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Tiki Mug Reference Site?

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Has anyone attempted to set up a website to catalog tiki mugs? I think this would be a worthwhile effort and helpful to everyone who collects. Ideally, the site would feature pictures of different styles and information about where they originally appeared, who made them, who has reproduced them, identifying marks, glazes, etc. Perhaps even price ranges for older, rarer mugs.
Does anybody else think this would be worthwhile? If enough people would want to participate, I can host the site, but I will need help with pictures of rare mugs and information on their backgrounds.


It could also be a good resource to help people from getting ripped off by faux "vintage" mugs on Ebay.


I think it would be great if it could show examples of a particular style in both the vintage model and the reproductions available, and also give links to where the reproductions could be purchased currently. For people starting out, a pretty large collection can be accumulated for very little money by buying reproductions. And then they can add vintage models as they are able to afford them.


I had talked about doing this back in the Yahoo groups days, but i realized that my collection of tiki mugs was so small compared to some others (I have maybe 50 or so with many repeats) that I probably wasn't the best choice for an authoritative curator. However, I think a collaborative site might be an even more fun idea - everyone uploads photos of unusual mugs in a standard format (jpeg, x by x pixels, white background) with as much info as they know about them, and soon we could have quite a thorough catalog. Plus, it would give us a chance to show off our rare mugs to people who actually care, instead of our confused friends who aren't tikiphiles. You could have a standard submission form even, like streetmattress.com does. It seems to work well for them.

Anyone want to code that baby? Sadly, it's beyond my skill level. But then again so is drinking without spilling it on my shirt.


Yeah, it would be best if this were handled by somebody who is HTML-savvy. I can put a basic webpage up, but my site doesn't allow the cgi-gizmo stuff that would be needed for other people to post submissions or fill out forms online.

Tiki Mug dot com was supposed to be that, unfortunately traffic has dropped off over there. I do hope that beatle66 continues in his effort on a definitve website on the subject.

Swanky posted on Wed, Jun 5, 2002 6:50 AM

Well, the truth of the matter is that I bet someone is making a book of this as we speak. The Collector's Guide. It would be nice to have a web site. I have unlimited space at swankpad.org. And it would be easy to do. The big deal is getting the images I think. If I had a digital camera I'd start with our mugs tomorrow. (well, next week, after the Rockabilly Rebel Weekender). Submissions need be no more complicated than an email button with some questions forced in.

Send me your detailed images. I would suggest a black background though. Why? Well, cameras are designed to look at available light and make exposure decisions based on that. A darker mug with a lighter (white) background leads to a loss of detail in the mugs. Well, it should. I have not taken the pics yet to see. If properly lighted, yadda, yadda. Dark background, strong lighting. Scan at high ppi and send them. I'll crop and adjust.

Wait. Am I volunteering? Sure. If the emails come, I'll set it up. We have plans to document every piece in our collection this way already. Maybe after Hukilau the time will be there.

Black background, taken outside, in the shade. Strong ambient sunlight is best, but not direct sunlight.

Okay, that's the first thing to do. Make a submission instructions page with the best way to photograph this stuff......


Damn, I have already catalogued all mine on a white background! Let me know where to send a few sample pix, and then tell me if they meet submission requirements, ok?

I would also suggest you tell people to send only unusual ones our you may end up with 456 leilanis.

jtiki posted on Wed, Jun 5, 2002 9:22 AM

I traded some mugs with a photographer from Texas, who spoke as if he was planning just such a book.


Send your submissions as jpegs to [email protected], and put mugs in the subject line.

I think any submissions are good. And as the collection grows, people can simply see if theirs is already there and know not to submit.

White backgrounds are fine, if the mug detail shows up. My thoughts are just that the average camera is going to over expose the mug on white backgrounds. If you have a digital camera and it's easy to do, try it on black and on white and see if the balck doesn't turn out better.

I suppose they will begin to fall into catgories and group themselves. An index page with thumbnails will make it fairly easy to see at a glance if your mug is absent or present from the archive as time goes by.

Front, back and bottom shots would be best. The histories will come over time. Assigning value is pointless, since that changes over time, but maybe a rarity scale would be good. A circa date and rarity would help.

Maybe a button on each mug page so people could click and a counter gets incremented to show how many people own the mug. That would give some relative idea of rarity.

mig posted on Wed, Jun 5, 2002 7:57 PM

There was discussion on the prehistoric board (Yahoo) that Otto from the Tiki News has been working on a book of mugs. Don't know the status of it.

Swanky posted on Thu, Jun 6, 2002 8:06 AM

I got an email last night that I bet reflects a lot of you guys "collection." Ebay pics. I am sure all of us have a horde of pics of stuff off Ebay we admired but didn't buy.

This might be a great, easy way to start.

Mig said, "There was discussion on the prehistoric board (Yahoo) that Otto from the Tiki News has been working on a book of mugs. Don't know the status of it."

Yes, I remember that. He was supposedly working with House Industries to publish it. It would be great to have such a guide however, I couldn't see how a such a guid would ever be "complete." Everytime I think I've seen them all, some weird rare tiki pops up that I've never seen before! In this case, a webpage would serve better. These kinds of obscurities which pop-up every once in a while could be documented and the webpage would always be current. I gather however, that this page would require A LOT of work! Consider how many manufacturers, types, restaurants and variations there are and well, you get the picture... (no pun intended).

Swanky posted on Thu, Jun 6, 2002 9:47 AM

Yes, maybe.

I am lucky enough to know some talented webmasters who work for large corporations by day. I would hope they could make this thing easy for us.

Upload the picture, add a description and put it in the right folder. All dynamic stuff.

I also have a Windows and UNIX web server, so whatever language they want to do it in, I can handle it.

But if you wanted to get really tough with it, we could have registered users who could pick out their mugs in the library and when you went to their profile, it would show all the mugs they own, and maybe the mugs they have for trade and mugs they are looking to buy/trade for... Now that would get a little tricky.

Pages: 1 13 replies