THE HONOLULU CABINET queen liliuokalani vtg hawaiian hula girl music Kawananakoa
THE HONOLULU CABINET queen liliuokalani vtg hawaiian hula girl music Kawananakoa:
Mrs. Barbara Cox Anthony
Queen Liliuokalani's Music Cabinet
From the estate of Barbara Cox Anthony (1922-2007) byway ofLa Pietra partner,Lorraine Day Cooke (1919-1977), Anna Rice Cooke (1853-1934),Queen Liliuokalani (1838-1917) and Queen Victoria (1819-1901). A list that includesthe wealthiest and most powerful women in all of recorded history.
PROVENANCE:This cabinet was discoveredon the most isolated speck of land on Earth. And its discovery coincides with the death of Mrs. Barbara Cox Anthony. It was dropped offat the thrift store nearest to her home in December of 2006. In December of 2006 Anthony was gravely ill. She suffered a lengthy illness and passed away five months later.Other items donated with this cabinet included two lithographs that were part of a set valued at $40,000.00, an 8ft long, mid-century modern bedroom dresser valued at $10,000.00 (Anthony's home was mid-century modern), a Bar Back and other interior decorations.While rearranging her home for hospice care,it appears that her caregivers unwittinglydiscarded the most-prized possession of the last reigning monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii. A gift fromQueen Victoria. Hawaii's 'Resolute Desk'.
Authorities tell us this cabinet is not listed in the 1920s monarchy sale records. They believe Liliuokalani entrusted it to someone: she gave the cabinet to someone she trusted. Who?!
One Degree of Separation
Aloha 'Oe's "na pua rose"is synonymous with"the children of Hawaii". On the cabinet's face we see the crowned bird(the queen)delighting to the beauty of the Maunawili rose blossom(the children of Hawaii) and in 1917 Liliuokalani gifted her entire estate to "thechildren of Hawaii".At this same time, Liliuokalani's neighbor, Anna Rice Cooke, was focused on opening a museumvery specificallyfor "thechildren of Hawaii".Liliuokalani and Anna were like-minded.Working backward from Mrs. Barbara Cox Anthony,and with just one degree of separation, it would appear that Liliuokalani entrusted her music cabinet to Anna Rice Cooke, the founder of The Honolulu Academy of the Arts.
The lives of Barbara and Liliuokalani were separated by a century but a constant in both of their lives were the Dillinghams, the Cookes, Central Union Church and Punahou Schools (President Barack Obama's alma mater). Those with a better grasp of Hawaiian history might see a clearer path leading back to Liliuokalani. i.e. the Dillinghams?
La Pietra, The Pacific Club, Punahou Schools, Mrs. Anthony, the Dillinghams and the Cookes all privately held/hold curated museum collections.Hawaii's termites, tropical climate & salt air quickly destroy wood & metal. This cabinet is in 'museum condition'. The wood still retains its original 120yr old finish and the metal has no corrosion. For the better part of the last century this cabinet has been under strict curatorial care: protected from children, salt air and sunlight.
The half-Scottish PrincessKaiulani (The Peacock Princess and Hawaii's Last Hope), was to ascend the throne of Iolani Palace as "Queen Victoria". A power-move that would give England control over the islands. Kaiulani died.Queen Victoria's gift-of-choice to foreign leaders was *Diplomatic Furniture i.e. The Resolute Desk.Windsor Castle confirms that in May of 1899,about 60 days after the death of the 23yr old peacock princess,Victoria noted in her gift ledger a payment to a furniture dealer who custom-ordered furniture from William Cowie, the Scotsman who designed and built this cabinet.Our 3rd photo above is a copy of William Cowie's originalHENRY IVsketch as provided by the Government of Great Britain.
The summation of Aloha Oe is displayed on the cabinet's face. TheSHEon the cabinet's backboardvery specificallyrefers to a musically-gifted female monarch from a tiny island kingdom. Like Liliuokalani, SHE (the musical island monarch)was robbed of her throne and imprisoned in the tower of a royal palace (Princess Catrin Glyndŵr. The Tower of London as in Henry the VIII and Anne Boleyn).
*Queen Victoria's 'diplomatic furniture' was often custom designed for the recipient. Liliuokalani'sHawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queenwas published in 1898, one year before this cabinet was crafted (plenty of time for Queen Victoria to have read it). In the book she champions Shakespeare and tells a humorous story about her island adventures as the conductor of a traveling show choir. ~ And, more than a decade earlier, in 1887, the then 'Princess' Liliuokalani attended a dinner party at Buckingham Palace where she was seated next to Queen Victoria. We believe she shared this same lighthearted traveling choir conducting story with Victoria at that party. ~ With carry-handles on the sides (but almost certainly crafted for purely ornamental use) what we have here is a traveling choir conductor's podium. It has a Shakespeareanquote that references a musically gifted female monarch who was robbed of her throne. She lived on anisland and was imprisoned in the tower of a royal palace. It doesn't get much more 'custom designed' than that!
ANOTHER PATH: The House of Kawananakoa
As stated above, we found this cabinetat a Diamond Headthrift storein December of 2006along with several other interior decorations valued in the many tens of thousands of dollars. Just two weeks later, the House of Kawananakoa/Campbells (mostly-mainlanders) divided up the family's multi-billion-dollarHonolulu estate and went their separateways.~Maybe this cabinet never left the Royal Family?! ~ Did Liliuokalani's music cabinet go to her godchild, Mary Beatrice Umiula-I-Kaahumanu Campbell? The relationship between Liliuokalani and the 22yr old Mary Beatrice can be described as warm & loving. Mary passed away in 1987 but her Will stipulated that her estate couldn't be divided upuntil January of 2007. The kids had to wait twenty long years for those billions! As with most families, it's common practice forbeneficiaries to grab the cash and dump things like the furniture (take the money and run).Could it be that simple?!
FEBRUARY 2022 UPDATE
Whenthe offeren administration ends (in 3 or 7yrs) it will be time to dismantle Liliuokalani's music cabinetand sell the pieces here, on . After working on getting this placed for more than two decades, and still being mocked by Hawaiian officials, it's an end-of-life, 'putting our house in order'decision.In Februaryof 2022 the federal government reaffirmedtheir commitment to purchase this artifact for $21 million for placement into one of Hawaii's institutions.And Congress reconfirmsthattheirefforts are still beingthwarted byofficials in Hawaii who continue to refuse the gift. They tell ustheirhands are tied because "Iolani Palace can'tauthenticatethe piece". Back in 2006, when we first contacted Iolani Palace, they told us "If it's not in a photo, we don't want it. Full stop". That was the level of curatorialskill back then.All of those people are now gone.Here we are, 16 years later, and Iolani Palace is still telling the feds "We can't authenticatethe piece", but maybe they mean, "We don't have the skill to authenticate the piece"? If so, why haven't officials in Hawaii reached out to those who do?
This cabinet was crafted in 1899 which means it doesn't belong at Iolani Palace. Why is Iolani Palace calling the shots?Iolani Palace currently doesn't even have a curator.Why haven't Washington Place and Mission Houses Museum stepped up to the plate? Where are Hawaii's leaders? Where is OHA?
Honolulu officials' latest nonsensical line (16yrs later!) is "made inLiliuokalani'shonor" after the fact and notactuallyhers. Unable to explain why herhandwriting can be found on thecabinet'sinterior. Sorry, but buffoonery beyond belief! By the end of the offeren administrationmore than 20yrs will have passed and ending the opportunity for those federal funds. Rejected by Hawaiian officials, this cabinetmaker's works are worth much more if dismantled and parted out. And this piece has those additional six tiles bearing Liliuokalani's musical notations that can be crafted into aliʻi jewelry. This artifact was discovered during a time of greatincompetence, a sad ending for what is widelybelievedtobe the mostimportantdiscovery in all of Hawaiian history. Our hope is that Hawaiian officials would save the piece by seeking authentication from beyond the shores of Hawaii.
Queen Victoria's gift ledger pretty much confirms where this artifact originated. What the Trustees and Board Membersof Hawaii's institutions have wanted 'us' to do is save them face by exposing which one of their peers dropped it off at the Goodwill.For us, an impossible task. To be clear, Honolulu is a small town, some of these Trustees and Board Members know the entire history of this artifact AND,which one of their friends made the blunder! Even still,they've told us!they will not make any inquiresthat could jeopardize their individual standings with fellow elitists. They won't 'rat out' their friends for fear of losing social standing. They would rathersee the artifact destroyed. The obvious solution to this problem is for them to just accept the artifact ''as is".There is no doubt that thisis Liliuokalani's music cabinetbut it's highly unlikely that we're ever going to find a photo of Liluokalani dancing the jig atopof It! It's just not going to happen.
Queen Victoria gave the Kamehameha Dynasty two pieces of furniture, a fact that Kamehameha loyalists have lorded over Kalakaua loyalists for the last 150yrs (Victoria never formallyacknowledgedLiliuo with a gift). This cabinet's discovery flies in the face of that century of gloating. And its discovery does nothing to strengthen the House of Kawananakoa. Has it been doomed since the day of discovery?!
This update is to let government officials in Hawaii and Washington D.C. know where acquisitionstands as of February 2022.
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THE HONOLULU CABINET queen liliuokalani vtg hawaiian hula girl music Kawananakoa: