The fabulous Witco tiki bar goes to: Reader “Ghost of Elvis”

witco-tiki-bar-460GHOST OF ELVIS (aka Arne) recently scored the fantastic Witco tiki bar for sale on Ebay – and had it hauled all the way from the east coast to his Jungle Room in Albuquerque. I am so jealous!

GofE explains that, ” This tiki bar made its way from the thrift store outside Washington D.C. where the ebay seller first found it around the time that President Obama was inaugurated… to a consignment store in Virginia, and then through the magic of this blog, ebay, and craters and freighters the whole set ended up in my jungle room in a mid-century ranch home in New Mexico built in 1953….” Click through for more on the story, along with some Witco history… and 2 more great photos…

GofE aka Arne also adds is a little advice on repairing vintage Witco furniture and tikis when a piece chips off and bare wood is exposed. He says:

Witco decor is generally made out of red cedar with dark walnut stain.  In the original pictures that Chad sent in, you’ll notice that a piece is broken off the foot of the bar on the right side.  The original care and treatment instructions from Witco advise to darken such bare wood with dark walnut stain and then rub smooth.   That’s just what I did, and you’ll notice the bare wood area is gone when the bar appears in my pics.



Thanks, Ghost of Elvis! I really don’t know much about tiki, or about Witco…but I found out a bit online:

From 2 years ago:


My name is Burke Hovde (aka…The Witco Kid on I’m the son of Ron Hovde, one of the Witco Co-Founders and Artists with Bill Westenhaver. I grew up with Witco everywhere. Witco wallhangings and furniture are all over my parents house and our family’s cabin. Witco started out as Western International Trading Company and imported South Pacific home furnishing items like Capishell Lamps. They also were into carvings that eventually evolved into the rough cedar chain saw carved furniture and Tikis that most people know Witco for. The artwork and production plant was in Mt. Vernon, Washington and they eventually sold $15 million worth of Witco products throughout the world over a 10 year run in the 1970’s. Through my Ebay Storefront at “intertrader2005” you can purchase a book on “Fun and Profitable Chainsaw Carving” that Ron Hovde and Bill Westenhaver published under their company Westho (i.e. Westenhaver/Hovde) after Witco shut down. If I can answer any other questions please don’t hesitate to contact me at

Burke Hovde
Hovde International



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  1. St. Christopher says

    WOW, that is so over the top! And if you’ve visited my Rate My Space “Tiki Tiki Tiki” page, you know that comes from a very “less isn’t more, More is More!” place.

    It’s nice to see that folks are still snatching up the little (not so little!) treasures that make their hearts go pitter patter even “in this economy”. I myself am waiting on a Franciscan Starburst salad bowl to show up that I purchased off Ebay. All I need now is 3 (mint-or close to it) tea cups to have a perfect setting for 8 including the crescent shape salad plates.

    Congrats and enjoy!


  2. Femme1 says

    Oh, Chris. I’m green with envy on your Starburst. I have an incomplete set, and have (temporarily) given up collecting more since my husband was laid off last fall. I’m definitely a “maximalist” but living with less isn’t so bad, really.

  3. Elvis (aka) Jane says

    NICE score Ghost of Elvis! It looks to have pride of place in your living room. It would really spice up a rumpus room, too. Enjoy your Witco fun!

  4. Robert says


    OMG—shock. In the main pic, Elvis is in that American Indian drum thing. So when you bang you bang on his head. Oh my!

    Or is that not a drum? What is it? It has those things hanging from it.

    That looks American Indian to me versus Tiki


  5. St. Christopher says

    Robert, are you asking about the Elvis portrait in the main picture? I believe that is a native American dream catcher.

    Hmmmm…dreams OF Elvis…..or dreams Going Out TO Elvis? Or BOTH?!?!

    This all works so well together cuz Elvis had a Jungle Room!

    Femme1, including the big salad serving bowl, I have only got about $265 invested in my Starburst. I came across the main “gist” of my set at….wait for it…..wait….the Goodwill!!! $35 for 9 dinner plates, 8 bread plates, 8 saucers, 7 tea cups, 6 crescent salad plates, 1 gravy boat! I’ve since added a few pieces to replace the few chipped ones and got a salt and pepper set.

    I’m now looking for something like a china cabinet that will look good with my Conant Ball Russel Wright Table to display the set properly. I’m thinking about this:

    Any comments? Maybe painted white?

  6. Maggie says

    St. Chris, I think that cabinet in photo is waaaay to ’70s for your Franciscan. You need something more along the lines of a Hey-Wake piece to do it justice!

    I collect Franciscan’s 1940’s china line, “Metropolitan” and have been waiting for years for the right Hey-Wake or Danish Mod cabinet to showcase it.

    I also collect vintage 1940s-50s tropical rattan furniture (some recent pieces here) , but not the whole tiki shebang like above. Don’t really want to feel like I’m living in a Trader Vic’s. 🙂

  7. Ghost of Elvis says

    Yes, folks, that is a 100% genuine totally authentic Native American black velvet “Crying Elvis” mandala up there in the right corner above the bar with a tear flowing down his face and feathers on the sides. You can bang on it, wear it, practice important voodoo rituals with it, or just hang it on a post. And I’m sure it goes great with Fransiscan Starburst, Hey-Wake, tropical rattan, or whatever else you want to toss in. You’ll note in the background that the Witco stuff is mixed in with pieces by Arthur Umanoff for Raymor, and not pictured but in the same room is a George Nelson CSS wall unit. Less + More = Even More

  8. St. Christopher says

    I thought I spotted an Umanoff Barstool back there behind the bar! I bought my buddy a set of four Umanoff / Raymor barstools at an estate sale for his birthday. They are so cool. Three of them have armrests. I haven’t seen many with armrests.

    I need some animal print stuff for my bar.


  9. Anita says

    Tiki is so fun! Almost everything from 40s, 50s & 60s is so fun though which is why my house seems to have a different ‘theme’ from one of those eras for each room…. too hard to pick and stick with just one! Love the tiki bar, so jealous!

    • B.L. Jensen says

      I am trying to obtain information on the line of Witco furniture… I also have a lot of this I won’t part with but the last SELL that I am aware of came at the Las Vegas auction where Col Tom’s chair went up for sale… (i have 3) I believe it went for 15K..

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