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Tiki Central Forums » » Collecting Tiki » » Is This The Elusive Cobra's Fang Mug?
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Is This The Elusive Cobra's Fang Mug?
sneakyjack
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 25, 2004
Posts: 1048
From: NYC Area
Posted: 2010-03-04 3:30 pm   Permalink

looks like it was a nice pen holder!
"from estate mug inside shot"

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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2793
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2010-03-04 4:05 pm   Permalink

It looks nice and old to me.

I'm going to ask Squid to take a look at it. He's been casting those PNG drum mugs lately with the bird-handle as a separate piece with its own mold. The handle is attached with some slip before the mug is fired. The extra step doesn't seem to be that onerous in producing a decent-sized run of mugs.

It looks to me like both the head and tail-tip of this mug are separate pieces that were attached to the base mug before firing. That would make the primary mold much easier.

Babalu - any thoughts on this? Too much work for a few hundred restaurant-pieces?




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[ This Message was edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2010-03-04 16:10 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11192
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-03-04 11:16 pm   Permalink

I am still marveling at how much it looks exactly like the menu rendering! It's just that I have looked at that illustration for over ten years and always thought "boy, they sure embellished that thing", assuming it was based on the green OA one.

 
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Babalu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 19, 2006
Posts: 2505
From: Lemon Grove
Posted: 2010-03-05 07:59 am   Permalink

Morning,

Yup, that's a cast mug alright. That inside photo helped a lot. No, it would not have been that big of a deal to add that head and tail on to the casting in production. There are several things that make me think this is the real deal.

1. Spurlin did not sign the bottoms of the mugs and bowls that they made...like this one

2. All of the Spurlin sculpts that I have seen are not that well crafted...like this one.

3. It is a castings with added parts.

4. The green glaze used on that other Spurlin mug in the OA display case is a dead ringer for the glaze used on this one.

5. It looks old for sure.

It may be that the Islander used this mug for a while, or that this one is from a prototype run of a few mugs? It seems to me that there is a possibility that the Islander might have switched to that other snake in the display case? It would have been cheaper to make.

Another interesting thing to look at for you muggers is the sizes. I'm not sure of the size of this mug, but I believe that the other snake mug in the QA display case is a smaller mug...Is'nt there a recipe for the Cobra Fang cocktail that you all know of? If I remember right, the finished recipe is not that much liquid when everything is combined together. That would be my last question on this newly found Cobra mug...how big is it?

Those other Don's mugs are very cool too! Are those rare as well? I have never seen Spurlin use a red glaze...maybe those come from a different studio.


 
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pa'akiki
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Mar 26, 2005
Posts: 70
Posted: 2010-03-05 08:51 am   Permalink

hi Babalu,
this mug holds 10oz it is 5 3/4" tall. base is 3" wide top is 2 1/2" wide
the don the beachcomber mugs are also rare handmade for the hollywood location by Vermonde. we think the reason for the red glaze on these mugs was to accomodate women wearing red lipstick back in the day. thats why we call them the lipstick mugs.


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11192
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-03-05 09:04 am   Permalink

Aaah, Vermonde was the also the maker of the original Caucasian Don The Beachcomber bust mug.

Baba, I think you're on to something with your prototype idea, this might be true for several other mysterious crypto-mugs, too:
Only a few were manufactured, served as the model for the menu illustrations, but then were never mass-produced.


 
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5057
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2010-03-05 09:40 am   Permalink

I'd say 100% that's a Spurlin. The style, especially the wood grain, is just telling. The sort of washed out glaze. FAr more detailed than any others I have seen.

 
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Babalu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 19, 2006
Posts: 2505
From: Lemon Grove
Posted: 2010-03-05 11:22 am   Permalink

10 oz...include ice and the size sounds about right to the recipe that I remember being told about a while back. I'm sure someone will post that Islander Cobra Fang recipe on here at some point.

I can also say with about 99% certainty that the fact that this is a casting, says that more of them were made. "No" ceramics studio in their right mind would build a mold for just one casting...even if they never went to production with this design (which I would bet they did go to production with it, if even if for a small run), they would have cast multiples to test various glazes on and to speak with their client(s) about. Heck, they most likely would not have built the mold until the client signed off on the master sculpt to begin with.

This all kind of leads me to another point. Who knows what this mug is worth...I would have to say (that for some time to come) it will not be worth more than it is right now. I feel pretty confident that more of them will be found.

Example (and I will keep this short as it is not really topic):
Babalu is a collector believe it or not, I have had a long time interest in collecting cheesy lamps from the 50's, and vintage travel trailers from the late 40's. Only more recently tiki. Many years ago, I brought a "holy grail" of vintage travel trailers (the only trailer I own now)...a 1947 Aero Flite Falcon. At the time I brought it, only 3 were known to exist, and there was no manufacture, or design history on it avalible what so ever - only speculation. I went to town trying to recover all of this unknown information...I found out who made it, who designed it, the fact that only 100 or so could have been made, and more. I started sharing this information on the Web, and folks out there in the vintage travel trailer arena took interest. I have a friend who has since picked the ball up and taken the research even further...he has even built a Site devoted to the trailer...ok, here's the point. When only 3 of these trailers were known to exist, and there was mystery surrounding them, they were worth a lot of money...today, with all the information now known, more of them have started to show up. I think the count on the number of Aero Flite travel trailers out there today is in the low 20s...prices are still high on them, but not like they use to be. I paid more than I should have for a trailer that I have to completely restore from the ground up. If I had only waited? Hell, there is one on eBay right now... There may come a time when the value of my trailer shoots back up again, but I most likely won't see that...who knows? All that really counts is I love my trailer.

back to topic - This mug is truly wonderful...truly! A holy grail mug if ever there was one. Score of the year Pa'akiki!

[ This Message was edited by: Babalu 2010-03-05 12:01 ]


 
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Formikahini
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 1502
From: Houston, Texotica
Posted: 2010-03-05 2:13 pm   Permalink

Art museums deal with that all the time.
1.) A hitherto-unknown object is found in an attic.
2.) $20,000 is paid for it.
3.) 5 more show up, since someone saw it and said, "Oh! My grandma has one of those!"
4.) 10 more show up, same reason.
5.) The one in charge of that first collection in the museum has mud on his face for a while, since the price has now dropped WAY down.

It eventually goes back up, however, and the museum still has the caché of having found the First, even if it's no longer the Only.

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pa'akiki
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Mar 26, 2005
Posts: 70
Posted: 2010-03-19 11:27 am   Permalink

Here is a couple of pictures of the babalu's cobra fang next to the one we think is an original
for comparison. Babalu did an excellent job on this mug it has great detail. Thanks also to Hodadhank who offered this mug up for sale from his store Freaky Boutiki.







[ This Message was edited by: pa'akiki 2010-03-19 12:13 ]


 
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carlosrossi
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Joined: Mar 02, 2010
Posts: 129
From: los angeles, california
Posted: 2010-03-19 12:41 pm   Permalink

note: I was at the Tiki Ti on Wednesday and I overheard a convo with the owner talking about how he wants to make an official Tiki Ti mug, but styled after the Cobra's Fang!

Could be an amazing mug in the future!!


 
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Babalu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 19, 2006
Posts: 2505
From: Lemon Grove
Posted: 2010-03-19 3:02 pm   Permalink

that's so cool seeing that old prototype I did next to the original one.

Thank you for purchasing that snake from Hank pa'akiki I think that mug sat in my shop here for about a year before I hauled it down to Hank's. That is one of 4 hand built prototypes that I built up prior to building the master sculpt on the one to go to mold with that you see below. I've had this one master below ready to go to mold with for quite some time too...go figure that the real one would be found? It just cracks me up You can see that this molded one looks perhaps a little more like the menu image than the original one does?...I think it does anyway...

Carlosrossi, funny you should mention the Tiki Ti, It was the picture of their Cobra mug behind the bar over there that helped to convince me to add the flared hood on this snake...can this whole thing get any freakier? Anyway, If you speak to the owner of the Tiki Ti again, tell him I've got just the snake mug for him I can always change the wording on the bottom.

So, as you can see, I've built up the first mold...I'm building the block and case on it today...more soon...















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[ This Message was edited by: Babalu 2010-03-19 22:24 ]


 
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Grand Kahu
Grand Member (2 years)  

Joined: Jul 31, 2006
Posts: 178
From: Dallas, TX
Posted: 2010-03-19 5:05 pm   Permalink

Hey Formika,

It's more like a museum pays $60,000 for it! Frankly, or a collector pays even more than that for the "first" one.



GK
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11192
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-03-20 01:48 am   Permalink

Babalu, it's not only that you are a great artist, it's that you are DRIVEN to make these amazing mugs that bowls me over.

 
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Babalu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 19, 2006
Posts: 2505
From: Lemon Grove
Posted: 2010-05-04 11:00 pm   Permalink

Thanks Big Bro! Glad to see that you made it back home safe and clear of that volcano's vengeance. I have been searching for pacific inspired snake designs lately (there isn't much out there)...I couldn't help but notice this terrific painting(?) on your wall to the left of your home bar that you posted on another thread...is this a contemporary work? What is it's origin?



This darn Cobra design has reared it head on me this past month...I explained more on my crafts thread here -
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=24647&forum=18&start=1110&1120

Yet another prototype on this design...




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