designs. Photo courtesy of Woodland Trace Collectibles/Bill Keller, Knoxville, TN.
Lane Ballerina and Swan The Lane & Co. ballerina and swan were also made in solid colors, as seen in this example. Photos courtesy of R.L. Rising of Rising Sky Artworks.
Lane Rooster value:  rarity:
This nicely styled rooster is one of my favorite Lane TV lamps, but isn't found as often as many of their other designs. Photo courtesy of Woodland Trace Collectibles/Bill Keller, Knoxville, TN.
Lane Rooster Here's the back of the Lane Rooster.
Lane Horse value:  rarity:
This horse TV lamp/planter combo by Lane & Co. was also done with a brown horse.  These don't appear to have been made in great numbers, perhaps because it wasn't cost-effective.  The multi-color glaze and airbrushing increased production time, and the fusion of the horse and planter during firing increased the chance of breakage.  Photos courtesy of Roberta Womer.
Lane Horse Back view.  This example is missing the lighting components.
Lane Horse value:  rarity:
Lane & Co. made this majestic horse TV lamp/planter combination. While Lane designed more than one horse TV lamp, this rearing horse variation is seen less often than the others. Many thanks to Linda Buchanan of Newbury Park, California for the photos!
Lane Horse This is the Lane rearing horse lamp from the back.
Lane Afghan Hound value:  rarity:
One of their less common examples, this afghan hound is an attractive TV lamp from Lane & Co. This photo is courtesy of the Forsythe's from Plano, Texas.
Lane Sailfish value:  rarity:
Here we have a TV lamp in its natural habitat...perched on top of a vintage television! This Lane Sailfish is a beauty, and one of the more desirable Lane products. These can easily bring over $400. Photos courtesy of Kay Snodgrass of Evansville, IN.
Lane Sailfish A closer look reveals the care that went into the airbrushing of details on these lamps, resulting in an impressive level of realism.
Lane mark The Lane marking on the sailfish indicates a date of 1957. A very similar sailfish, dated 1956, was made by Lane as a planter only, with no provision for lighting.
Lane Sailfish value:  rarity:
Lane & Co. also made a version of their sailfish without a planter, a rare variation. Photos courtesy of eBay seller, zstuff.
Lane Sailfish Back view.
Lane Sailfish The fixture has a paper Lane & Co. label that includes the UL certification.
Lane Swan value:  rarity:
Looking rather like the swan TV lamp that Maddux sold by the zillions, this one is in fact from Lane & Co. It appears to be pressed, a technique more often used in the manufacture of ashtrays. While undated, I suspect this to be a late design (Early '60s most likely), and is quite rare. Photos courtesy of Debbie from Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Lane Swan The back of Lane's swan reveals the pressed technique.
Lane Swan A close-up of the Lane marking on the back of the swan's wing.
Lane Swan value:  rarity:
At first glance this Lane & Co. swan looks identical to the one above, but it is in fact a completely different design. This one is very similar to the swan that was such a substantial part of Maddux's production, and cast in the traditional manner rather than pressed. I believe this one to be the earlier of the two designs. Photos courtesy of Angelique Engelkes from Villard, Minnesota.
Lane Swan The difference in production technique is clearly visible when comparing the back views of the two lamps.
Lane panther value:  rarity:
The Lane panther was a popular item, and stands out from the others with its gold collars, chain and base. Green eyes were standard on all examples, regardless of the color of the lamp. This example is in immaculate condition, right down to the UL label on top!
Lane panther Back view of the Lane & Co. panther. The bottom reveals a date of 1953 and L.A. Calif. as the place of manufacture.
Lane panther value:  rarity:
Although this panther might have a superficial resemblance to the one above, this one is a completely different design and considerably more rare. Photos courtesy of Jack from Galesburg, Illinois.
Lane panther The back view shows a different switch location from the panther on a base.
Lane label A foil Lane label (or what's left of it) is visible on his leading leg.
Lane marking The chartreuse panther is marked Lane & Co., L.A. Calif. 1952.
Lane TV Lamp value:  rarity:
Produced several years after the previous cats, this Lane panther is quite large at 16" wide and 12" tall. Photos courtesy of R.L. Rising of Rising Sky Artworks.
Lane boy & dolphin value:  rarity:
Good grief, how many TV lamps did Lane & Co. make?! I'm surprised that this beautiful design isn't seen more often. Photos courtesy of Ellaine Feferman of Toronto, Ontario.
Lane boy & dolphin Back view of the Lane boy and dolphin. Wasn't that a Sophia Loren movie?
Lane boy & dolphin Here's a detail of the dolphin-riding boy.
Lane roman horse value:  rarity:
This Lane & Co. horse appears to be done in a Roman style, and is one of the less common Lane TV lamps. Photos courtesy of Walter, from Madison, Ohio.
Lane roman horse Back view of the Lane Roman horse.
Lane marking The horse bears the Lane & Co. marking, but no date.
Lane Oriental House value:  rarity:
Another seldom-seen Lane TV lamp, this one depicting an oriental-style house complete with marble windows! Dated 1960. Photos courtesy of Judy Wolfe from Hometown Antique Mall, Stephenville, Texas.
Lane Oriental House Back view.
Lane Roses TV Lamp value:  rarity:
An unusual TV lamp subject marvelously executed by Lane & Co! Photos courtesy of Doug & Rachel from Sheridan, Wyoming.
Lane Roses TV Lamp Nice close-up of the airbrushed detail on the roses. This lamp can also be found in white with gold.
Lane Roses TV Lamp Back view of Lane's Roses lamp. I suspect that this is one of the later Lane TV lamp designs.
Lane Rooster TV Lamp value:  rarity:
This Lane & Co. rooster has always been one of my favorites, probably because colorful roosters were such a popular subject in the '50s and represent the era so well. Photo courtesy of Carol from Van Alstyne, Texas.
Lane Rooster TV Lamp value:  rarity:
Less common than the colorful version above, this Lane rooster is spectacular in its sprayed gold decoration! Photos courtesy of eBay seller "bucksonbay". Did I mention that they're one of the best eBay sellers, and always offer fine TV lamps?
Lane Rooster TV Lamp Perhaps redundant, I had to include this beautiful photo!
Lane Rooster TV Lamp Here's the back view of our golden rooster.
Lane Squirrel TV Lamp value:  rarity:
Too cute! This Lane chipmunk/squirrel was obviously designed for the kids room. Photos courtesy of Terry O'Connor.
Lane Squirrel TV Lamp This critter has plenty of tail for blocking the glare of direct light. It is marked Lane Ceramics.
Lane TV Lamp value:  rarity:
Lane & Co. often devised off-the-wall stylings, as with this "tulips and birds" TV lamp/planter. Photos courtesy of an eBayer from Shenandoah, Iowa.
Lane TV Lamp The Lane tulip lamp is marked 1960, and wears the typical foil label.
Lane TV Lamp value:  rarity:
Who wouldn't want a polka-dot piggie on their television? Actually, I suspect that this lamp from Lane & Co. was intended for use in a child's room. Photos courtesy of Jim from Topeka, Kansas.
Lane TV Lamp Here's a look at the other side. It is dated 1958.
Lane TV Lamp value:  rarity:
This TV lamp from Lane & Co. is not found too often, but is a beautiful design. Photos courtesy of Sissy from Granite City, Illinois.
Lane TV Lamp The designer made clever use of light, with the bulb illuminating the background while silhouetting the birds against it. On the back is the date 1960.
Lane TV Lamp Here's a detail, showing one of the colorful birds against the raised background design.
Lane TV Lamp Here is another look.
Lane TV Lamp value:  rarity:
While certainly not a flashy design, this Lane Pitcher TV lamp is a seldom-seen piece. Photos courtesy of eBay seller, keyman1.
Lane TV Lamp Back view.
Lane TV Lamp The Lane & Co. pitcher is marked on the bottom. (no date)
Lane TV Lamp value:  rarity:
In later years Lane & Co. made several TV lamps with this same basic format, a two-piece design with the fixture between the foreground and background. The layout made for an interesting three-dimensional quality. It's dated 1960.
Lane TV Lamp A top-view shows the space between the horse and the background.
Lane TV Lamp value:  rarity:
Lane & Co. probably made this violin in the mid-to-late '60s. A similar guitar TV lamp was also produced. Photos courtesy of Elaine from North Carolina.
Lane TV Lamp Back view of the Lane violin shows the Christmas tree style of fixture used. These lamps were very thinly cast and prone to breakage.
Lane TV Lamp value:  rarity:
This medley of sea life is the result of a particularly creative time at Lane & Co. After dominating the TV lamp market in the '50s and early '60s, the mid 1960s demanded new designs to keep them selling. Photos courtesy of R.L. Rising of Rising Sky Artworks.
Lane TV Lamp value:  rarity:
An uncommon version of the "stalking panther" motif, and one of the less common lamps from Lane & Co. These bear the Lane & Co. marking, but it's typically so faint as to be all but unreadable. They are easily identifiable however, by the "closed" area between the tail and back legs. I bought this beauty from Carole Christensen at Antiques of Northfield.
Lane TV Lamp Back view. Made in several colors, the brilliant red glaze on this example is particularly rare. Bright red was a difficult glaze color, as it had to be fired at lower, decorator-kiln temperatures.
Lane TV Lamp A close-up of the fixture shows the original Lane & Co./UL sticker.
Lane TV Lamp value:  rarity:
This lion from Lane & Co. has to be one of their least common designs. Photos courtesy of an eBayer from Hanna, Oklahoma.
Lane TV Lamp Back view.  It is marked with the year 1957.
Lane TV Lamp This boy looks ready to rumble!
Lane TV Lamp value:  rarity:
An unusual offering from Lane & Co., this abstraction has an organic quality. It is similar to art pottery designs from other California makers, including West Coast Potteries. Photos courtesy of Diana from Bella Villa, Missouri.
Lane TV Lamp The back is marked, Lane & Co. ©1956 Van Nuys Calif 810.
Lane Panther value:  rarity:
Lane produced several variations of panther lamps, this one being perhaps the least common. The brown stained finish on this example is particularly rare. Photo courtesy of Daniel Connell.
Lane Parrot value:  rarity:
Lane's parrot TV lamp is a beauty! Photos courtesy of Char Korcz of Carpentersville, Illinois.
Lane Parrot Back view.  This one still has the foil Lane & Co. label.
Lane Owl value:  rarity:
A very rare owl from Lane. Certainly a late production style, the mold is impressed, Lane Ceramics, rather than the Lane & Co. marking usually found on their products. Photos courtesy of eBay seller, eireladdie...one of the best!
Lane Owl While the pottery is marked Lane Ceramics, an earlier Lane & Co. UL label was used on the fixture.
Lane Deer value:  rarity:
Maddux of California did a number of designs, lamps and figurines, that featured long-necked deer. Perhaps inspired by those, Lane & Co. produced this TV lamp. Photos courtesy of eBay seller, pugdog53.
Lane Deer The back of the Lane deer lamp.
Lane Deer This close-up shows the planter and small lamp fixture.
Lane Deer Here's the Lane and Co. label.
Lane Panther value:  rarity:
Yet another Lane & Co. panther, this one being particularly rare. The extensive use of color differentiates this Lane from most other panther lamps. Photos courtesy of eBay seller, boxer328.
Lane Panther The back is marked, Lane & Co, Van Nuys, Calif, USA, ©1961.
Lane TV lamp value:  rarity:
A scarce lamp, this vase-like design is from Lane & Co. Photos courtesy of eBay seller, brum.
Lane TV lamp Back view. It has a copyright date of 1957.
Lane TV lamp value:  rarity:
This "woodland nymph" by Lane & Co. is most often found as a decorative figurine. The TV lamp version is extremely rare.
Lane TV lamp Back view.
Lane TV lamp Close-up.
Lane TV lamp value:  rarity:
This saxaphone is another entry in Lane's musical instrument line.
Lane TV lamp The sax shown from above.

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