Locations: Los Angeles, Huntington Park
Dates of Operation: 1941 - 1950s
Seller Values: Check average price on Ebay
It’s very interesting to me that the huge majority of Claire Lerner items that we come across look significantly different than the examples given in Chipman’s Calif Pottery books. It turns out that’s because the Lerners (Claire and Sidney, her husband) started off making lapel pins and ceramic giftware whose style was similar to older imports from countries that weren’t allowed during WWII. I’m not such a fan of these earlier items, which often featured lacey looking ceramic flowers on plain or decorated white ware with traditional shapes.
The items that we of theirs are the ones produced later in the late 40s and early 50s. These single color glazed shapes were much more interesting, and they were also often earthenware as opposed to ceramics. One of the trademark colors that the Lerners used was a deep dark green, similar to one used by West Coast, Roselane and quite a few other companies. They made various pottery items, often focusing on low bowls, gardenware and trinket boxes. They also have some very nice animal sculptures as well, and some of these (the egrets come to mind) were meant to go with the bowls.
Their original factory was near modern day Downtown LA, but they relocated to the Huntington Park area in 1946. According to Chipman, the Lerners also took over the well known Caliente line of Haldemans in 1948. I’m not sure at this point whether they re-branded the pieces as Claire Lerner, and for how long they produced Caliente.
One of the nice things about Claire Lerner items is that they are almost always marked, and they are usually marked VERY clearly. (It’s been brought to our attention, however, that there are some pieces that have no marks.) In general you will see the Claire Lerner name, item number (usually CL or L, the latter ones usually have the word “Classic” as well), and sometimes a copyright year. This has enabled us to try and make a listing of quite a few pieces, which I hope we can add to in the future. We would also like to add photos since we only have the piece below currently - if you can contribute a picture, that would be great.
Here is our list so far - names are made up by us. Please note, this is not from a company listing, so some information may be incorrect, especially the dates. We’ve also tried noting color choices we’ve seen - the three most common colors are dark green, light green and pink.
|CL126||1949||Square Trinket Box - red|
|CL202||1952?||Rect Vase - dk grn, gray, pink|
|CL210||1950?||Low Rect Planter - dk grn, lt grn|
|CL212||1950?||Low Rect Planter - dk grn|
|CL214||1950||Freeform Bowl, Smooth Leaf - dk grn, lt grn|
|CL220||1950||Scroll Planter - dk grn|
|CL222||1950||Centerpiece - black|
|CL226||1950||Flower Bowl - yellow|
|CL228||1950||Ornate Bird Vase - dk grn, pink|
|CL230||1952||Swirl Candlestick - dk grn|
|CL231||1950||Downward Looking Bird - dk grn|
|CL232||1950||Tropical Bird - dk grn|
|CL234||1950||Musician - red, yel|
|CL236||1950||Musician, Headdress - lt grn|
|CL239||1950||Flower Candlestick - dk grn, lt grn|
|CL251||1950||Freeform Bowl, Pointy Leaf - pink, dk grn, lt grn|
|CL256||1951||Freeform Bowl, Shooting Star - dk grn|
|CL260||1951||Freeform Bowl, Circular - dk grn, speckle blue|
|CL261||1952||2 Egrets sometimes w/251 - dk grn, lt grn, pink, peach|
|CL266||1952?||2 Birds On Branch - dk grn|
|CL270||1952||Console Bowl, Boomerang (w/ #230?) - dk grn|
|CL272||1952||Butterflies - pink|
|CL274||1952||Freeform Bowl, Oval Leaf - dk grn, lt grn|
|CL275||1952?||Angelfish (goes w/ pool) - pink|
|CL278||1952||Freeform Bowl? - lt grn, white|
|CL280||1952||Freeform Bowl, pool - lt grn, pink, baby blue|
|CL???||1952||Animals sometimes w/280 - deer family, heron|
|L-5||1950||Goblet style vase - gray|
|L-75||1950||Rect Pedestal Bowl - lt grn|
|L-105||1950||Goblet style vase, short - dk grn|
|L-165||1950||Sq Pedestal Bowl - pink|
|L-175||1950||Rect Pedestal Bowl - pink|
|NONE||1949||Bowl, Chinese Key Design - dk grn|
|NONE||1949||Square Trinket Box - dk grn|
ImagesEbay listed under this name. We've tried to hand tailor the searches below so they will bring up the most accurate results. If there are no results, it will list general California pottery.