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Tiki Central Forums Collecting Tiki Skull Mugs and what to look out for..
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Skull Mugs and what to look out for..
bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11508
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2005-10-03 02:14 am   Permalink

There are also two unique ones worth mentioning:

The Tiki Tiki Japan skull mug (Tikifish posted it), and

The Trader Vic's/Polynesio Havana skull mug.

Never seen that design anywhere else. (It has no signature, but it's from there, they sent one to me as exchange for the BoT.)Sorry, have no pic.


 
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Hot Lava
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2003
Posts: 190
From: Saint Petersburg, FL
Posted: 2005-10-06 07:12 am   Permalink

I found something kind of interesting about the Trader Vic's Skull Mugs, but I'm not sure if it's just interesting to me, or an actual "whoa, we didn't know that" find.

A few weeks ago I went up to Minnesota to visit my girlfriend's mother. Her mom has relatives (now passed) who worked at the Red Wing Pottery company, which is nearby. I was thumbing though a book she had on the pottery, and came across this:



Right next to it on the page is a Trader Vic's Cocoanut Mug, so is there a Red Wing/TEPCO connection, or did they both produce them?

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[ This Message was edited by: Hot Lava 2005-10-06 07:13 ]


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Potato.
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Joined: Jun 09, 2010
Posts: 110
From: Lincoln, NE
Posted: 2011-12-10 1:24 pm   Permalink

I don't know whether this belongs here or in the Drinks section, but... what, other than the Black Stripe, are the skull mugs used for? I have two of 'em and I haven't the foggiest what's supposed to go in them.
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TropicDrinkBoy
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Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 277
Posted: 2011-12-12 6:01 pm   Permalink

Although I haven't ordered it I believe the Hot Buttered Rum is served in the skull mug.

 
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Teadoir
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Dec 04, 2013
Posts: 57
From: Oregon
Posted: 2015-10-17 10:37 pm   Permalink

Resurrecting this thread because I have a few questions.

One, I have two of the Tepco "Trader Vic's" skull mugs, but they only say Tepco, US, China, nothing about TRader Vics. Also, I have one that's white rather than the standard off white, with no marking what so ever. The detail is much crisper as well, as though it was a first generation mold, or it was not as heavily glazed. Any one know anything about these mugs?

Also, I have one of these, and as the title suggests, it's small. Today I just picked up two that look to be the same mug, same clay body, same glaze, but much larger, and I'm not finding them on Ooga Mooga.Any one have any ideas?


 
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MrBaliHai
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Joined: Jun 01, 2002
Posts: 842
From: Behind the Cheddar Curtain
Posted: 2015-10-18 05:52 am   Permalink




 
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uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 2105
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2015-10-18 3:27 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2015-10-17 22:37, Teadoir wrote:
Resurrecting this thread because I have a few questions.

One, I have two of the Tepco "Trader Vic's" skull mugs, but they only say Tepco, US, China, nothing about TRader Vics. Also, I have one that's white rather than the standard off white, with no marking what so ever. The detail is much crisper as well, as though it was a first generation mold, or it was not as heavily glazed. Any one know anything about these mugs?

Also, I have one of these, and as the title suggests, it's small. Today I just picked up two that look to be the same mug, same clay body, same glaze, but much larger, and I'm not finding them on Ooga Mooga.Any one have any ideas?


Any photos of the mugs you are asking about? It may help pin down some info.
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Teadoir
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Dec 04, 2013
Posts: 57
From: Oregon
Posted: 2015-10-18 4:38 pm   Permalink

One is very definitely white. The white one has no markings. I have another off white one I found earlier this week, and it's detail is not nearly so crisp. Looking at this second off white one I got the yesterday day, it's as crisp as the white one.And neither one says anything about Trader Vics






It occurred to me to look in Tiki Quest,and sure enough, as I though I remembered, it mentions the big one as well.





 
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uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 2105
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2015-10-20 05:50 am   Permalink

I believe that TEPCO produced the pointed chin mugs exclusively for Trader Vic's. The design was patented by Vic in 1939.


I imagine the initial run of mugs was fairly limited as Vic's locations were fewer in the early days. This may account for the crispness of the details in what could be considered the first generation of mugs. Here are a couple of photos of the mugs in the earlier restaurants seen up on the shelves behind the bar or in the gift shop area.





As the number of locations grew the number of skull mugs had to as well. Increased demand from gift shop sales, kitchen breakage and the occasional field collector meant higher production levels. As with many things higher production leads to lower quality. Molds wear out and hurried finishing makes for a mug with not much detail. Here is a page from the TEPCO catalog from 1966. Obviously the pointed chin skull mug was still in production at that date.



TEPCO closed its factory in 1968. I assume that shortly after this date is when Trader Vic's went to the cheaper version of the skull mug I believe was produced by OMC. The design was no longer exclusive and was supplied to many other restaurants including Hawaii Kai in NYC. I have the pointed chin mugs both marked and unmarked for Vic's. I have never seen that vesion marked for any other establishments so far. Hope this helps out a little with your question. I'm in no way an expert. I just enjoy the hobby and the above is just an opinion and I may be all wrong.


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[ This Message was edited by: uncle trav 2015-10-20 05:53 ]


 
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nui 'umi 'umi
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 21, 2011
Posts: 1906
From: La Mirada Atoll
Posted: 2015-10-20 9:26 pm   Permalink

This pic was taken 2 weeks ago at Polinesio in Havana. The barkeep knew nothing about em.




 
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uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 2105
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2015-10-21 03:24 am   Permalink

Interesting. The Bali Hai mug made a long trip south. It's from the Lynnfield MA location. There is a Vic's Fog Cutter mug. The skull mug in the lower right corner I have seen before but the upper one is a mystery. The Coffee Grog mug is a different mold than I have seen before. Very cool.
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nui 'umi 'umi
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 21, 2011
Posts: 1906
From: La Mirada Atoll
Posted: 2015-10-21 6:38 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2015-10-21 03:24, uncle trav wrote:
Interesting. The Bali Hai mug made a long trip south. It's from the Lynnfield MA location. There is a Vic's Fog Cutter mug. The skull mug in the lower right corner I have seen before but the upper one is a mystery. The Coffee Grog mug is a different mold than I have seen before. Very cool.



Uncle T, the bar mgr. Osvaldo said that the Bali Hai mug was a gift from a visitor from the USA. That was very nice of the gifter. Osvaldo has a lot of enthusiasm for all things tiki.
Cheers


 
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Teadoir
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Dec 04, 2013
Posts: 57
From: Oregon
Posted: 2015-10-21 9:22 pm   Permalink

Thanks for the info Uncle TRavis! It would be nice to find a time line on the pointy chins. When they were using the Trader Vics markings, when they just used the Tepco, etc. I'm also curious where the white ones fit in. Seems like the majority are the off white color, but I've seen some of the white ones on Ooga Mooga as well.

On the other part of my question... The drip glaze skulls. My understanding is that no one knows who made them? Over the last week, I've found several items, that while not tiki, were interesting to me because they seem to be not only the same glaze, but more unusaly, the same clay body. You don't usually see a red clay used in these sorts of ceramics, so it's got me thinking these we're all made by the same company.

Also, my small mug has a foil sticker that says "A Mark L exclusive". Any ideas on that one any one?









 
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