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Tiki Central Forums Collecting Tiki Vintage Mai Kai DonQ rum decanter, a closer look.
Vintage Mai Kai DonQ rum decanter, a closer look.
uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1707
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2014-01-31 08:30 am   Permalink

The original Mai kai decanter has always been on my holy grail list. I have never found one in the wild even after years of looking. That changed last night. I received as a birthday gift the long sought after decanter from my sister. She and my brother-in-law are king and queen of Michigan junk. A few weeks ago they found two, yes two vintage Mai Kai decanters sitting side by side on a shelf at the thrift store ! Total price for both was six bucks. Needless to say I was blown away. As I have never seen a vintage decanter in the flesh I was surprised at how small it really is. Measures about nine inches high. Missing the DonQ rum label but still displays great.




The decanter has a nice hefty weight for it's size. Made by the Caribe China Co. In Puerto Rico sometime in 1963 or a bit later. The factory operated from the 1950's until it closed in 1977. This is a great molded piece with a two color bisque glaze of gold tones with a weathered wash over that. Looks and feels every bit the ancient idol from some distant island. Here is the patent application drawing for the decanter from 1963.


Originally filled with DonQ Eldorado Rum. The one hundred and forty eight year old distillery is still in business today.


Here is a close up of the bottom of the decanter with some slag still on it from when it was made.


The wood grain molded into the piece is fantastic.




The decanter is a good representation of Tangaroa a god of the Cook Islands. Tangaroa was known as the god of the seas. Here is an image of Tangaroa from the British Museum. The Mai Kai design is missing one key element of the original.


Just a great classic vintage piece that I am proud to have in my collection. I am not sure if these were sold at the gift shop in the Mai Kai or if it was a marketing idea for liquor stores. I believe these pieces are still very hard to come by. I know there are many vintage Mai Kai decanters spread throughout TC. I thought I'd post the photos of mine for anyone who was interested in taking a closer look. Thanks.
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 4965
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2014-01-31 08:57 am   Permalink

Another great Al Kocab design. Besides all the illustration work he did for the Mai-Kai, he also designed all the table lamp bases and shades, the furniture and many of the lights hanging there. I have finally found a picture of him in my research.

Any idea wha the 2 reference patents are on the lower left?
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Mai-Kai Memories Series Custom ceramic mugs!


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uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1707
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2014-01-31 09:01 am   Permalink

Swanky, I am not sure what the other two patents are. I am trying to look them up. It would be great to find some more info.

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"Anyone who has ever seen them is thereafter haunted as if by a feverish dream" Karl Woermann

[ This Message was edited by: uncle trav 2014-01-31 09:01 ]


 
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uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1707
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2014-01-31 2:07 pm   Permalink

The reference patents listed on the lower left hand corner of the Mai Kai patent that Swanky mentioned are here.


The first listed is for a patent simply called "bottle" applied for by George Dan Taran of Hawaii Territory in 1959. No size is mentioned so it could be a liquor bottle or a little aftershave bottle. Why it is referenced to the Mai Kai patent is a mystery.


The second is for a patent for what we know as the "Suffering Bastard" decanter. Associated with Trader Vic's. The patent was applied for by Thomas Merrill in 1960. This patent has been discussed many times on many threads on TC. Nowhere on the patent is Trader Vic mentioned. Again it's a mystery why this is linked to the other patents.

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uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1707
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2014-01-31 2:24 pm   Permalink

OK, mystery solved. The references to other patents refer to other bottles or containers. They must have been group that way for ease of finding the patents when searching thousands of them in the pre computer days. Now back to the Mai Kai decanter
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SandraDee
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 11, 2011
Posts: 900
Posted: 2014-01-31 2:45 pm   Permalink

well that's just rad

Congrats on having such a rad sister hook you up with such a rad present!

Happy Birthday!


 
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ErkNoLikeFire
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 07, 2010
Posts: 429
From: Michigan
Posted: 2014-02-01 09:21 am   Permalink

WOW!! Nice find.

 
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hang10tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2010
Posts: 3377
From: Las Vegas
Posted: 2014-02-01 1:20 pm   Permalink

Killer

 
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bongofury
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Oct 15, 2002
Posts: 1529
From: Ventura County
Posted: 2014-02-02 07:59 am   Permalink

Nice find. I saw one on Ebay recently that came with a box. Maybe someone with search skills can find that closed auction.

 
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Rum Journey
Member

Joined: Nov 16, 2013
Posts: 3
Posted: 2014-02-12 2:38 pm   Permalink

Love the patent information. Been hunting for this one and the Suffering Bastard Decanter for a while.

 
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