Mid 20th Century Ceramic Tiki Mugs, Hawaiian Themes

24 Nov








Tiki mugs are tall ceramic mugs that had their origin in mid-century American tiki bars and tropical themed restaurants, believed to have been pioneered by Don the Beachcomber which was one of the first Hawaiian/ Polynesian inspired tropical restaurants in the US, started by Donn Beach in California during the 1950’s.

Fruit laden cocktails were served in these ceramic drinking vessels that were known as Tiki mugs.

The term ‘Tiki’ describes any item that has a tropical, surf, Polynesian, Melanesian or similar imagery on them.  I have had ones with Hawaiin Gods, Wahini’s, Surfers, Faces with Fu Manchu mustaches, Hula Girls and various others.  Some are made by Orchids of Hawaii which started production in the early 1960’s and continued until 1991 when they went out f business and sold their molds to Dynasty Wholesale.  Most of the tiki mugs were manufactured in Japan and later in Taiwan or China.  The ones made in Japan are the most desirable and the earliest. Most of the Orchids of Hawaii mugs have catalogue numbers on the bottom.

The Mai-Kai mug in the above photo is from a restaurant in Fort Lauderdale Florida that opened in Dec 1956 and is still in operation today.  It is the last restaurant/bar in existence to serve the original drink recipes of Don The Beachcomer’s.

These mugs are for sale in my booth at the Almonte Antique Market, 26 Mill St, Almonte ON, just 30 minutes west of Ottawa.

The market is home to over 50 different vendors and is open 7 days a week, 10am to 5pm all year round.

The mugs are priced at between $8 and $12 each depending on rarity.


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