Gonder was a prolific producer of lamp bases. During early production years, lamps were produced, assembled with sockets, cord and harps then marketed under the Gonder label. To my knowledge, there is no documentation that outlines exactly which lamps were produced and marketed under the Gonder name.
Later, Gonder produced lamp bases for several resellers through his subsidiary pottery named Elgee. Elgee operated at it’s own facility from 1946 to 1954. The best known of these resellers is Bradley Manufacturing, located in Chicago, Illinois. Kingsbridge and Navis & Smith are other companies known to have used Elgee as their lamp base manufacturer.
Some Gonder lamps are known to be marked with the Gonder name. These early lamps are in short supply and very hard to find. Such examples often draw on pieces from the Imperial or Standard lines. Vases were redesigned with tops and bottoms to accommodate lamp fittings, bases and cords.
It is my experience that many of the early Gonder lamps are large, detailed pieces. The two sizes of Bonsai Lamps are believed to be examples of early Gonder lamps. Also included in the early lamps are the Flying Geese Lamp, Cactus Lamp, Scarla Fish Lamp, Seahorse Lamp, and several styles of Horse Lamps. The Applied Trojan Horse Head lamp is also included in this group of early “Gonder” lamps.
These early lamp bases can be found in many glazes commonly used on the Standard and Imperial lines. Most of these glazes are specific to early “Gonder” lamps. I have not found any documentation indicating these glazes were used on bases sold to or marketed under other company names. The glazes below are examples I have seen or owned. I suspect that nearly all of the early Gonder glazes could be found on lamp bases so this list may not be complete.
Mother of Pearl Lustre
Shell Pink Lustre
Antique Gold Crackle
Yellow with Brown Drip
Post Factory Gonder Lamps
As was commonly done with many art pottery pieces, vases and figures were often converted to lamps by their new owners. Vase conversions usually have a hole drilled in the bottom of the vase to accommodate the cords and bases. The top of the vase is also open and usually fitted with a brass cover. Figures may be attached to wooden or brass bases. Factory lamps would be redesigned and configured with holes specific to the necessary lamp fittings. These post factory lamps, while interesting and collectible, may fall outside the glaze guidelines here.
Other glazes were used by Gonder on both his art pottery wares and on lamps produced at Elgee for other companies. Pistachio (Chartreuse with Brown Drip) is an example of a glaze used extensively on Gonder Original line of wares as well as lamp bases. My experience indicates these glazes were introduced and used with the Gonder Original line and or later.
The following glaze names have been documented using Bradley catalog pages. Glazes have been grouped together below based on glaze technique (crackle, solid color, etc). Note that the last group consists of hand processed designs. These are lamps with hand applied decoration.
Interestingly, the life span of a popular lamp sold to resellers could be several years. The glazes ordered and used on the lamp could change from year to year. So as we review catalog pages, we must be aware these are only a snapshot in time and it is possible that the lamps were produced in more glazes than what is listed on a given catalog page.
Several color advertisements have been found in various home decorating magazines of the day. These have been particularly helpful in determining names given to the various glazes. Most glaze names are easily matched to their example in my photos. However, glazes that are ambiguous in name are described below – to the best of my ability anyway.
Italian Pink or Rose Crackle
Ivory or White Crackle
Solid Color Glazes:
Chartreuse (Matte and Gloss)
Dove Grey or Grey
Forest Green or Green
Pebble or Rose-Beige (soft beige with pink undertone)
Persimmon (orange-brown similar to Terra Cotta but high gloss)
Terra Cotta (Matte)
Victorian Wine or Wine or Oxblood
White (Matte and Gloss)
Blended or Drip Glazes:
Green Agate (dark green lustrous glaze)
Jade (Forest Green with Brown Drip)
Pistachio (Chartreuse with Brown Drip)
Rosewood (similar to Red Flambe but much lighter in appearance)