Important Hawaii Proofs
In the upcoming September Long Beach auction,
Heritage Currency will be offering a complete
paper money proof design collection for both the
Kingdom and the Republic of Hawaii.
This is the largest offering of Hawaii proofs
since the 1990 auction of the ABNCo archives.
Proofs are the only realistic way to collect
notes from this exotic locale as issued notes
are unpriced in the Standard Catalog of World
These proofs were originally housed in the same
printer’s binder and thus they share many
characteristics. They have been printed on India
paper, cut down to the size of the design, and
mounted on a 9 by 11 inch card stock-like,
type-written dated binder page. In all but a
couple of cases, the issued stub is present. The
face and back proofs are mounted on the same
binder page except in two instances. The binder
page also has behind it an interleaved page that
was manufactured at the Crane & Co. paper mill
in Dalton, Massachusetts.
The face vignettes are for the most part
ranching, commercial sailing, and railroading
with the occasional Hawaii specific vignette.
Each face proof has from two to four punch
cancels as is normal for proof notes. The punch
cancels are only through the India paper and not
the card stock. Also, the faces have the
denomination in both English and Hawaiian.
Each back proof carries the Hawaiian Coat of
Arms which includes two men in feathered cloaks
and helmets flanking the shield. They are said
to be the twins Kameeiamoku and Kamanawa, who
helped Kamehameha I unify the islands in 1810.
The motto “Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono”
(”The life of the land is perpetuated in
righteousness”) is written on a sash under the
scene. Two slightly different versions of the
Coat of Arms are depicted depending if the note
was printed during the monarchy or later during
the republic era.
All in all, these are historical and important
notes that exhibit some of the finest of the
engraver’s art. Also, do not let the abundance
of Hawaiian riches in this auction fool you in
to believing that these notes are commonly
available. These notes have been off the market
for over a generation and it might be that long
again before another opportunity arises.
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