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Tiki Central Forums » » General Tiki » » Could someone please tell me about this tiki god?
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Could someone please tell me about this tiki god?
Robertiki
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Joined: Jan 11, 2006
Posts: 179
Posted: 2006-11-05 1:16 pm   Permalink

Hey ther, This was carved in the early 50s, but it looks both modern and alien to me. Anyone know the story??
Robert



 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11194
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2006-11-05 2:24 pm   Permalink

That's the evil, football-headed, "C'mere babe, lemme feel yer..." Lotus seat Tiki. Very...UNIQUE!

No really, that's what I would say it is: A total freeform not-based-on-any-island-style effigy. It does look alien, or Power Rangers, maybe?


 
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Robertiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 11, 2006
Posts: 179
Posted: 2006-11-05 6:47 pm   Permalink

it came out of the NYC Plaza Hotel Trader Vic's.

It is old, but looks so darn tootin' modern.

You should see the sleestack looking ones I got too.
Robert


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11194
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2006-11-05 11:54 pm   Permalink

Oh, please share pictures of those! What's a "sleestack"?

Usually, early Trader Vic's (up to the 60s) were outfitted with Barney West Tikis, but I doubt this is one. The New York T.V.'s moved its location from the Savoy Hilton to the Plaza at some point.

The way the body, hands and teeth are more organic and naturalistic than "primitive", I would say it's a nouveaux "Poly-Asian" Tiki, but T.V.'s did not begin employing those until recently...


 
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Tipsy McStagger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3525
From: HELL
Posted: 2006-11-06 12:11 am   Permalink

..it's a los straight jackets, eddie angel tiki ......you can tell by the carved mexican wrestler mask he is wearing...LOL










 
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Howland
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 30, 2006
Posts: 749
From: Folly Beach, SC--'Follynesia'
Posted: 2006-11-06 07:37 am   Permalink

Quote:
Oh, please share pictures of those! What's a "sleestack"?





Sleestacks were evil lizard-like creatures from Sid&Marty Krofft's "Land of the Lost" (1974-77)

BTW, cool tiki--how were you able to acquire? Maybe 'nunnamybizness'? Yes, show more pics---of all your stuff, please!!!!

Thanks for sharing,
Brad
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Robertiki
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Joined: Jan 11, 2006
Posts: 179
Posted: 2006-11-06 08:31 am   Permalink

I gave HumuHumu a scoop, so you will have to read all about it there.
Robert


 
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Humuhumu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3623
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2006-11-06 08:45 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-11-06 08:31, Robertiki wrote:
I gave HumuHumu a scoop, so you will have to read all about it there.
Robert



And it's a doozy of a tale!



This tiki has seven big brothers -- a total of eight massive tikis, from the New York Trader Vic's:

New York Trader Vic’s Tikis Headed to Portland


[ This Message was edited by: Humuhumu 2006-11-06 08:49 ]


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Howland
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 30, 2006
Posts: 749
From: Folly Beach, SC--'Follynesia'
Posted: 2006-11-06 09:27 am   Permalink

HOLY SH%Z#$K%^&%D$%T$%^!!!!

Nice score! great story too. Good thing you made that auction detour in the scooter race!

BTW, the one in center (in orange shirt) DOES look like a sleestack!

I can't wait to see the place on next trip to Portland.
Thanks for sharing,
Brad


 
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rodeotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 21, 2004
Posts: 1513
From: calgary
Posted: 2006-11-06 09:29 am   Permalink

Awesome story!!!

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11194
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2006-11-06 11:43 am   Permalink

My friends...I certainly don't wanna rain on your parade, but after seeing the whole gang, I am willing to bet my sorry German butt on the fact that, as hinted above, these puppies are with 99.8 % certainty NEW "Poly-Asian" carvings, supplied by that Tropical Imports place in Oakland (name escapes me) that Trader Vic's began using in the 2000s.

Humuhumu wrote:
Quote:

.... two of the tikis are the same design as the Trader Vic’s salt & pepper shakers, and have “TRADER VIC’S” carved in the back of them — which anyone can do, but the carving doesn’t look fresh. For another, the tikis look somewhat consistent with (though larger than) some tikis Trader Vic’s still has in their possession, as seen when they loaned them out for the San Francisco Airport tiki exhibit....



Actually, Doug Nason was the first to do this (as can be seen in his Tiki book): He had experienced but cheap carvers in the Philippines/ Bali (?) carve Tikis from mugs and other vintage graphic sources. They come out okay, but always a little "off": Bodies too naturalistic, heads not oversize enough, etc.

Nobody has actually told me this, but it makes economic sense that when the BOT and the Tiki Revival brought a revived interest in Trader Vic franchises, the T.V.'s management compared prices between the classic Oceanic Arts Tikis and the cheaper imports from Asia and saw no big difference in the quality, after all, the Poly-Asian ones ARE carved from fine tropical woods. And so the new franchises like the one in the Berlin Hilton, and even the OLD places like Emeryville, were infiltrated by these non-American made Tikis (what an outrage! )

My guess is that these specific ones were prematurely bought/shipped to New York when T.V.'s was in negotiations for opening a new place there, but then these talks broke down, and these babies were stranded.

All this is shear deduction, based on my keen Tiki eye, and putting two and two together: When I wrote the Book of Tiki, nobody told me if a Tiki was done by Barney West or Milan Guanko (Correction!: Leroy surely put me on the path for that), but I developed an eye for individual carving styles purely base on the volume of Tikis seen in the years of my research. And this Tiki eye tells me these are the nouveaux Poly-Asian kind, (just like some at the SF airport exhibit are!).

I am not saying that that is a horrible thing...it simply is a part of the history of the Tiki revival now, if you/I like it or not. And it's here to stay, because it is an affordable alternative for some. I think for a new Tiki Bar, they are a good asset, and 99.9 % of the customers won't be able to tell the difference.



 
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Humuhumu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3623
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2006-11-06 11:53 am   Permalink

Thanks for the background, Sven! Your explanation does make a lot of sense. While it's kinda conceivable that tikis from the NYC Trader Vic's went into a local warehouse, instead of being sent back to the Emeryville warehouse, I wasn't aware that an attempt had been made to get another TV open, and that idea holds a lot of water, too. Re: the style -- I do trust your eye for the provenance of tikis, but Trader Vic's has often gone their own way, while the other chains tended to use common resources a bit more. Do you think it's possible that these were ordered out of Asia in the '60s?



 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5058
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2006-11-06 12:09 pm   Permalink

I have seen these on Ebay for years. I don't know where they come from, but I recognize the style. These are new as Sven says. I don't watch Ebay like I used to. My searches are very specific now. But maybe 3 years ago you saw this style on there continually. They were usually in bunches. You'd get one picture of 4-5 of them and each auction would be "for the 2nd from the left, etc." Not any carvers work around here. No background. They were fresh off some boat. What Bigbro says sounds right. I never really looked into them and never really liked the style. Too rounded off. Mud tikis.

Not to burst a bubble. Probably a good price for them, but the moment I saw that little guy I knew it was one of those same ones. They might be a few years old, might be newer.
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11194
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2006-11-06 12:13 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-11-06 11:53, Humuhumu wrote: Do you think it's possible that these were ordered out of Asia in the '60s?



Frankly, no. If I compare them to the Tikis at the London, Munich, or Atlanta T.V.'s locations, all built in the 1970s, they don't look anything like it. I have to correct my earlier statement about the Barney West Tikis only being em/deployed til the 60s:

Now that I think about it, all of the above locations, and even the Hamburg one, built in the late 80s, have some Barney West Tikis in them. I am talking about the freestanding ones, not the Tiki posts and railings. At that point, Trader Vic's was still storing their decor from closed locations, re-using it in newly opened places, shipping whole containers of it over the Atlantic.

When, in the course of my BOT research, in the mid-90s I got to see the old Trader Vic's warehouse in Oakland (since then closed, NOT the same as the above mentioned importer, who now does have some of the old Tiki columns), I was very disappointed:

NO large Tikis were left at all! Somehow, for some reason, it seems that beginning in the 90s, when franchises like Portland and Washington DC closed, T.V.'s did not bother about restocking their decor and just let it go.

So with the slew of new locations opening in this decade, they had to come up with an economic solution, it's a business after all. The Trader would have agreed, he was sort of the Walt Disney of Tiki, a visionary businessman. Problem nowadays is, there are only businessmen left, the visionary part fell by the wayside somehow.

[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2006-11-06 12:22 ]


 
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Humuhumu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3623
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2006-11-06 12:17 pm   Permalink

Well, there you go. A bit too good to be true, after all. It would be interesting to know if these have a recent connection to Trader Vic's at least, as you speculated could be, Sven. Perhaps a call to Trader Vic's HQ could shed a bit of light.


 
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