Stalking Panthers

These panthers strike a long and low stance while hunting prey. This is the classic stand-alone stalking panther lamp without scenery or terrain.

Royal Haeger model 6051 TV Panther
The Royal Haeger Panther designed by Royal Hickman was first produced in 1941. While it was originally made to be a ceramic art figurine, this familiar panther design has been used by Haeger to accompany lamps and planters as well. The Haeger Panther is the panther from which all stalking panther TV lamps were derived.

Surprisingly, this Model 6051 TV Panther is the only style of panther TV lamp Royal Haeger made. The panther is always mounted (permanently) on an 13" oval ceramic base with a shade between the panther and the light fixture. These panthers do not have quite as much detail as the figurines, but you can see some size variations due to mould wear if you have other lamps to compare.

These lamps commonly have burnt shades from using the incorrect light bulb, such as a standard A19 bulb of more than 25W. The correct incandescent bulb is a T10 type, 40W or less for the lamp to provide useful lighting. For decorative lighting, 7.5W S11 shape sign bulbs (available in different colors) or 10W equivalent LED Edison bulbs work well.

For the last 20 years, I thought these lamps only came in three colors; black, green, and turquoise, but as of May 2023, I acquired a red panther on a matte black base. Despite years of searching, it was still a shock to find this alternate color combo - a truly rare color - "Haeger Red".

Haeger Copy
Until finding the red Royal Haeger TV Panther, this was the rarest panther in my collection (it still may be) - another red panther on a black base! For years, I looked for a black panther with a red base, but never expected to find the opposite - twice!. This, however, is not a Royal Haeger TV Panther, but a copy of one. I have no idea who made it, when it was made, or what the lampshade is supposed to look like, but it is definitely a TV lamp.

I like the detail in this panther - there are many well placed lines that enhance the streamlined look. This panther is also slightly larger than the Haeger. This arrived broken when I got it from eBay. This was important enough to my collection to have a professional do the repair. I gave it to A. Ludwig Klein of Harleysville, PA, and they did a fantastic job!

Jacquelin Model 522 Panther "TV" Lamp
This is the Jacquelin Panther lamp that so many eBay sellers misidentify. Of the copycat (pun intended) panther designs, the Jacquelin panther lamp most closely resembles the large Royal Haeger Panther. In fact, the only noticeable difference between the designs are that the Jaqui has a proportionately longer hind leg. This 22" panther is long, low, and sleek - minimalist elegance. I would guess that these lamps were plentiful in their day, as they are very easy to find today. As a matter of fact, this is the most seen brand of panthers on eBay - there is always one or more for sale at any given moment. I only know of these panthers in four colors: black, chartreuse, brown, and white. Many Jacquelins were made with worn moulds. Some of the detail in the mouth, ears, eyes and toes will be missing on worn ones. Because of the length of the legs, many of these became wobbly while they were drying. The glazes used on these panthers have very smooth, consistent colors - the chartreuse on this is the smoothest chartreuse I've seen.

Brown Jaquelin 522 TV Lamp label Jacquelin "522" Panther "TV" Lamp label*
Jaqueline Fine China Teacup Label Jaqueline Fine Vitrified China Teacup Label*
Hmm, two Jaquis? The logos certainly do share similarities. Is Jaquelin the original "Fine Vitrified China" maker, or is there some internet confusion between Jacquelin and Jacqueline? It many never be known, but this does bring up the possibility that the Jacquelin brand lamps may have been imported to the US. This could be why it is so difficult to find info.

In lieu of brand names, I make up nicknames to describe some of these panthers (until they can be positively identified):

Panther #3 (nickname)
Compared to the Hickman panther as well as others, these panthers look the most "correct". The musculature is more realistic, ears more defined, and overall more proportionate to a jaguar (yes, most of our panther lamps actually resemble jaguars and not mountain lions or cougars). I have seen these in black, chartreuse, dark green, brown, white, and a grayish glaze. I suspect that there may be a few more colors out there. The black and chartreuse ones are easy to find. This shape is distinctive and not easily confused with the other panthers - the slightly arched back with slightly lower head and shoulders make it an easy silhouette to spot.

While it is a very nice panther, the things that make it look more real also take away from the artistic statement - it becomes a model of a panther instead of the embodiment of what the panther symbolizes.

Royal China & Novelty/Le Mieux China
Royal China/Le Mieux Panther TV Lamp w/Turret & Gold*
This lamp is most often seen as a planter with an elongated turret on its back, but Royal China also made a non-planter version in their Chicago factory. This lamp-only version has no labeling, but the panther is identical. This long, sleek, and graceful panther also makes it's own artistic statement by adding some rather baroque flourishes in the elbow and thigh. I have seen this one in black and red glazes, so far.

It would appear that the planters that have gold accents or treatments are labeled "Le Mieux China", even though "Royal China & Novelty" are molded into the light bulb dugout. These came in a variety of colors including white, pink, and chartreuse, but I have only seen the black ones accented with gold.

Burly Panther (nickname)
Another strange one with six toes, but the most notable features would be the bulging eyes and its lips. Imagine, for a moment, how a cat might look if it had lips. This panther is big and bulky compared to the others. I don't often see these lamps, but I have seen them also in gray, light brown, red, and black.

The Little Panther (nickname)
The design of this panther looks very similar to a medium Haeger, but this one is only 16" long. This lamp does not appear to be a TV lamp as the bulb used is a small C7 candelabra bulb - too small for useful lighting. This leads me to believe that this was meant to be a night-light or decorative lamp. I wonder if this has a companion figurine or TV Lamp.

Quartet Quandary

The next four lamps look very similar to each other. All of these lamps share common features: indented thighs and geometric/segmented forelegs. The distinguishing features between these panthers are not readily apparent, and require close inspection. Check out the Panther Comparator to compare these similar panthers!

Harmony House Panther TV lamp
I called this one "Stubby Six Toes" for a long time before discovering it in a 1956 Sears Roebuck catalog page. This panther is, IMO. one of the stranger stalking panthers out there. The hind leg is shorter than the Haeger's and has a notable indent. The right hind foot is comically thick with very short toes - looks more like an elephant's foot. The other strange thing is that this one has six toes! Real panthers (and cats in general) have only four toes visible when standing. This poly-dactyl shows five toes and a very wide paw.

This is the only stalking panther (without a planter on its back) to have a dugout, instead of a cutout for the light bulb. This makes it easy to identify. These are not difficult to find. Black seems to be the most common color for these.

*I found two photos/illustrations of this panther on the same page, however, a third one that depicts the lightbulb opening is not the same lamp.The one showing the lightbulb has the unmistakable silhouette of the lamp I call "Panther #3", which has a cutout. It is difficult to say if "Panther #3" was sold at Sears as well. 1950's consumers of novelty lamps were not so nit-pickey to notice such differences. The illustration of #3 was likely reused from a previous catalog which was added to the paste up or mechanicals.

The Tired Panther (nickname)
This looks very similar to the the previous stubby panther - the hind leg is short and has a notable indent. This panther came in several colors, but this red glaze enhances the more subtle features in the design. In this case, the eyes look like they have bags under them (I think they are supposed to be whiskers). Otherwise, the tired eyes are difficult to see in darker colors.

This is the only large panther whose head extends beyond it's extended right paw, and makes it easy to distinguish this from the other lamps.

Rite Lite Panther
The body of this panther, made by Rite Lite Mfg. Chicago, is virtually indistinguishable from "The Tired Panther". The head looks like "Dimple Butt #4" or the Jacquelin. The similarities look as if these panthers were produced from the same mold, in the same factory, or by the same designer, but I think these are all copies of each other. This panther has a narrower waist and prominent hips relative to others.

The deep light bulb cutout makes this different from the very similar Stubby Six-toes and Dimple Butt #4 panthers. Though the tired panther has a similar cutout, it has a different head.

Dimple Butt #4 (nickname)
This is another panther that's difficult to distinguish from the Rite Lite Panther and "Stubby Six Toes" because of the hind leg. This one has a more squared off feet, angular, as if carved from wood. The face and ears are very minimal - like the Jacquelin, but with even less detail and relatively tiny eye holes. The feet are somewhat blocky, with no toes.

Two easy ways to distinguish this lamp from the others is: The torso is long and has a nearly horizontal indent in it, and, when viewed from the top, the body has a pronounced curve to the right.

This panther was not known to me until I started researching for this page. This has become one of my favorite pieces! This panther makes the same artistic statement as the Haeger, but with a distinctive mid 50's style - it's features are actually defined in counter-relief. The glazing of this panther is also interesting in that it appears the maker used a finely sprayed layer of yellow over a blue glaze to (almost) create a chartreuse color. I have also seen these in red, solid yellow, and black

Images with * were found online and I do not take credit for them.