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Metalcraft Manufacturing Co. Ltd.

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Pretty Things31 of 39Art Deco StatueThe Toller Cranston Collection for Sale by Auction
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Posted 3 years ago


(158 items)

Metalcraft Manufacturing Co. Ltd.

My parents first bought these lamps in the early 1950's so I was aware of their beauty for most of my early life. These lamps and airplane ashtrays were made in Canada in the 1940's. I have an Eatons catalog from 1948 with a simple chrome airplane ashtray stand. Of course they were also advertised as Metalcraft Mfg., and over the years I got to know all the parts they used and their differences. During the 1950's they became more elaborate with the onyx (slag) glass inserts at the bottom. The pieces were interchangable and it was possible to get hundreds of varieties from the parts. There were many designs some using the same parts in particular. The lamp in the middle left was a rare 6 foot 5 inch version.

When I started to build these lamps myself I added height by having new rods made in longer length and also added parts to the airplane and twin light ashtray so they could become higher and carry more elaborate parts. My lamps usually had 3 parts that lit up, so the wiring I did had to become more elaborate. The pieces I used were made by the same company as used in the original lamps. The flower part on the lamps shown was quite rare and I wired that small space also with bulbs - sometimes I had to wire just the bulbs and could not use the lamp attachment in that small space. I believe the flower shape agate was only made in Canada but the clear glass ones they used on bases of small table lamps may have been made in the U.S. also, always without a light in them. In Canada the flower agate part was made particularly beautiful as the agate glass here was usually of finer quality in general.

There was also a lamp called the twin light lamp ashtray, which I have included in the 3rd photo. They were made (and sold) with the airplane ashtrays by metalcraft. One is in the third photo. This twin light ashtray was designed with simple chrome base in its infancy stages about 1948 Eaton's catalog. The base in this photo has the most ornate of all the bases ever made of this molded slag glass and the nicest. The nicest slag glass either in Canada or U.S., I always preferred the beauty of the Canadian pieces better. I have had standing airplane ashtrays and tall lamps with the same base. The twin light ashtray as they were called, was also made in the states with different pieces than the canadian one which I prefer to see. The Canadian shades have a nicer flow also.

My mother had a lamp and ashtray stand from this company and I was always in awe of its beauty. I first seen an airplane ashtray stand in 1978 at an auction. In a year I was invited to buy a collection of 21 airplane ashtray stands through a picker. I seemed to buy as many as I could get and put up a lot of them for sale since the mid 1980s. I rewired and rechromed a lot of the ashtrays and at one time had the largest collection in North America. Somehow the art deco shaped twin lights of the U.S. kind of missed the mark of good art deco form.

I always am proud to say the standing airplane ashtray was only made in Canada, although lately they have been offered for sale all around the U.S., mainly as they made their way there, and are hugely popular there. Unfortunately many of the ones from the U.S. have bases that were different than the Canadian ashtray bases and these have been added to the piece later on as pieces got broken in time. They usually seem out of place as the Canadian ones were nicer, although in the U.S. the simple ashtray bases became more art deco looking, so people sometimes think they were made in the 1930's. There are so many varieties and several companies in Toronto, Canada were selling these in the day, along with a connection from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. As always the condition is important when trying to gauge price. Most airplane ashtrays were made by metalcraft though at the time they were also made by other Toronto companies and also some in Montreal I believe.

By the way the blue mirrors you see in the last photo were only made in Canada also, particularly in this design. This is the lovebird version, which is quite rare, I had these 2 only plus a 10 inch one along with the 26 inch one. Then there were the Canadian geese ones, the flamingo birds one is beautiful, and the deer version also. You rarely see the blue mirror in the U. S. and when you do they were only made in Canada.


  1. walksoftly walksoftly, 3 years ago
    Very nice Phil, thanks for sharing them with us!
  2. AmberRose AmberRose, 3 years ago
    Very nice. Always enjoy your posts.
  3. Luisa Luisa, 3 years ago
    Canadian pride : )
  4. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 2 years ago
    Thank you all for the loves and right back at you pawis, bratjdd, ttomtucker, mustangtony, purpledog, tlmbaran, AmberRose, guyfrmatl, officialfuel, Manikin, mrmajestic1, rocker-sd, BELLIN68, vetraio50, walksoftly and miKKoChristmas11 !~
  5. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 2 years ago
    Thank you Amber Rose for the love !~
  6. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 2 years ago
    Thank you all kindly for the loves SEAN68, Agram.m, pickrknows, AmberRose, bratjdd, rocker-sd, czechman !~
  7. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 2 years ago
    Thank you toolate2 for the love, much appreciated !~
  8. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 2 years ago
    Thank you pops52 for the love, always appreciated you are !~
  9. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 2 years ago
    Thank you charcoal and Moonstone21 for the loves, very appreciated !~
  10. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 1 year ago
    Thank you for the loves and appreciation smiata, Vintagefran, peteeone, SEAN68, gargoylecollector !~
  11. Aimathena, 1 year ago
    You have such a beautiful collection of many great items
  12. pops52 pops52, 1 year ago
    Those airplane ashtrays are awesome, very nice.
  13. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 1 year ago
    Thank you Aim for the love and the comment, very appreciated !~
  14. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 1 year ago
    Thanks pops52, I still never forgot the first one I saw in 1979 !~
  15. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 1 year ago
    Thanks paultempler for the love.
  16. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 1 year ago
    There are about 3-4 types of airplanes and each has an airplane that fits in particular with the wing sections. You may need to try or at least measure the distance between the screw holes. The props are sold by some people and some of them are regularly on the internet on ebay.
  17. Gone.sailing101, 1 year ago
    Thanks for the info. Picked up a piece that is similar but has a clock on it instead of a plane. Wondering if you have ever seen that before and also wondering what it might be worth?
  18. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 1 year ago
    Yes I have seen it many times before. They were made also in Toronto Canada. I do not value anything that is not all there in terms of authenticity. Many of them have been reworked with the wrong parts. Damage etc. as a lot of them are damaged, with no photo your piece may be worth nothing.
  19. Gone.sailing101, 1 year ago
    Just posted some picture on this site . Any info you could give me on it would be appreciated. I believe if you click on my profile it will take you to the pictures.
  20. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 1 year ago
    I very appreciate the loves vanskyock24, ho2cultcha, tom61375, vintagecarmascot.
  21. upstatenycollector upstatenycollector, 1 year ago
    WOW! I love the lamp with the green (glass?) shaft, left side of the first picture!. It's AWESOME! Do you have any specific pics of that lamp?
  22. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 1 year ago
    Thank you upstatenycollector, unfortunately I decided to update one of my favorite other cone lamps to take the blue glass rod parts to this lamp which came out beautifully, as in pic one: Phil.
  23. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 1 year ago
    Very appreciative for the loves upstatenycollector, fortapache, DrFluffy, jonideco.
  24. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 12 months ago
    Thanks jjsr for the love, very appreciated.
  25. Lisa-lighting Lisa-lighting, 11 months ago
    What a fabulous collection and a great post. Thank you again for sharing Phil. What an eye. Your art shines in your choices, your photography, your arrangements, good grief, in everything. Truly a joy to see.
  26. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 11 months ago
    Thank you so much Lisa for your kind thoughts, so very appreciated :))
  27. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 11 months ago
    Thank you aghcollect for the love, appreciated.
  28. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 7 months ago
    Thank you kindly for the loves ozmarty, Manikin, and Lisa-lighting !~
  29. eddymeese eddymeese, 7 months ago
    I see a lot in the photos I'm loving! Fantastic job with those lamps :)
  30. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 7 months ago
    Thank you LoveAshtrays for the love, right back at you !~
  31. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 7 months ago
    Thanks eddymeese, always glad to hear your opinion and thanks for the love !~
  32. shareurpassion shareurpassion, 7 months ago
    Wow! These are elaborate!!! Awesome you've also got the experience under your belt, quite a feat Phil. And when I saw the third pic, I thought there was something on the other side of the room giving off the blue reflection. Very, very cool!!!
  33. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 6 months ago
    Thank you Manikin for more of the love you share !~

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