advertise on Tiki Central

Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop
  [Edit Profile]  [Edit Preferences]  [Search] [Sign Up]
[Personal Messages]  [Member List]  [Help/FAQ]  [Rules]  [Login]
Tiki Central Forums » » Collecting Tiki » » The Trader Vic's Nautilus
Goto page ( 1 | 2 Next Page )
The Trader Vic's Nautilus
Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2804
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2007-01-14 5:28 pm   Permalink

My friend Doctor Z and I have been always been on the lookout for some of the more obscure drinkware pictured in the "Trader Vic's Bartending Guide". Not all of these pieces of glassware or ceramicware have the Trader Vic's logo. For example, the Voodoo Grog glass will only have an Imperial Glass gummed label (if that), yet it's still highly prized as a Trader Vic's collectible.

On one page of the Trader Vic's Bartending Guide, there's this Nautilus Shell mug, used to serve a drink called the "Nautilus":

And at an estate sale this weekend, I finally found something very close:

Notice in the pictures below that the mold seems to be the exact same one as the Trader Vic's, plus the painting process seems to be identical (I've highlighted a brown, squiggly mark that really stands out as being the same on both. The only problem is that mine has three feet while the one in the manual has a wavy pedestal base.

All the ceramics at this estate sale were from the 1960s-1970s era, so I think the date is right. Mine is stamped "FF" underneath and has an "FF Japan" sticker. I paid $2 for the piece.

Here's a photo next to the manual so you can see the size of the mug.

Mine of course had been used as a planter. It looks much better now in my glass case full of tiki mugs.

Do any of the Trader Vic's specialists out there, have this mug with the pedestal base? Are there other variations with different maker's marks? What does "FF" stand for? Please discuss and share your knowledge. Thanks.

Here is the recipe for the "Nautilus" from the Bartending Guide:


Juice of 1 lime
1 1/2 ounces Ocean Spray Cranberry House mixer
1 1/2 ounces tequila
Shake with ice cubes. Pour into Trader Vic nautilus shell. Decorate with mint sprigs.


[ This Message was edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2009-01-25 22:43 ]

View Profile of Sabu The Coconut Boy Send a personal message to Sabu The Coconut Boy  Email Sabu The Coconut Boy     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 17, 2004
Posts: 483
Posted: 2007-01-14 9:41 pm   Permalink

I was surprised to see your post on this Sabu. I have had that same nautilus shell for a long time. I also collect shells and shell looking vessels and came across this one in a thrift store of 88 cents. Mine also has the same marks as yours and also the F.F. stamped into the bottom.
Don't know if it's a trader Vic's or not, but it is a lovely looking piece.

Forgot to add that F.F. stands for Fitz and Floyd. They started business in the 60's. here is there history from their website.

For more than 40 years, Fitz and Floyd has symbolized unique distinctive style in dinnerware, giftware, decorative accessories and collectibles by virtue of its bold and innovative designs and strong use of color.

Founded in 1960 as an import company, Fitz and Floyd soon began designing ceramic giftware. The Company expanded into tabletop products in the late 1960s with the introduction of coffee mugs and salad/dessert plates. In 1972, Fitz and Floyd marched into the dinnerware market with the introduction of dramatic and highly sophisticated design motifs. Shortly thereafter, Fitz and Floyd originated the “mix and match” concept, a revolutionary merchandising approach that broke away from the traditional, single-pattern dinnerware concept by coordinating compatible yet varied design motifs, colors and shapes within one place setting. This innovation was a breakthrough that established Fitz and Floyd as an industry leader for fashion-forward tabletop products. “Mix and match” also expanded the potential market for other Fitz and Floyd products such as service plates, salad plates, mugs and other complementary accessories for the tabletop.

Throughout the 1970s, Fitz and Floyd continued to expand its reputation for superior quality and unique design in giftware by creating complete lines of fine hand-painted ceramics. The Company’s in-house design staff developed themes around which entire collections were designed. With these collections, Fitz and Floyd refined its reputation for its sense of style, color, humor and sophistication. As the line’s aesthetic statement developed, the Company’s distribution evolved into a mix of department stores and upscale independent gift, jewelry and specialty stores.

Fitz and Floyd specialized in high-design, collectible-quality giftware and dinnerware in the 1980s. Its new “gifted table” cemented the Company’s heritage of innovative design during an era that saw Fitz and Floyd dinnerware selected by several embassies and presidential residences around the world, including the White House. When Queen Elizabeth II visited Dallas in 1991, Fitz and Floyd was commissioned by the city to create a hand-painted, one-of-a-kind tea service as the official gift from the city to Her Majesty.

Long considered a resource by collectors, Fitz and Floyd officially entered the collectibles arena with limited-edition Christmas ornaments and teapots in 1990. By the mid-90s, the Company was a recognized brand in the collectible market, offering lines of hand-painted figurines, ornaments, water globes and lighted houses. Then came Charming Tails.

Designed by artist Dean Griff, Charming Tails began as a dozen Christmas ornaments and grew quickly into figurines and complementary pieces as collectors clamored for more items featuring the endearing animal inhabitants of “Squashville”. In 1997, in answer to demands from collectors and shop owners who embraced Charming Tails, The Leaf & Acorn Club was founded. Dean Griff was honored the next year with the “Artist of the Year” award from the industry’s premier organization, the National Association of Limited Edition Dealers (NALED). NALED also recognized Dean and Fitz and Floyd with the coveted “Rising Star Award” for Charming Tails.

Fitz and Floyd has celebrated more than four decades of trend-setting style and design. As its artistry and innovation evolve, customers continue to be assured:

I am basing this guess of Fitz and Floyd based on this ebay auction( click on the close up of the sticker:

ebay link
"Now and then we had hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates"
Mark Twain
"Life on the Mississippi"

[ This Message was edited by: exotica59 2007-01-14 21:57 ]

[ This Message was edited by: exotica59 2007-01-14 22:11 ]

[ Edited by: hanford_lemoore - Shortened ebay URL - 2007-01-16 12:16 ]

 View Profile of exotica59 Send a personal message to exotica59  Email exotica59     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Bora Boris
Mr. Unreasonable

Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2617
From: Boogie Wonderland
Posted: 2007-01-14 10:24 pm   Permalink

I can't offer any help but I will declare that this is the "THREAD OF THE DAY" on this day January the 14th in the year 2007*

Thank you Sabu and Exotica59, I hope a shell with the base turns up or we find out that the picture was a prototype and you have the actual shell.

*At least it is in my apartment.

View Profile of Bora Boris Send a personal message to Bora Boris      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 17, 2004
Posts: 483
Posted: 2007-01-14 10:38 pm   Permalink

starting to look like they may have had a whole line of different shell ceramics.

 View Profile of exotica59 Send a personal message to exotica59  Email exotica59     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 04, 2006
Posts: 1317
Posted: 2007-01-15 10:53 am   Permalink

This was used as a planter when I bought it. I'd like to use it as a mug but will keep looking for one like yours instead.
Cool post Sabu

View Profile of Ojaitimo Send a personal message to Ojaitimo  Email Ojaitimo     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Coco Loco
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 21, 2004
Posts: 820
From: Exotic Isle of Alameda
Posted: 2007-01-15 11:11 am   Permalink

Great post! I'll keep my eye out as well.

View Profile of Coco Loco Send a personal message to Coco Loco      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5305
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2007-01-15 11:31 am   Permalink

Seems rather large for a 3 ounce drink.

I bet the three foot design came after they got many complaints about the wobbly original design in the bartender's guide.

I have a clam shell bowl that is similar to the TV clam shell that has the same problem. Is it the TV clam shell? I wondered for a while and then came across one actually stamped Trader Vic's on it. Although, they may have used some not stamped, there are at least some out there with a true TV mark. I have a bamboo bowl that is similar. It is marked TV but I think there are many out there like it not marked TV. They obviously used items by other makers that fit their needs.


Swank Blather
- Talkin' atcha

[ This Message was edited by: Swanky 2007-01-15 11:33 ]

 View Profile of Swanky Send a personal message to Swanky  Email Swanky Goto the website of Swanky     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 1513
From: Houston, Texotica
Posted: 2007-01-15 1:58 pm   Permalink

I am henceforth to be known as Charming Tail, from Squashville.

Charming Tail
Leaf and Acorn Club, Squashville
"Zazz captivates felt."

View Profile of Formikahini Send a personal message to Formikahini  Email Formikahini     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 11, 2006
Posts: 922
From: Eastern Shores of Western Civilization
Posted: 2007-01-20 2:54 pm   Permalink

Aloha Sabu, always a pleasure to see your posting and what archaeological project you've researched! The Trader Vic's Nautilus Shell topic caught me by surprise! I've got a three-toed base version but no makers mark anywhere? Never knew of possible TV tie-in?

Hope this pic helps in archival & search for the greater tiki truth!


View Profile of TravelingJones Send a personal message to TravelingJones      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Royale
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 06, 2002
Posts: 891
From: The Aloha Room in Beautiful Belmont, CA!
Posted: 2007-01-21 10:11 pm   Permalink

When it rains it pours... I found one of these today at an estate sale. Marked "FF" and quite dirty from holding a plant.
Its smaller that I thought but a nice little pice.


 View Profile of Tiki Royale Send a personal message to Tiki Royale  Email Tiki Royale     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Mike the Headhunter
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 24, 2004
Posts: 190
From: Wastelands of western NC
Posted: 2007-01-29 10:06 am   Permalink

Is there a web page with the tv glassware photos listed like the ones from the bartending guide?
I have never met a drink I didn't like, unless it was that time I met beer...

 View Profile of Mike the Headhunter Send a personal message to Mike the Headhunter      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 03, 2005
Posts: 870
From: Lowell, Mass
Posted: 2007-01-29 4:00 pm   Permalink

Is this the one? I couldn't save the picture but it looks like it might be right?

Trader Vic?

 View Profile of Tikisgrl Send a personal message to Tikisgrl  Email Tikisgrl     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 01, 2005
Posts: 735
Posted: 2007-01-29 4:47 pm   Permalink


On 2007-01-29 16:00, Tikisgrl wrote:
Is this the one? I couldn't save the picture but it looks like it might be right?

Trader Vic?

Wow. Quite a steal for $20.

View Profile of TikiJosh Send a personal message to TikiJosh      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 11, 2006
Posts: 922
From: Eastern Shores of Western Civilization
Posted: 2007-01-30 5:19 pm   Permalink


On 2007-01-29 16:00, Tikisgrl wrote:
Is this the one? I couldn't save the picture but it looks like it might be right?
Trader Vic?

Here's the photo from that auction, Tikisgrl; TV yes, Nautilus no.

Bongo Bongo soup shell? Sabu? Swanky? Bigbro? Anybody?


View Profile of TravelingJones Send a personal message to TravelingJones      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 25, 2004
Posts: 491
From: San Diego
Posted: 2007-04-19 6:19 pm   Permalink

I picked up this piece at a local thrift (a whopping $2.95).

When I saw this, I recalled Sabu's post about the Trader Vic's Nautilus mug. This item has obvious differences to Sabu's, including a flat bottom and less texture detailing. Sabu's photos only shows one side of the mug, but his appears to be symmetrical while the one I picked up has asymmetrical sides.

The bottom is marked Otagiri in large letters, with an Otagiri tag. The tag reads 'Hand Made, Japan, Otagiri'. The tag may be the best clue to date this item. Was this tag used for a certain period of time, preceeding or following the well know gold-colored OMC sticker?

And could this be a variation of the TV mug, or just a planter? Hmmmmmm.

The Tikipedia

 View Profile of tikipedia Send a personal message to tikipedia  Goto the website of tikipedia     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Goto page ( 1 | 2 Next Page )

[ About Tiki Central | Contact Tiki Central | Advertise on Tiki Central ]
(c) 2000-2018 Tikiroom.com (tm), Tiki Central (tm)

Credits & copyright infomation