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Tiki Central Forums Collecting Tiki Crypto-Mugs. Do these legends exist and who has them?
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Crypto-Mugs. Do these legends exist and who has them?
Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2793
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2010-02-25 12:18 am   Permalink

This post is prompted by TC member pa'akiki's recent find of the until-now-undiscovered Cobra's Fang mug from the Islander in La Cienega:



This fantastic find knocks another mug off my "cryptid" list. Just as "Cryptozoology" refers to the search for animals which are considered to be legendary or otherwise nonexistent by mainstream biology like the Yeti, the Loch Ness Monster, or the unlikely Woofmutt, a "Crypto-mug" is my term for Poly-pop mugs and glassware that appear in old pictures on menus or postcards or photos, but which haven't been found yet by collectors. They may be fanciful artist's renderings that never existed, or they may be extinct or super-rare or just overlooked by collectors until now.

Remember how back in 2003, hardly anyone had seen an Imperial Glass Voodoo Grog, but then someone finally listed one on eBay as as a "Trader Vic's Tiki Mug" and suddenly they began to appear on the market.

Sometimes collectors have had them all along, but because they were rare, the majority of us didn't know if they were out there. A good example is the Trader Vic's Nautilus Mug. All it took was posing the question, "Does this mug exist?" and several collectors posted their pictures.




So I propose this this thread as repository of Crypto-Mugs (and other crypto-glassware). If you know of a mug in an old menu or photo and can't find it on Ooga-Mooga, and don't know if it really exists - post it here and let's see if we can find it.

I'll start with my list. Please add to it, as I know it's just a fraction of the Crypto-mugs out there.

I have a feeling a lot of these are going to be big scorpion and volcano bowls. They were made in very small numbers and were easily breakable, so probably few of them survived.

SAM'S SEAFOOD

This mug appears in a postcard photo of the Sam's Seafood gift shop. It also appears as a rendering in their old souvenir menu. There is also a volcano bowl in the rendering that we know existed because on the larger four-panel postcard, you could see them resting on the floor of the gift shop. TC member Traderpup remembers seeing one of the mugs appear on eBay back in 2001 or 2002. As far as I know, another has never appeared.





You can see the bowls on the floor at the lower left of this image



THE LUAU 400 SCORPION BOWL

From a mint, unused drink menu. Did this bowl exist or was it a prototype, which like the menu, was never released?



(And as a paper collector, I'd like to find this takeout box too):



THE POLYNESIAN IN TORRANCE
I've never seen either of these two bowls. I think DC might own this menu, so if he could post a larger scan, it would be most appreciated.



The Tiki Bowl above also makes an appearance in this menu from an unknown Bali-Hai location:



In the same Bali-Hai menu is this great Zombie mug with a Ku Tiki on it:




THE TONGA LEI in MALIBU

The menu shows a wonderful pig bowl and a unique black volcano bowl.





We know the volcano bowl existed because a photo of it appears in one of their brochures:




THE HANALEI ISLANDS RESTAURANT, SAN DIEGO

Has anyone ever seen the two-moai volcano bowl in this menu picture? Also is the Moai mug a standard one, or unique to this restaurant?




THE HILTON HAWAIIAN VILLAGE MUGS

So far, I've seen just about every one of these custom mugs from the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Hawaii appear on TC over the years:





The exceptions are the "Chimp In Orbit" and the "Suffering Haole"





In this old Time LIFE photo of U.S. Senators having a luau at the Hawaiian Village, you can see a Suffering Haole glass in use:





Just for kicks, here's another photo showing the Hukilau and Diamond Head mugs. I know these have since been found, but it's cool to see contemporary photos of them in situ:






THE MARK THOMAS OUTRIGGER, MONTEREY

This last one I'm skeptical of. I'm afraid the artist might have gotten a little free in his rendering of a standard outrigger bowl ala the Stockton Islander version. But it would be cool if an outrigger bowl this shape really existed. And what about that Captain Cook's Grog glass too?



----------------------

Ok. That's enough for now. I'm interested in seeing what the other paper collectors have in the way of Legendary Crypto-mug pictures. And I'd like the mug-collectors to post photos if they have them that prove these drinking vessels really exist.


_________________


[ This Message was edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2010-03-04 00:58 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11270
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-02-25 07:55 am   Permalink

Excellent post, Sabu! I have been dreaming about that Tonga Lei pig bowl. Let it be real!
Some of the others I was never aware of. There is that Kahiki Mystery bowl, too, of which very few existed/exist, the Ku-with-straws-thru-mouth one.


 
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little lost tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 12, 2006
Posts: 7595
From: Orange,CA-right near the Circle!
Posted: 2010-02-25 08:12 am   Permalink

Cryptomugologist Sabu!
Your brain is a valuable asset...
get it insured!

Great post!


 
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tikiyaki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 18, 2004
Posts: 2710
From: The Exotic Port of REDONDO BEACH, CA
Posted: 2010-02-25 08:20 am   Permalink

Awesome thread....I too would love to see one of those Sams Seafood Mugs....I think it's amazing that there are none to be found around here, especially by you, Sabu...you've been collecting and yard sale-ing for years...that is a real anomaly.

Also, what about the other mug in that photo...the green one ? Not a Tiki mug, but a cool on nonetheless.


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leleliz
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 02, 2008
Posts: 1981
From: NorCal
Posted: 2010-02-25 08:42 am   Permalink

wonderful post! Really looking forward to seeing what mugs come out of the woodwork based on these hunts.

If only the people in the photos knew then to save those mugs and pass them on to their children as heirlooms.


 
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1961surf
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2007
Posts: 1932
From: Newport Beach, Ca .
Posted: 2010-02-25 09:55 am   Permalink

Xlnt post Tim .You have finally provided images of the missing Sam's mug , I have
been hearing about for years .Im thinking not too many survived , cuz no one seems
to come up with one unless KC is holding out on us.The Sam's bowl is insane also.


 
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Trader Tom
  

Joined: Jan 26, 2006
Posts: 825
From: Hillsboro, OR
Posted: 2010-02-25 09:58 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-02-25 08:20, tikiyaki wrote:
Also, what about the other mug in that photo...the green one ? Not a Tiki mug, but a cool on nonetheless.




There is a green AND a brown version of this mug with the wood grain concentric whorls. I actually held a brown one in my hand. It was at an antique store and they wanted $25 for it, but it was in pretty bad shape. The glaze is a matte/not a glossy finish and something had stained it. Maybe old engine oil. I wasn't totally convinced it was Tiki related either. So I let it pass. Now I wish I'd bought it, regardless of the condition!


 
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2793
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2010-02-25 10:26 am   Permalink

Yep, those are Fogcutter mugs, probably by Spurlin - a local ceramics company. I've got pictures of the brown version and know several people that have it. I'm not sure that anyone's found the green version yet.

Spurlin also made mugs for the Islander on La Cienega, and I think they may have made that Cobra's Fang mug at the top of this thread. If that's the case, then the green Fogcutter might have the same color and finish glaze as the Cobra.


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[ This Message was edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2010-02-25 10:43 ]


 
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aquarj
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Apr 02, 2002
Posts: 1083
From: SF bay area, CA
Posted: 2010-02-25 1:23 pm   Permalink

Great, Sabu! Speaking as one person who will be a spectator on the sidelines for this thread, it'll be fun to see what comes out of the woodwork.

I suspect that MY list of "crypto mugs" is much longer than Sabu's! Meaning, I know a lot less about the absolute state of which things have been found by ANY collectors.

F'rinstance, the bamboo mugs on the "unknown Bali Hai" menu. I wonder if there really were some bamboo mugs with those exaggerated curves - looks neat. The Hawaiian Village "Hawaiian Eye" mug is also cool. Probably for some people those are as common as dirt though.

10 years ago it would have been hard to imagine the kind of collective knowledge that exists these days from the collaboration through TC, Ooga-Mooga and all the other resources. Now it's getting down to SINGLE instances of mugs and other items that are still crypto!

I've always thought it would be fun to try to make a truly authentic looking set of materials for a fictional place, which introduces some "crypto" artifacts that don't overlap with any known places. Not in a malicious way, but maybe just a gentle hoax for a little while! Of course, that would require illustration skills that I don't possess, so don't expect it any time soon. Anyway, back to the sidelines...

-Randy


 
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2793
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2010-02-25 1:43 pm   Permalink

Thanks Randy,

I agree. Through the great internet intersection of this site, Ooga Mooga, eBay, and others, many crypto mugs have been found in recent years that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. I think this thread is a good place to celebrate those accomplishments too - the Kahiki ceramic sleeve that went over the glass, for instance, or that South Pacific Rum Barrel that was recently found. Those were great discoveries and should be commemorated together in one place.

I'm definitely coming at this subject as a paper-collector instead of a mug collector. I too am probably unaware of a lot of what the mug collectors have found and what might be commonplace over on Ooga Mooga. I'm sure some mug collectors are looking at my selections and chuckling, saying "Oh yeah. I've got one of those." In fact, I hope they are and I hope they post pictures!

Bigbro - here's that Kahiki Mystery Bowl. Tikiskip indicates that it's very rare and possibly one-of-a-kind. Certainly one of the most beautiful bowls I've ever seen:





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[ This Message was edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2010-02-25 14:16 ]


 
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Tiki-Troll
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 17, 2002
Posts: 122
From: D-LAND FL
Posted: 2010-02-25 5:25 pm   Permalink

I'll bite- http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=22742&forum=5 I am pretty sure we unearthed these Beachcomber Mayfair salt and pepper shakers on this thread. I almost passed on them they are so ugly. Now I sit and wonder how in the heck they ended up in Deland FL for a tiki freak like me to find.

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Proud wife of an addicted carver! Check him out at www.Delandtiki.com

[ Edited by: Bora Boris - Fiixed link - 2010-02-25 21:08 ]


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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2793
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2010-02-25 5:30 pm   Permalink



I like how excited the UK collectors got when you posted those

I wish that postcard that bifcozz used for picture-reference was still up.


 
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2793
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2010-02-25 5:45 pm   Permalink

Let's cover the 1944 Trader Vic's Tepco pieces:



The Samoa Fog Cutter has been found, correct?

The Hot-Buttered Rum Skull - Is this version different than the all-white version that I've seen? The photo makes it look like there is a wash of color under the glaze.

The Scorpion Bowl: Found.





The Kava Bowl:


Found:


The PB2Y Gremlin bowl (size for two people), Found:




The larger B-17 Gremlin (for four people), Not Found Yet:


I haven't seen the single-serving P-40 Gremlin either. Has anyone else?


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[ This Message was edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2010-02-25 17:51 ]


 
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Tiki-Troll
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 17, 2002
Posts: 122
From: D-LAND FL
Posted: 2010-02-25 5:54 pm   Permalink




I saved them!
_________________
Proud wife of an addicted carver! Check him out at Delandtiki.com


 
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Cammo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 18, 2006
Posts: 1952
From: San Diego
Posted: 2010-02-25 6:01 pm   Permalink

These are kind of like the Coelacanth Fish, formerly thought to be extinct...



but then fished up, alive and kicking, off the coast of Africa!!!


 
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