Queen Lili uokalani Gold Bracelets, ca. 1870
These bracelets were given to me after my grandmother died. I do remember them as a child. She would take them out and we would play with them. We called them Shazam bracelets. But after she died, I was given a letter that said these bracelets were given to my grandmother by my grandmother's aunt, who was a friend of the last queen of Hawaii.
And you have a lot of papers and letters that corroborate that story, as well. And when did she acquire them?
Sometime after 1891. My grandmother's mother was a harpist. The other two sisters were musicians at some sort of event in Boston. So maybe the queen was at that event.
Most likely, yeah. Queen Lili’uokalani was the only reigning queen in Hawaii, and she reigned from 1891 to 1893.
And then the overthrow of the Hawaiian Islands happened at that point. In our research, we've seen a lot of photographs of her wearing jewelry. She had tons of these Victorian bracelets up and down her arms. She did do a trip to London, to the Queen's Jubilee a little bit earlier than 1891, and she entered from Hawaii through San Francisco, through the United States, into Boston and New York City. So she could have bought these at that point in time. These are gonna be probably circa 1870 to 1880. She also could have bought them in London, but I think these are probably American. There is no real maker's mark, but it does say "patent 1870" on the clasp. And these patents were done quite a bit for jewelry mechanisms around that time period. That was an American thing. The motif is classic. You have some beautiful tassel work. They look like they're in high-karat gold with a little bit of bloom on them. They always turn this beautiful patina when they're this old and not washed. So that's really important, not to get rid of that patina.
They have a few little surface scratches, but they're not dented.
And these are hollow. They're in great shape, and a lot of times, these are broken up, so to have them as a pair together in very good condition is really unusual. With your paperwork that backs up the story that it did belong to her, and the collectors of Hawaiiana is a very strong field, so I would say for insurance values, you'd be looking at anywhere between $10,000 and $12,000 for the pair.
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