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Tiki Central Forums Collecting Tiki vintage vs. reprodcution tiki mugs?
vintage vs. reprodcution tiki mugs?

Joined: Aug 21, 2002
Posts: 4
From: Madison, WI
Posted: 2002-08-21 10:03 am   Permalink

I'm very new to this hobby and I was wondering if anyone could give me some tips on how to identify if a mug is vintage or a reproduction. I notice that a lot of the Orchids of Hawaii designs are being used for new mugs today-- so I want to be cautious about what I buy. Any hints?



[ This Message was edited by: SetsofWaves on 2002-08-21 10:27 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 1230
From: 37? 47' N, 122? 26' W
Posted: 2002-08-21 11:21 am   Permalink

If it's an ebay listing all you need to do is bring it to everyone's attention here at Tiki Central. Someone should be able to tell you if it's vintage or really kinda looks vintage....but isn't.

For other items it is always a good idea to look for wear on the bottom, or crazing of the glaze. Those are two big signs of age. Tiki Farm is now making some "new" things for TV's. Bigbro has informed me that they are now making Sufferin Bastards, but I don't think I have seen one yet. They have been making the "Honi Honi" mugs for some time now. It's a low tumbler shaped vessel with an applique showing wild island frolicking of a somewhat risque nature. Nice mugs, they do good work.

Same for Mr. Bali Hai, another old mug being made once again. Those are easier to spot as the repro's though. The concern is a less than scrupulous seller passing the new versions off as vintage. Dirty pool I say, and not to be countenanced by Tiki Centralites!

Have fun collecting.

[ This Message was edited by: midnite_tiki on 2002-08-21 11:24 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2002
Posts: 754
From: SacTown
Posted: 2002-08-21 12:32 pm   Permalink

Another guideline that some collectors use is to look for mugs that have a restaurant or bar name on them. For the most part these are older mugs as most of the remaining tiki bars don't use mugs that have their name on them. Also, look for a gold foil OMC sticker or 'imported by Otagiri' printed on the bottom. These are older Otagiri mugs.

Check out the Tiki Gallery on my site to see hundreds of the mugs that are out there and you can email me with any questions you have about any mugs you come across.

Happy collecting!!
"But why is the rum gone?!" -Capn. Jack Sparrow

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 892
From: Huntington Beach
Posted: 2002-08-21 8:35 pm   Permalink


For Orchids of Hawaii mugs and bowls you want to look for those that are marked Orchids of Hawaii, Japan. These were the first editions made in the 50's and 60's during a time when Japan was producing the most inexpensive souveniers. As Japan's economy grew stronger the cheaper labor moved to China and then eventually Taiwan.

Best of luck headhunting!


Uncle Arty

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 27, 2002
Posts: 1504
From: Honolulu Lounge,Lewes, DE
Posted: 2002-08-22 3:18 pm   Permalink

I just unwrapped a skull mug that I bought on e-bay. When bidding I thought it was a Trader Vics original. On inspection, it looks brand new and doesn't say Trader Vics on it. Otherwise it looks just like the genuine article. Is someone making a reproduction of that mug? I didn't pay much, but still wanted the real deal.

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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2987
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2002-08-22 3:37 pm   Permalink

I have the same. It has the same great detail with the bone handle and everything but it's a bit lighter in color (the original was a beige color) and it doesn't say Trader Vic's on it. Not sure where it came from. My guess is it was used by TV sometime between 1949 and when they started using the more bulky and less scary design. The later design skull mug that I have is marked "Hawaii Kai" (New York).

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Joined: Sep 07, 2002
Posts: 3
From: Miami, Fl
Posted: 2002-09-07 08:54 am   Permalink

This would be my 1st post,
I have a question about unmarked tiki mugs.

would a westwood mug be unmarked?

never seen one up close but just ran into a mug that looks like a westwood but is not marked in any way.

"Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine."

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2720
From: Toronto,Canada
Posted: 2002-09-07 1:20 pm   Permalink

I have unmarked Westwoods - They just say 'JAPAN' on the bottom.
You could post a picture and I'm sure you'd have your answer very fast!

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