Do you own a fancy dive bar or restaurant, or do you run a business hosting hen parties? Here’s your chance to make things a lot funkier.
One of the oldest providers of all things Tiki, kitsch (and certainly problematic) America’s cultural view of the cultures of the South Pacific, Polynesia, and Oceania is shutting down forever and auctioning off its wares. The sale takes place on April 23 and 24.
Among the items for sale are carved figurines, poles, lamps, island-appropriate clothing, rum-ready cups and vintage textiles, photographs and paintings.
The sale takes place as Oceanic Arts, a California company that calls itself the ‘wworld leader in tropical and Polynesian decoration”, is closing its doors after 66 years of activity. Its owners, LeRoy Schmaltz and Bob Van Oostig retire and entrust their collection to Peekaboo Gallery, a new auction house for themed artifacts and memorabilia.
Some of the objects offered for sale are authentic, insofar as they come from island countries. But there are also Disney props and mugs galore, and rental service props for decorators, photographers and set designers, all steeped in the Tiki style made popular in the 1950s and 1960s as an American. soldiers returned from Japan and Korea with stories and memories of the South Pacific.
The wares aren’t particularly valuable, with the majority of items valued at less than a few hundred dollars. You can, for example, get a Marquesan warrior sculpture for around $400 or a Maori-style table lamp for $300. Open your wallet a little more and you can go home with an outrigger canoe for a few thousand dollars.
Also available is Oceanian Arts: The Godfathers of the Tikia table book on the business history of the Tiki culture.
The auction is scheduled to take place at Oceanic Arts’ warehouse in Whittier, California. Getting in can be a challenge – tickets for the event are already apparently sold out – but some have been set aside for sale on the day. Online offers will also be accepted.
The popularity of the sale makes sense: this is, according to Peekaboo, “without doubt the largest intact vintage Tiki collection ever to hit the market and, frankly, it most likely will be”. So there is this.
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