Order of Chrysanthemum (and other awards) of King of the Hawaiian Islands Kalākaua

Kalākaua (David Laʻamea Kamanakapuʻu Māhinulani Nālaʻiaʻehuokalani Lumialani Kalākaua; November 16, 1836 – January 20, 1891), sometimes called The Merrie Monarch, was the last king and penultimate monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi, reigning from February 12, 1874, until his death in 1891.​

Impressive collection of breast stars.

He received his Chrysanthemum on March 14, 1881 during his visit to Japan and became the thirteenth foreign cavalier of this order.

Excerpt of a letter that’s currently in the U.S. National Archives collection in a folder labeled “Elisa Allen.” In 1881, Allen was the Kingdom of Hawaii’s representative in Washington D.C.

“March 16, 1881. This day the Emperor invested me with the Grand Cross of the Order of Chrysanthemum and lunched with him. The table set was all of gold plates, knives, forks, spoons, 2 vases and center fountain pieces. The Emperor proposed my health, all standing. The Band playing the National Anthem of Hawaii. A grand affair. After lunch the Emperor and Empress presented me and Queen with rich vases and silks. After which I took leave of the Imperial family. The 15th he came to bid farewell and I invested him with the Grand Cross and Cordon of the Order of Kamehameha.”

Excerpt from the article by Masaji Marumoto, "Vignette of Early Hawaii-Japan Relations: Highlights of King Kalakaua's Sojourn in Japan on His Trip around the World as Recorded in His Personal Diary", Hawaiian Journal of History 10 (1976), 63.

Let's take a look at collection of ʻIolani Palace (Hawaiian: Hale Aliʻi ʻIolani). Iolani Palace was the royal residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi beginning with Kamehameha III under the Kamehameha Dynasty (1845) and ending with Queen Liliʻuokalani (1893) under the Kalākaua Dynasty, founded by her brother, King David Kalākaua. It is located in the capitol district of downtown Honolulu in the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi. It is now a National Historic Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places. After the monarchy was overthrown in 1893, the building was used as the capitol building for the Provisional Government, Republic, Territory, and State of Hawaiʻi until 1969. The palace was restored and opened to the public as a museum in 1978.​

Iolani Palace.jpg
Unfortunately the full-size Chrysanthemum Order is absent.


Exceptional set of minitures.


Simply exceptional.

Very interesting award.


In August 1881 during his worldwide journey, King Kalakaua visited Vienna, Paris, Madrid, Lisbon, and London. Near the end of his time in Europe, while in Paris, His Majesty had this special medal created for 8 individuals. In the center is a rotating globe with a map of the world.


Seven of the medals ordered were given to the men who traveled with him in 1874 or 1881 - Messrs. Dominis, Kapena, Armstrong, Judd, Macfarlane, Hoffnung and Von Oehlhaffen - and Kalakaua kept one for himself (the very same medal that is pictured above).
Royal Order of Kapiolani encrusted with rubies.

Royal Order of Kapiolani encrusted with rubies.jpg
Royal Order of Kamehameha I encrusted with diamonds.

Royal Order of Kamehameha I.jpg
Foreign awards in the museum collection

Some of the others awards from the museum collection.jpg

Japanese orders of Rising Sun in the museum collection

Miniatures of William Henry Cornwell

Order of St. Michael and St. George.

Order of St Michael and St  George.jpg

Order of  St Michael and St George.jpg

Order of St  Michael and St George.jpg

Order  of St Michael and St George.jpg

Order of the Crown of Thailand.jpg

Order of Saint Alexander Nevsky with Diamonds.jpg
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    kalākaua king of the hawaiian islands miniatures royal order of kamehameha i with diamonds royal order of kapiolani with rubies supreme order of the chrysanthemum
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