Donation from Dolores Furtado Martin Foundation showcase international relationships

HONOLULU (April 30, 2018) – Gifts from King Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani given to the wife of Kaiser Wilhelm II, King of Prussia and Emperor of Germany, have been donated back to Iolani Palace by the Dolores Furtado Martin Foundation. The Royal gifts, which include a kukui nut necklace connected with gold bands, were presented to the German monarchs in celebration of their jubilee wedding celebration.

“We are grateful to Mrs. Martin’s family for generously gifting these pieces of history back to Iolani Palace,” said Kippen de Alba Chu, executive director for The Friends of Iolani Palace. “Items like these help the Palace to demonstrate the political relationships between the Hawaiian monarchy and the royal courts of bygone eras.”

The necklace consists of 21 kukui nuts connected together by gold bands. The center nut is emblazed in gold “W.R.”, the German Royal monogram for Wilhelm Rex. The nuts on either side of the center are ornamented with the Order of the Red Eagle insignia, surrounded by the motto “sincere et constanter” and surmounted with a gold crown; two other nuts feature a crossed scepter and sword.

The necklace was added to the estate sale of the late Alice Kamokila Campbell held by the Sotheby, Park-Bernet Los Angeles auction house in 1972, where Dolores Furtado Martin purchased it at auction.

“It’s only fitting that we returned this remarkable and unique piece of Hawaiian jewelry to Iolani Palace,” said Watters O. Martin, Jr., Mrs. Martin’s son and co-executor with his sister Mrs. Mahealani Riley, of her foundation. “Our mother had a deep love for the Hawaiian monarchy, as well as a profound appreciation for quality craftsmanship. We are pleased to be able to support the Palace’s efforts to preserve, perpetuate and share the stories of Hawaii’s monarchy era.”

The donation also includes the koa wooden box that houses the necklace. The lid displays geometric patterns of various wood inlays along the border and a central engraved metal monogram of King Wilhelm II, and the interior is lined in blue satin.

King Wilhelm later gifted the necklace to Professor Leo Forbenius of the Research Institute for Cultural Morphology in Frankfurt for the Institute’s 65th jubilee. In a cablegram dated June 29, 1938, King Wilhelm expressed his appreciation and presented “a gift of ethnological and historical significance: a piece of jewelry from the sphere of Pacific culture: the necklace that once was presented in high generation by the wife of King Kala Kaua…”

The Palace plans to exhibit the kukui nut necklace after proper preservation and conservation work is complete.

About Iolani Palace
Iolani Palace is the only official residence of royalty in the United States. King Kalakaua was the first reigning monarch to travel around the world and built Iolani Palace in 1882 to enhance the prestige of Hawaii overseas and to mark Hawaii’s status as a modern nation. For more information, please call Iolani Palace at (808) 522-0822 or visit