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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?
Sunny&Rummy
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Joined: Jun 13, 2013
Posts: 513
From: Melbourne, FL
Posted: 2014-07-28 7:16 pm   Permalink

Being in use at the restaurant is one thing, but was that Barrel 'O Rum mug ever a take-away souvenir or did they stay on site? Certainly a good many of them would have been swiped by light-fingered patrons, but if it wasn't actually a keepsake included in the menu drink price I can sort of understand it's rarity.

Very cool mug I would love to have though!
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5058
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2014-07-29 07:30 am   Permalink

My first thought was that the valet's and staff back in the day were better at stopping theft. I have heard from many saying they'd stop people with mugs. But that picture shows practically all the bar ware, including glasses, on a gift shop shelf. I'd bet that image is from 1971ish. So, people could walk out with it in a bag.

Considering the coffee grog cups from that time are pretty easy to get, and you know the barrels were served more than that, you'd think it would be part of every decent collection. I don't have an answer, but am glad I finally own one.

Got mine in 2010.

As a note, the Mai-Kai today goes through as many as 300 barrel mugs a month. Mostly walking out the door, but some through breakage, etc. People took their souvenirs back in the day too... But it was never part of the drink price.

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[ This Message was edited by: Swanky 2014-07-29 07:33 ]


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TikiTacky
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Joined: Nov 23, 2010
Posts: 1307
Posted: 2014-07-29 07:43 am   Permalink

That's a lot of petty thievery. People suck.
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Tattoo
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Sep 24, 2005
Posts: 232
From: Los Angeles
Posted: 2014-07-29 7:29 pm   Permalink

Back to the true origins of this thread... crypto mugs and who has them? Well, here's one I have always wondered about: the 1944 Life Magazine "Hot Buttered Rum" Skull mug.


We are all familiar with the Tepco/Trader Vic Pointed Skull Mug but as can be seen in the famous Life Magazine article, the one above has a heavy aged look to it. Black smudges and such which appear to be part of the glaze. I have NEVER seen one like that and been on the hunt and looked for years for a blackened vintage Trader Vic's skull mug. Does someone have one???

None of the mugs and bowls of that article that have been found are Tepco. And the 1939 Patent of the Skull Mug is by Trader Vic and not Tepco:



Thus it is fair to presume that the 1944 skull mug is actually not Tepco - like all the other finds of that article. Does anyone have a clue as to who made these early mugs??? Not until the mid 50s did Trader Vic relegate most of his mugs to Tepco but... these early pre-1950 ones, the few I have seen, seem to have no makers mark and feel very homemade.

So, there must be a pre-Tepco Skull mug and... who has one?

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[ This Message was edited by: tattoo 2014-07-30 14:03 ]


 
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uncle trav
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Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1799
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2014-07-30 04:33 am   Permalink

Good question Tattoo. I too have wondered about that skull mug in the Vic's photo for years. I have the heavy white version that appears different from the one in the Vic's photo






Here is the mark on the bottom of the white mug. The photo is in focus, the mark is just bad. I'm not even sure if mine is by TEPCO. When the Vic's photo is blown up it appears that the skull mug has a liner or glass of some type sitting in the mug and slight differences can be seen between the designs. Hopefully one will turn up. Here is a page from the 1966 TEPCO catalog showing the later incarnations of some of those mugs. The hunt goes on.

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zond2
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 30, 2007
Posts: 196
From: Casa Grande
Posted: 2014-07-30 05:25 am   Permalink

I've seen it! My father had one, it live in a drawer with a bunch of other cool stuff that got mislaid during my parents break-up in early 70's.

 
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5058
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2014-07-30 09:28 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-07-30 04:33, uncle trav wrote:
...
.. When the Vic's photo is blown up it appears that the skull mug has a liner or glass of some type sitting in the mug and slight differences can be seen between the designs. ...



It looks to me like the inside is white and there is obviously a drink and cinnamon stick in there. I don't think it has an insert or anything.

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[ This Message was edited by: Swanky 2014-07-30 09:29 ]


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Mockingbird
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Oct 05, 2012
Posts: 32
From: Round Rock, Texas
Posted: 2014-07-30 12:19 pm   Permalink

Part of me wonders if they just did a quick wash on it to make the details stand out better for the photo. If it was in its natural all white state it would have more than likely been too hard to make out what it was.

-Karl


 
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uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1799
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2014-07-30 1:29 pm   Permalink

Looking at the image again I believe that Swanky is correct. Just a white interior set off by the dark glaze.
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Formikahini
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 1502
From: Houston, Texotica
Posted: 2014-07-31 5:07 pm   Permalink

DRUM ROLL!:

Quote:
Here is an entry from the Trader Vic's in Hawaii. Some of you may not know that the two Trader Vic's in Honolulu were not owned by Trader Vic. Consequently, the created their own mugs made in Hawaii. Here is the illustrated menu with many of the mugs shown that I clipped from ebay some time back.



Many of the mugs from this menu have been posted on TC but there are still a few that I have not seen documented.

On the bottom right, there is the Scorpion bowl and the Navy Grog mug with the anchor logo. Have we seen these before?
DC




It ain't pretty, but it's the real thing.
Behold Navy Grog:





The shape is not the same as on the menu, but I have no reason to believe it to be fake. I found it in a town just outside of Houston.
Sabu, I think you are right - we've not seen this before 'cause it's just too ugly to catch the eye!
But now I think it's BEAUtiful!
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Phillip Roberts
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 09, 2003
Posts: 1603
From: OAHU/Seattle
Posted: 2014-07-31 6:37 pm   Permalink

That is Awesome!!! Congratulations!

Waikiki Tiki; Art, History, and Photographs.
Available now from Bess Press Hawaii.

[ This Message was edited by: Phillip Roberts 2014-07-31 18:43 ]


 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5058
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2014-08-01 06:31 am   Permalink

Alice, you are on a roll!

Did you pick it up because it had an anchor on it, or do you know all these menus backwards and forwards?
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Formikahini
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 1502
From: Houston, Texotica
Posted: 2014-08-01 11:37 am   Permalink

Not the latter, that's for sure. (but I'm getting better!)

Funny story - I think I skipped it once before, even.
The seller had a few dozen swizzles in it (photo re-enactment below).


She'd labeled the mug: "Trader Vic's swizzles and mug" and had a price for the whole thing.
My brain: "She doesn't know what she's talking about; that stuff's not Trader Vic's. Everything's 'tiki' to dealers now!"
The green swizzles are all marked "Hilton Hotels in Hawaii."
I hadn't even picked up the mug to look at the bottom last time, but this time, after all the handmade Polynesian Pottery posts here in fact, I had to investigate.

Sure enough, there was the mark.
The anchor mug STILL didn't clearly ring the bell, but the mark on the bottom was close enough to what I remember on my few PP mugs (and again, posts on this thread) that I had to take a chance.

"This could be a really weird/bland Navy Grog mug," kept going through my head as I walked it up to the register.
"I have to take the chance. Worst thing is that I paid for an anchor mug and a buttload of fairly cool swizzles!"

Only thing I found all day, and it's not the mid century bedroom dresser I was looking for, but I'm fine with that
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Phillip Roberts
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 09, 2003
Posts: 1603
From: OAHU/Seattle
Posted: 2014-08-01 5:48 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-08-01 11:37, Formikahini wrote:

She'd labeled the mug: "Trader Vic's swizzles and mug" and had a price for the whole thing.




Which was? Just Curious... (As you might know, these are P.P. Trader Vic's mugs are what I especially collect...)
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Waikiki Tiki; Art, History, and Photographs.
Available now from
Bess Press Hawaii.

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Formikahini
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 1502
From: Houston, Texotica
Posted: 2014-08-03 3:23 pm   Permalink

Since I plan to sell this, I'll withhold saying outright (it was under $20), but it was enough that I'd not just gone ahead and grabbed it the first time.
Like, $.50 or a couple of dollars? I'da said, "What the Hell!" and scooped it up back when!
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