Unlicensed Ceramic Lamps
I have no idea if the items seen on this page were intended as part of a set, but since they all seem to share a few characteristics, that's how I'm going to treat them. They're all figural lamps -- they're hollow, and they have lighting fixtures inside of them -- and they're all similarly formatted, being either busts or recreations of characters that are naturally stumpy. At the top of the page you see the most common example, representing R2-D2. You see these quite frequently on eBay and at local flea markets. Since, in general, the folks who bought them back in the day decorated them according to their personal whims, there are scads of variations out there, some of them quite wild. I like this one because it's relatively subdued and the colors are pleasing.

The Vader is nearly as common as the R2-D2. Sometimes they have sabers, which light up when the lamp is turned on, sometimes they don't. This particular example is sans saber, but it features decorative slits in the ceramic through which light can shine. It also has a base, which is unusual. You can see another example of one of these lamps here. The Chewbacca I like to refer to as "DJ Chewie" as it makes the character look as though he's spinning some beats at a turntable. I like this example for its colorful bandolier fill.

The C-3PO features the same DJ pose, as well as a suitably shiny finish. It's weirdly stylized but also kind of appealing. The ewok, on the other hand, is pretty creepy. That maniacal grin! Judging by the pose, I wouldn't be surprised if it was based on a laughing Buddha figure, a fixture in the world of decorative ceramics.

Here's a version of the ewok lamp form that's been made into a music box. Often, the craft stores that sold these ceramic items also offered wind-up music boxes that played the Star Wars theme, and crafters could use these to make a wide variety of music-playing doo-dads.

I don't have much to say about the lamps representing Yoda and Jabba. They're suitably detailed representations of their respective characters. The Jabba, which may be based on the licensed version by Sigma, is one of the rarer forms. Sadly, this one broke while on its way to me, as you can probably tell from the photo.

Here's another C-3PO lamp that more or less fits our theme. I think it may be either molded off of or sculpted after a Ben Cooper Halloween mask. I love the metallic finish. The Vader to the left of it is probably also based on a licensed product -- the snap-together model kit of Darth Vader's bust, produced by MPC.

The Leia is probably even tougher to find than the Jabba. As far as I know it's the only human character available in this set. I'm guessing it was based on an angel figure, as the face is weirdly generalized. That and the iridescent glaze the figure has been treated with make me want to quote that great poet laureate of Star Wars, Lando Calrissian: "Truly you belong here with us among the clouds."

Check out our special feature on unlicensed ceramics here.

Description by: Ron Salvatore
Photo: Pete Vilmur, Ron Salvatore
From the collection of: Pete Vilmur, Ron Salvatore
Country:United States
Film:A New Hope
Category:Ceramics / Miscellaneous


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