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Tiki Central Forums Collecting Tiki Don the Beachcomber, Marina Del Rey auction material
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Don the Beachcomber, Marina Del Rey auction material
tigertail
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 21, 2013
Posts: 76
Posted: 2013-07-23 10:34 am   Permalink

I feel like a cicada that has come up out of the ground after seventeen years, at least on the Tiki front! Here is the story. When Don the Beachcomber in Marina Del Rey went out of business my friend Chris Byk and got in my flat bed truck, filled our wallets with cash and headed out. I got a lot of stuff, including sixteen large custom made glass 'net floats', framed black white photos, ephemera and newspaper clippings. But the most outstanding acquisition was thirteen carved posts made (I believe) by Oceanic Arts. The pieces are 10' high,
14 1/2" wide and 3" thick out of solid mahogany. Each one is a unique design. Here are the photos...






















[ Edited by: Bora Boris - Fixed image links. - 2013-07-23 14:07 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11158
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2013-07-23 10:51 am   Permalink

Aaah, the legendary auction! Those are real beautes indeed, they look like O.A.'s/Leroy's work.

Of all the wonders of that auction, the original Leetegs from the Hollywood location, the carvings, the floats - do you know what happened to the celebrity-tagged chopsticks? Were they spread into the winds, or did one person get them all?

I am looking for just one set in its bamboo case with whatever star's name on it for a museum show on American Tiki culture I am curating next year. If you have one, or have any leads, I would be most appreciative.

Mahalo, Sven Kirsten


 
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tigertail
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 21, 2013
Posts: 76
Posted: 2013-07-23 12:22 pm   Permalink

I do not have any of the chopsticks, sadly. I do have some photos of private parties, with celebrities of the era hanging with Don. I will post those. Meanwhile, here are the rest of the large pieces.













[ Edited by: Bora Boris - Fixed image link. - 2013-07-23 14:05 ]


 
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Sunny&Rummy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2013
Posts: 497
From: Melbourne, FL
Posted: 2013-07-23 1:17 pm   Permalink

Amazing! Are those still in storage or do you have them on display somehow? Granted, 10-fot tall posts are not easy to display in most homes.
_________________
"If you keep on drinking rum, the world will soon be quit of a very dirty scoundrel."
Robert Louis Stevenson


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4310
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2013-07-23 1:41 pm   Permalink

Thanks for the posting the posts (pun intended!). Would love to see photos of other items you got in the auction.

DC


 
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TikiTacky
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2010
Posts: 1305
Posted: 2013-07-23 2:18 pm   Permalink

MOAR!

 
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tigertail
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 21, 2013
Posts: 76
Posted: 2013-07-23 3:44 pm   Permalink

At the time I bought these I was a sculptor living in a warehouse in Boyle Heights (east LA). I decided to build a room around them (plus a 11' tall Yali demon sculpture from southern India). I spent a lot of time making the coved blue ceiling, lit by fluorescents behind the Tikis. We had some amazing parties down there in the late eighties and early nineties!








 
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Hakalugi
Site Administrator

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 3055
From: Redondo Beach, CA
Posted: 2013-07-23 4:08 pm   Permalink

OMFG!

 
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Trad'r Bill
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 14, 2008
Posts: 484
From: Hercules, CA
Posted: 2013-07-23 5:38 pm   Permalink

Wow - I'm getting tingles looking at these!

 
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tigertail
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 21, 2013
Posts: 76
Posted: 2013-07-24 12:28 pm   Permalink

Thanks!! I wish I had been hooked into the Tiki community back then! We could have had some fun events. Oh well, never too late. Does anyone out there have images of the interior of the Marina Del Rey Beachcomber's? By any chance was anyone else present at the auction or took pictures of the auction items during the inspection? I didn't. No phone cameras back then.
Anyway, next big items were the glass floats, I think we got sixteen of seventeen of them. They originally hung in a cluster in the entryway, I believe....again any photos would be great to see! They hung from the ceiling of the room I posted the pictures of earlier, most are now hanging in a ficus tree in my yard, I will post a better picture, they look fantastic at night







 
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tikilongbeach
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Aug 05, 2011
Posts: 1335
From: Long Beach, CA via Dallas, TX
Posted: 2013-07-24 1:50 pm   Permalink

I love the glass float tree! I bet it looks more cool than the chandelier tree house in Silver Lake.
Thank you for posting your panels and other wonderful purchases from the auction.
_________________
-Lori


 
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tigertail
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 21, 2013
Posts: 76
Posted: 2013-07-24 3:21 pm   Permalink

By the way, I don't know how many Tiki Central members used to frequent Yee Mee Loo's bar in LA Chinatown, but that is the cashier's counter in the middle photograph. Some friends of mine bought the entire interior and we stored it at my place for about six months. A Glendale restauranteur and devotee bought it all. It was an incredible locale and should have been preserved. Replaced, of course, by a piece of crap mini-mall development.

 
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mike and marie
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2008
Posts: 127
Posted: 2013-07-24 4:40 pm   Permalink

Tigertail, we like cicadas ... especially those with cool workshops!

Are the large floats glass or acrylic? Looks like lights in a few of them, and some on the ground have openings on the top. We'd love to see some of the photos and ephemera you got. Last year we had a wonderful opportunity to interview someone who worked there when it was still Don's -- that was a long time ago, and it seems like the people who were there and remember are getting scarce.

Here's a thread on Yee Mee Loo's. No tiki per se, but certainly exotic -- and probably would have been a stop on JOHN-O's chop suey tour (I can see the t-shirts already!). Tigertail if you're interested in LA preservation, you should check out LA Mod Com. They've helped save a lot of places.

Welcome to Tiki Central!


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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11158
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2013-07-24 9:18 pm   Permalink

Tigertail, I think Kevin & Jody told me about you some years ago...you are/were in Eagle Rock?

I am looking forward to your images of Don with Hollywood celebs. One display in the show will concentrate on the PR value of stars utilized by Tiki restauranteurs.

In my over 20 years of Tiki research and collecting in Los Angeles, I have never come upon any sign of the Beachcomber chopsticks, it's a mystery what happened to them.

[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2013-07-25 07:45 ]


 
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tigertail
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 21, 2013
Posts: 76
Posted: 2013-07-25 09:57 am   Permalink

Thanks guys! The floats are glass, obviously custom made, blown into a mold. They vary in thickness from 3/8" to 5/8" even within individual pieces. Each has a 4" aperture at one end for the light fixture. Most are in their original netting, that is an issue because they will eventually rot outdoors, but what can you do? leave them in boxes? I had lights on dimmers installed in them last year. They are delicate, which is why I put them up in the tree double cabled them. Five have been broken over the years. painful. I will post good photos of them in the next couple of days.
meanwhile, the tall Tikis are getting some air. I have installed them in my carport for a party! Can't leave them out or they will be ruined, but they are good for a couple of weeks...







 
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