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eMedals-Hawaiʻi, Kingdom. The Royal Order of Kamehameha I (KGCOK), Knight Grand Cross of Sir John Bowring, the Governor of Hong Kong

Item: EG1423

Hawaiʻi, Kingdom. The Royal Order of Kamehameha I (KGCOK), Knight Grand Cross of Sir John Bowring, the Governor of Hong Kong

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$30,650

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Hawaiʻi, Kingdom. The Royal Order of Kamehameha I (KGCOK), Knight Grand Cross of Sir John Bowring, the Governor of Hong Kong

Hawaiʻi, Kingdom. A Royal Order of Kamehameha I (KGCOK), Knight Grand Cross, by Kretly, c.1870 Awarded to Sir John Bowring, the Governor of Hong Kong, for his role in bridging the socioeconomic ties between Europe and the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi

(Kapuaiwa Kalanikapuapaikalaninui Ali`iolani Kalanimakua). An absolutely superb order and of great rarity and interest. Sash badge in Gold consisting of beautifully enameled white Maltese cross with golden rays in each quadrant, centre applique in white enamel with an elaborate hand finished K, surrounded by blue enameled band inscribed KAMEHAMEHA I, beneath which are two laurel branches, the badges reverse is inscribed E HOOKANAKA (Order of Fraternity), the badge is adorned by the Hawaiian crown with detailed enameled jewels, measuring 52 mm (w) x 84 mm (h - inclusive of swivel crown, horizontally pierced suspension ball adorned by cross), with Gold elongated loop, on period and original silk sash, near mint. Accompanied by the star of the order in typical Kretly style, consisting of eight hand detailed and filed silver arms, centre is a white enameled Maltese cross with Gold rays, applique in Gold with elaborate hand finished K with blue enameled surround inscribed KAMEHAMEHA I, reverse with dual stays and pin assembly, large separately applied makers cypher "No 46 Kretly, Palais Royal PARIS", measuring 85 mm (w) x 85 mm (h), of absolutely exquisite quality, with small repair to 4 o'clock & 2 o'clock Golden rays, otherwise near mint. Protected and housed in original case of issue, wooden frame and wrapped in red leather, with double hook and catch closures, interior lid embossed in gold lettering for Kretly, very fine. Accompanied by the large award document of the order, dated May 31 1870, presenting the Knight Grand Cross to Sir John Bowring, signed by King Kamehameha I.

Footnote: John Bowring had an extensive career of as a linguist, author, politician, economist and diplomat. He was born in Exeter, England in 1792 to Charles, a wool merchant and Sarah Jane Ann, the daughter of a vicar. He attended a Unitarian School in Moretonhampstead but began working for his father at the age of thirteen. During the Peninsula Wars (1810s), he was employed as a contract provider for Britain, and began to pick up a variety of languages. He travelled extensively through his life, and his linguistic proficiency aided his understanding of foreign nations. He married Maria Lewin in 1816. By this time, he had amassed a small fortune and decided to start a business with a partner in 1818 to sell herring to France and Spain, and to buy wine from the latter. The business failed in 1827, however Bowring made a connection with Jeremy Bentham, a well known English philosopher, jurist and social reformer, which would impact his future directions. Bentham appointed him the editor of the Westminster Review. Bowring continued to travel throughout Europe in the early 1830s.

In 1831, he was a member of the Royal Commission and advocated for strict control on public expenditure. Due to this experience and his connection to Bentham, Bowring carried out the national accounting system of the Netherlands and France. His understanding of foreign commercial systems and his forged relations for the British government, aided him in being elected to parliament in 1835 and 1841, serving until 1849. Following his parliamentary experience, Bowring began economic investigations into numerous countries, sustaining his career and lifestyle by investing in iron from South Wales. In 1845, he became the chairman of the London and Blackwell Railway, the world’s first steam-powered urban passenger railway.

By 1847, Bowring’s parliamentary standing and literary influence was held in high regard in many countries and societies therein. Two years later he was appointed the British consul in Canton and the superintendent of trade in China. He was appointed Governor of Hong Kong in 1854, and made strides in social reform and physical developments of the area. He became heavily focused on the Second Chinese War (also known as the Opium War), ultimately concluding a trade treaty with King Mongkut of Siam and assisting in the Westernization of China. Shortly thereafter, a scandal broke out when a Daily Press reporter claimed Bowring favoured his son’s firm, which made the firm wealthy. While his name was cleared, the scandal brought down his administration. The culmination of his diminishing diplomatic power and the loss of wife due to arsenic poisoning, Bowring’s work in Hong Kong ended in May 1859. He married Deborah Castle, a prominent Unitarian Christian and supporter of the women’s suffrage movement. His last employment by the British government was as a commissioner to Italy in 1861. Shortly afterward he accepted the position as the Hawaiian Minister and envoy to Europe.

Bowring worked towards creating European interest in the Hawaiian islands. He successfully implemented treaties with Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Switzerland that were of great value to Hawaii. For his efforts, he was appointed the Order of Kamehameha I Knight Commander in 1857. After the completion of the Italo-Hawaiian treaty in 1870, “in recognition of Good Services to Our Government” the Knight Grand Cross was conferred upon him.

Throughout his lifetime, Bowring received numerous foreign honorary degrees, decorations and gifts. His literary accomplishments including original hymn and poems, along with his translations of Russian and Serbian poetry are regarded as models of emotional and expressive revision. He died in Claremont, England on November 23, 1872, at the age of eighty.

 

This offering is a part of the "Dr. Albert Goodwin Collection", a preeminent assemblage of world Orders, Medals, and Decorations composed solely by Dr.Goodwin between 1946-1967. Dr. Goodwin had a successful career as an educator and prominent physician in New York as well as actively serving in both World Wars with the United States Medical Corps. He acted as both President and Vice-President of the Orders and Medals Society of America (OMSA) and is responsible for organizing their first convention in 1960. He maintained further membership with the American Society of Military Collectors, the International Orders Research Society, and the American Numismatic Society. His knowledge and passion for history and awards is evident in this meticulously compiled collection that is now available in its entirety for the first time exclusively on eMedals.com.

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