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Ladies and Gentlemen...an archeological coup.

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Turn in your Books Of Tiki to page 24...the Imperial Luau photo, Pompano Beach, Florida. Have you ever gawked in wonder at these spiring tikis? Well, ladies and gentlemen, available for viewing at the Fabulous Kon Tiki Paradise Room....here one IS! Located this on an "Oh, my gawd" phone tip from a good friend, sitting in a Carolina antique store, on consignment from an elderly gentleman who used to maintain a residence in Pompano Beach.

[ Edited by: Basement Kahuna 2008-01-22 19:04 ]

The height without the top and bottom spires (which screwed in via a single hole at the top) is 7 feet, 6 inches. The tiki has a round hollow at the back where it went around the steel building supports and was pegged to a twin to totally hide the supports! P.S. the other piece is a real Paupua, New Guinea Sepik River area spirit board gathered in the 60's by an Australian oil researcher...placed in front of huts so the bad spirits will presume them occupied and move on.

I just noticed that Talkie had posted about this before I opened my big mouth...I wasn't trying to be rude and apologize if this was perceived in such a manner. Mahalo! KAHUNA

So... you got this for THIRTY ONE DOLLARS? Or am I misunderstanding something?

Fraid not......Got it for significant shells. Not cheap, but oh, so worth it. I don't know how the "31.00" figure came up.

[ Edited by: Basement Kahuna on 2003-01-06 21:52 ]

Ah. That makes much more sense. It's great at that price, too. Fantastic find, it's really beautiful.

Well blow me down! What a find! Another artifact saved from that mysterious elephant graveyard of Tikis! I was looking at that postcard just a few days ago and wondering what ever happend to those wild carvings.
The Book Of Tiki, the milk carton of lost Tikis!
And how strange the travels of Tiki, from Pompano Beach to Carolina...

Talkie should not feel SO bad now that it actually had a just price tag on it...and it stayed "in the family".

The lesson here is: When happening upon a Tiki artifact that is desirable...do not hesitate, get it, there might be no second chance. Happened to me a lot.
That's why I just spent some money that I should have saved on a weird drum in Palm Springs because I knew I would have regretted not getting it there and then.

Um.....where exactly IS this antiques store in Carolina? Thanks, Grey

Thanks, Sir Kirsten.....I nearly pried the ears off of the nice couple who ran the antique place to see if they knew the whereabouts of the three Marquesan looking smaller tikis on the bar. No luck. But one ain't bad. I'd love to know who the carver was....as elaborate and accurate a "Ku" as it is I am guessing it was an Oceanic Arts job but maybe you (Yoda) have a theory of your own.

On 2002-11-16 09:17, Basement Kahuna wrote:
I'd love to know who the carver was....as elaborate and accurate a "Ku" as it is I am guessing it was an Oceanic Arts job but maybe you (Yoda) have a theory of your own.

No, I am at a loss there myself, and very fascinated by who did it. There is nothing in all of Oceanic Arts' oeuvre that resembles this style, I have not seen anything like it in American Tiki carving, so I do think in this case they were actually made where the postcard states (full text):

HARRIS IMPERIAL "World's Wondrous Dining Palace"
ATA on the Ocean
Pompano Beach, Florida Phone; Whitehall 1-2231

KON-TIKI BAR in the IMPERIAL LOUNGE, Harris' Imperial restaurant....features bar idols imported from Tahiti and extensive wall treatment of imported Cuban stone. Intimate and unique...gathering place of the local and visiting socialites as well as celebrities for the "Imperial Luau" cocktail hour from 4 to 6.
Inspired by....Sam Harris

Color photography by Rey Scott, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

my gawd, that is FANTASTIC!!
Congratulations on an unbelievably excellent score!

hey at least it ha s a good home see my latest post on almost got em for more info on the tiki

$31. was how much I was short

A tip of the beachcomber straw hat on such an excellent find! Seeeing this and Gecko's Beachcomber boat plaque makes me think there are still many wonderful tiki objects just waiting for discovering. Very motivating...

[ Edited by: Kailuageoff on 2003-01-15 07:47 ]

[ Edited by: Kailuageoff on 2003-01-15 07:48 ]

I'm staring at it right now on a double Test Pilot. I'm having....well....sexual thoughts.... :)

Update: Me and a friend have procured the two other Imperial Luau tikis that went to Atlanta today. They cost us quite a bit, the guy that had them had quite a markup on them over the original price, and that is why I had to settle for just one and split the deal up with my friend. I am keeping mine; that will give me the mate to the one I bought at the source in North Carolina. I believe my buddy is going to sell his, in which case it will be listed on E-bay and (I hope) sold to a fellow tiki preservationist. We compared the photo in the BOT and the tiki he has is the one facing the camera in the background behind mine. You can tell by the different chisel marks and the single "V" shaped cheek detail. I'll keep TC posted on the status and let everyone know if he sells this. These are just incredible pieces!

Collosahuna has a mate! Here's the one I took from the Atlanta deal yesterday.. notice the two little spiral juts at the very top are damaged..the other one I let my buddy take has one damaged and one not and maybe a hint better...but all that's minor anyway. I'm a happy camper to have a pair

I thought that they would be really cool on either side of a door

Yeah, but what's wierd about the room our bar's in is that there aren't any doors that have both sides wide enough. Maybe when I launch my big commercial joint down the road?

You Bastard! :)

I'm glad they at least made it to one of us. This way, we know for sure that they will be coveted and appreciated and not end up as a huge pile of mulch.

WOW!! Georgia is getting even cooler and tiki-er in my absence. D*mn my poor timing at moving before those guys came to live in the North Georgia mountains in Basement Kahuna's Love Shack (headed down the Atlanta Highway, you know)!
Somehow, it makes it much better that they're there, instead of in some Southern Californian tiki bar, NOTHING against So Cal. I just love how incongrous it sounds to say, "a pair of giant matching tikis residing in the North Georgia mountains"!! Besides, Georgia neeeeds some more tiki love, Atlanta Trader Vic's notwithstanding.

Just "fixed" the photos. Actually I couldn't find the original photo so I replaced it with a second. I eventually ended up tracking down two of these tikis and they graced the resplendant Kon Tiki Paradise Room for two years. In the unfortunate demise of the Kon Tiki Paradise room in the wake of divorce, they passed into the loving hands of Kailuageoff an Duke Carter where they now are under full-time TLC. Ahh...Deja Vu.

I know, those were the days...that postcard was/is among my five favorite images in American Tikidom, and to find the actual Tikis in that photo was like...wow!...it made it seem that ANYTHING was possible in Tiki archeology! ...and it still is, dammit!

i'm suprised to see that duke carter hasn't chimed in...he's had one of those tikis for some time now... It was very cool to see it up close...how many are left unaccounted for ??

I say there's still tons out there in estates and in re-use yet to be unearthed. Tipsy, apparently two of the tikis escaped to a private home in California to a non-tiki saavy individual. But the architectual salvage guy I bought the first one from forgot the name and town. So somewhere in Cali there are two more (front and back) of the Imperial Luau tikis yet to be recovered.

2002 was an amazing year. First Hukilau as well!


Thought I'd copy over to this thread the pictures of one of the tikis (well, two halves) that resides at Geoff's home. These pics were taken before he bamboo'ed the walls. I loved how he had to cut into the ceiling beam in order to fit the tiki in. Hope the house is still standing! I'm glad I got to have a few drinks at his Witco bar a couple years ago and stare at that tiki. Haven't heard from Geoff in quite a while...

Here's another view of the tikis where they originally sat/slightly different angle from the BOT image:

The Cockeyed Mayor Of CarvaKaKai.

[ Edited by: Basement Kahuna 2008-01-23 07:04 ]

I might be lurking around Lauderdale in mid June... I'll be looking for Flounder. He owes me money.


WOW, sadly I hate to report Sam Harris, a good friend of my dads passed away some years ago. This post brings back memories, went to the "Imperial House" many times as a kid. I still live very close by, but alas the building was leveled and dirt is all that's left.

..imagine all that those tikis have seen and overheard in that place....

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