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Royal Order of Kalakaua I: Knight Grand Cross, Breast Star
Paris: Kretly, 1874. Magnificent breast star of the order, 90 x 90 mm., with original silver pins and clips to the back, with maltese cross in blue and white enamel on silver and metal wreath and star, lettered in gold on the enamel "Kalakaua February 12 1874"; small chip to the blue enamel in left hand portion of the cross, otherwise in fine condition. Rare Hawaiian Royal order. Rare and splendid Hawaiian order: the Grand Officer Star of the Royal Order of Kalakaua I. The Order was instituted by King Kalakaua on 28 September 1875 to commemorate his accession to the Hawaiian throne on 12 February 1874 (the date which appears on the order). The honour could be granted to either native Hawaiians or foreigners for service to the monarch and to the kingdom; at any one time there could only be twenty living members of the Order. It existed for just seventeen years, last being conferred by Queen Liliuokalani on 1 August 1892. During that period it was awarded to a total of 49 recipients, who received an annuity along with it. Gordon Medcalf ({i Hawaiian Royal Orders}, 1963) gives details of recipients of the Order. These medals were all made for the monarchy by Kretly in Paris. The Stars had no ribbons and were worn either suspended from a sash or pinned to the chest. In February 2013 an example of the lesser Companion Cross of the Order was listed on for $11,500. A breast star, apparently the same as the present one, was sold by the specialist London auctioneers Dix Noonan Webb for £2400 (27 July 1995, lot 171, est 1500-2000). Heritage Auctions Orlando Florida catalogued an apparently identical example online, though reporting offers refused in 2011 of $13,800 and $14,000.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2014-10-10           Check availability:      Biblio    

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