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Tiki Central Forums Collecting Tiki Orchids of Hawaii lamps (image heavy)
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Orchids of Hawaii lamps (image heavy)
tikijackalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 821
From: KS/MO
Posted: 2004-07-11 05:40 am   Permalink

I recently obtained some things I've wanted more than any mug and almost as much as any tiki; I bought some vintage lamps when the Aloha restaurant in Springfield MO went out of business. I believe they were all made by Orchids of Hawaii; if anyone sees a different manufacturer here, please let us know.
As with most of Aloha's decor, these came from previous restaurants operated in the Midwest by the owners or friends of theirs. I would love to find out how old they are; the owner said they date back to the 60's through early 70's. I had to have names for them while negotiating with the owner on the phone, so, lacking any catalog references (hint to those of you with such material) I gave them names based on various features. Unless otherwise noted, all lamps are built around a translucent fiberglass cylinder.

This dodecahedron lamp is my favorite; It looks like a diving bell built by a Polynesian Jules Verne.

Those starfish embedded with the bits of blue glass in the windows are probably Crown of Thorns Starfish since they each have twenty-three arms:

I've wanted one of this shape ever since I saw one at Omni Hut that has five-armed starfish in green windows.

I got three kinds of scallop/tapa lamps. The shells are fastened to a hardware cloth shape which is in turn attached to the core cylinder, sometimes with wood spacers. These things are heavy (about 25 lbs).
This is the only model of lamp I have that is not open on the bottom. It has a colored glass panel on the bottom that features a fish (sailfish?):



Scallop disc, 24" diameter:


Covered scallop sphere:


This covered penta fish lamp uses weathered shells with mother of pearl as the opaque parts and colored glass for the fish shapes:



Covered penta seahorse:


I call these hex lamps. They seem to have used the six-windowed design very often with different graphics in the windows, I've seen it at Omni Hut and pictures of it at several restaurants. This model has a face, a pineapple, two fruits, a fish, a seahorse and a palm tree in the various sides:


I have two variations of this one. In the version above, the images are made with bits of colored glass fastened behind clear areas in a blacked-out glass pane. In the version below, the images are formed with colored glass inlaid into cut-out areas in wood panels. I wonder if this represents an earlier generation of manufacture:


Here is the hex design with seahorses:


I got two variations of this covered bamboo cylinder. One has a fiberglass cylinder inside, painted to show a design through the bamboo outer part:


The other has no fiberglass cylinder inside and uses bits of colored glass for the light to shine through. I'm betting its the older variation of the design:


This eight-pointer is similar in design to one in Alnshely's Lagoon Room (
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=3003&forum=1&14 ) Mine lacks the tapa wrapped on the eight arms but contains bamboo cross sections that look nice side-lit:


This one suggests a cage or trap; its 22" tall:


This one appears to be made from a cross section of some sort of plant skeleton, possibly a saguaro cactus. Its the tallest one I bought (27"). Can anyone shed some light on what plant it is made from?



I'm pretty happy about all of this but I've got a lot of cleaning to do. All of the lamps are clean on the sides but some are pretty grungy on top. I *really* want to be careful with the tapa on the tops of the scallop lamps. I'd rather not replace it; does anyone have experience cleaning tapa?

I'd love it if others could add pics of their lamps to this thread. Perhaps we could get most of the types and variations mapped out. I know Orchids of Hawaii ceased business about ten years ago; but when did they start?______________________________________________



[ This Message was edited by: tikijackalope 2005-12-13 17:00 ]


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Tiki-Toa
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Joined: May 30, 2004
Posts: 1012
From: Somewhere on Planet Tiki
Posted: 2004-07-11 09:16 am   Permalink

Wow those are amazing lamps, you must have one of the coolest and well lit houses in your town!
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SilverLine
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Joined: Mar 02, 2004
Posts: 631
From: Kansas City
Posted: 2004-07-11 11:05 am   Permalink

WOW! That's an amazing collection to get all from one place!!

OK, I know I'm out of the loop on this, but when did the Aloha close?? We were hoping to visit there later this summer.
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Humuhumu
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Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3623
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2004-07-11 11:27 am   Permalink

Those are beautiful, I especially love this one:



You might try calling (or better yet, visiting!) Oceanic Arts... they've sold a ton of lamps over the years, but it's possible that they worked with so few places in the midwest that they may remember specific restaurants they *might* have come from. The keep records of a lot of that stuff.

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FLOUNDERart
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Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 1140
From: Orlando Florida
Posted: 2004-07-11 2:27 pm   Permalink

Your right Humuhumu that light is awesome. I also really like the scallop disc. Amazing find!
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tikijackalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 821
From: KS/MO
Posted: 2004-07-12 12:27 am   Permalink

SilverLine asked
Quote:
OK, I know I'm out of the loop on this, but when did the Aloha close?? We were hoping to visit there later this summer.


You're not that out of the loop. It just closed about a week ago with very little notice...not that there was much notice that they were open in the first place; they never advertised as far as I can tell. I posted it's demise just before I made the uh...lamp post.

Humuhumu suggested
Quote:
You might try calling (or better yet, visiting!) Oceanic Arts... they've sold a ton of lamps over the years, but it's possible that they worked with so few places in the midwest that they may remember specific restaurants they *might* have come from. The keep records of a lot of that stuff.


Thanks, Humuhumu; does anyone else have fantasies about a contest winner-style shopping spree in OA? Something like...hmm...everything you can carry out in an hour?
I called them right before I bought the lamps for some info, but I'll do so again now that I have pics.
Due to the efforts of many in this group, we know a lot about mugs, but an organized database or book on tiki decor is still lacking (though we eagerly await Sven's Witco book). I think I've asked before, but would anyone with an OoH catalog please either post it or contact me privately? I'm the poster child for anal-retentives who have to know what everything was called, when it was made, for how long, who ripped off whom, etc.
Btw, what sort of light fixtures did the Kahiki use?


 
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TNTiki
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Joined: May 15, 2004
Posts: 464
From: Knoxville, TN
Posted: 2004-07-12 01:08 am   Permalink



[ This Message was edited by: TNTiki on 2004-11-06 16:48 ]


 
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tikijackalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 821
From: KS/MO
Posted: 2004-07-20 12:19 am   Permalink

Just a tidbit to add to the research pool: Bob at Oceanic Arts tells me that Orchids of Hawaii bought lamps from Sea & Jungle and Benson.

 
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Velvet Ruby
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Joined: Nov 22, 2003
Posts: 117
From: Vancouver
Posted: 2004-07-20 01:42 am   Permalink

beautiful.
you're a lucky guy


 
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Selector Lopaka
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Joined: May 07, 2003
Posts: 204
From: Jet City
Posted: 2004-07-20 10:37 am   Permalink

Wow, what a score! Puamana and I found one of the multipaneled starfish ones at the Fremont Sunday Flea Market here in Seattle a few years ago, but have yet to hang it. Also, we were just in Boston last week, and ate at a restaurant, Pho Republique, who had a bunch of these lamps. The staff had no idea where they originated from. More than likely an auction. My cousin, who we were visiting, had to endure our "archeological" inspection of the restaurant. BTW, when in Boston do eat there. They serve very tasty and creative Vietnamese dishes with a French influence, have a cool bar, and have a beautiful all around interior design. While on the same trip, we also saw many of these lamps at the Bali Hai in Lynnfield, MA, which has been frozen in time for decades. Looking forward to some historical info as it arises.

http://www.phorepublique.net/ has photos, click "relaunch site"



[ This Message was edited by: Selector Lopaka on 2004-07-20 10:42 ]


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tikijackalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 821
From: KS/MO
Posted: 2005-12-03 02:33 am   Permalink

Because the Kahiki is now selling some Orchids of Hawaii lamps and TCer's who buy them may wonder about the original purchase prices, now is a good time to post some pics I was allowed to take of a 1991-92 Orchids of Hawaii wholesale catalog during a visit to Oceanic Arts in LA this past August.
This is the only Orchids catalog they could find; it is very late in that company's history - much later than the Kahiki lamps or the ones I bought from Aloha - but its the only Orchids documentation I've been able to find. Thanks to Bob at OA for the courtesy of allowing me a peek into the enticing OA archives.




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Tipsy McStagger
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Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3525
From: HELL
Posted: 2005-12-03 10:10 am   Permalink

their oriental style ones are awesome!! thanks for the pics...

 
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tikiskip
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 26, 2005
Posts: 2849
Posted: 2005-12-06 2:08 pm   Permalink

Wow, thank you for posting that. I got 4 of the BL24B / 2 of the BL40A / 1 of the BL36 / 1 of the BL37 And one of the BL6. And many others. I got 27 lights in all! Some are simple basket types, one huge float type light, 2 small float type lights. And some others. It's one of the few times it's good to live in columbus.

 
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sneakyjack
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 25, 2004
Posts: 1049
From: NYC Area
Posted: 2005-12-06 3:20 pm   Permalink

I've got 2 of them BL25a - with no hats. They seem to be poppin up around ebay and in various pictures, I guess they were more popular than I thought . Thanks for the info! KOOL stuff!
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tikijackalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 821
From: KS/MO
Posted: 2005-12-16 01:55 am   Permalink

I found some shots I took last year and forgot to post. This is the bottom of a shell sphere; the circular panel is hinged to allow for changing the bulb.

This is the interior, showing the frame structure and method of attachment for the scallops.

Size comparison shots of different types.


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