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I have been promising you a better look at this groovy snail for a few weeks now. This little guy is carved from beautifully grained wood. He has orange felt eyes, metal antennae, and is absolutely adorable. I rescued him from a thrift store where, according to his tag, he’d been languishing on a shelf for five days. I rescued him, of course!
This snail is likely a Witco creation. During a time when the sleek designs of Mid-Century Modern furniture were the norm, Witco enthralled the country by creating carved wooden furniture and decor to appeal to stylish and tropical interior design sensibilities. The company helped to define the Tiki interiors style we know today.
The Western International Trading Co. or Witco initially began as an importer of South Pacific art in 1958. During the era that Hawaii became a state, tropical interiors were all the rage. To further capitalize on the fashionable style, Witco soon began to produce carved furniture and decor. The artists formed the roughly carved furniture and Tikis from cedar wood using chain saws. They launched their furniture and decor line at an event in Los Angeles and it became wildly popular. Even Elvis himself was a fan of Witco and he decorated Graceland’s now-famous Jungle Room with the company’s home goods.
Today’s design culture has generally relegated Tiki style to the realm of groovy bars – but to say that Tiki collecting is alive and well is a vast understatement. Witco pieces are very desirable and can command some pretty big prices. If you want to shop some Witco pieces, I’d suggest searching on eBay and Etsy. I’ve also gathered a few pieces for you to check out here on the blog. Click on an image to find an item’s home on the web!
What do you think about my vintage Witco snail? Do you decorate with Tiki or Witco pieces? Please tell me about it in the comment section below!
Until next time, I am going to leave you with a video of Elvis singing one of my favorite songs, live from Hawaii. Enjoy!
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