Morton, Illinois has a significant place in the history of U.S. potteries. Several important potteries were located in Morton, and all owed their roots to the Rapp Brothers, German immigrants who founded their first pottery (The Rapp Brothers Brick and Tile Co.) in 1877. The Morton Pottery Co. was founded in 1922, and after decades of profitability closed it's doors in 1976. Check out my blog entry about Morton pottery historians Doris and Burdell Hall, A Visit to the Halls of Pottery.
This is almost certainly the panther TV lamp produced by the Morton Pottery Co. While it bears a superficial resemblance to the "crouching panther" style produced by other companies, Morton's is distinct and unique.
|Heres the back of the panther TV lamp from the Morton Pottery Co.|
It took a lot of convincing for me to believe that this rare buffalo TV lamp was made by the Morton Pottery Company, but when Burdell Hall produced a vintage Morton catalog showing the bison I had to relent. A highly prized design, it usually sells in excess of $400. The form and airbrushed finish looks very much like something from Lane & Co., and bears no similarity to the other Morton Pottery Co. products.
|Back view of the Morton buffalo TV lamp.|
|This particular lamp must have been sold as a second (or taken home by an employee), because of the severe cracks that occurred during firing. They are clearly a production problem, as the glaze has pulled away from the cracks. This could have been common and, along with the extreme front-heaviness of the design, could have been responsible for low production numbers.|
|Here's a page from a 1950's Morton Pottery Co. catalog showing the buffalo. While it's listed here as a planter, it's clearly the same design. Many thanks to Morton pottery scholar Burdell Hall for the catalog!|