THE KING’S BIRTHDAY.
The Palace Decorated for the Festivities.
Changes in the Pictures and Decorations Which Bring Out the Ancient History of the People.
In view of the festivities which commence this morning in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the natal day of His Majesty the King, Iolani Palace has undergone extensive preparations, the arrangements for the reception and entertainment of the guests being very complete. The balconies are bedecked in bunting embodying in bold and striking designs the colors of the Royal Standard. The principal entrance hall has been richly caparisoned at the hands of the upholsterer. Its walls have been newly hung with the valuable oil paintings, representing in life size the line of Hawaiian Sovereigns, with their consorts, from the time of Kamehameha I, downwards. The first position on the right is occupied by the portrait of the Conqueror, whose reign marked so momentous and epoch in the history of the Kingdom, and whose genius has so largely influenced its destiny. Side by side with this is the portrait of Kekauluohi, mother of King Lunalilo. Next are those of Kmehameha II and Queen Kaumaulii [Kamamalu ?]; Kamehameha III and Queen Kalama. On the left are arranged the portraits of Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma; Kamehameha V and King Lunalilo. The niches in the intervening spaces are each filled with some choice fern or other horticultural specimen. The general effect is extremely pleasing to the eye.
The throne room, in which the receptions will take place, has been newly furnished with a rich crimson carpet. On either side of the dais are suspended the Royal Orders of Kamehameha, Kalakaua, Kapiolani and the Crown of Hawaii, whilst the walls on every side are adorned with the numerous foreign decorations with which His Majesty has from time to time been invested. Each one is enclosed in a gilt oval frame, surmounted with the Royal Arms of the particular nation or empire to which the Order belongs. Leaving the throne room and crossing the central hall, one passes into the Blue room . The first object that meets the eye is a striking portrait of His Majesty in the uniform of the King’s Guard, with decorations. Facing this, to the right of the doorway, is one of Her Majesty the Queen, whilst on the left is a full length life size representation of Louis XIV of France, a work of rare value. The two former are from the brush of Charles Hasselmann. Among the many ornaments and curios is a set of vases in Benares brass ware, from India. To the rear of this apartment is the spacious dining hall, in which are displayed the massive silver table ware, each article bearing the Royal Arms in colored enamel. The furniture is early English in style, whilst some choice works of art adorns the walls. The latter include a portrait of Kamehameha IV, taken during the monarch’s boyhood, a companion pair of Napoleon I and IV, taken during that monarch’s boyhood, a companion pair of Napoleon I and Blucher; Admiral Thomas, who restored the country; the Czar Alexander II of Russia, and a graphic delineation of the crater of Kilauea by night, painted by Furneaux.
Ascending the grand staircase the upper hall is next entered, wherein the King’s Privy Council of State is usually held. The central figure is a bust in bronze of His Majesty the King; oil paintings and tasteful cabinets, containing articles of vertu,are disposed on either side, while the hall, which runs the entire width of the building, commands a magnificent vista of Pauoa Valley, the mountains, tier behind tier, with the different hues forming an effective background. The front window overlooks the Aliiolani Hale, and affords a distant view of the sea.
The private apartments of His Majesty lead off from the upper hall, and are located on the left, or Ewa, side of the Palace. In the front is the music room, in which the heavy style of furniture is discarded for a lighter and more appropriate one, the appointments being in excellent taste. In the room are a set of half a dozed water color drawings of special historic interest. They are illustrative of island scenes at a period prior to the advent of civilization, among which are representations of the large double canoes carrying the ancient idols; the heiaus or temples, both open and closed; grass houses, etc. These pictures are enlargements by R. C. Barnfield, after the originals taken on the spot by Captain Kotzbue, the Russian author of “Voyages in the Pacific.”
At the further end, facing the entrance, is a speaking likeness of Her Majesty the Queen, life size, in oil, by Furneaux. The room also contains a very fine painting of the crater of Kilauea, by Tavernier; a Belgian Princess, a daughter of the present King, together with cabinet photographs of Sir John and Lady Franklin. Less obtrusive, but of considerable interest, is a study in music, framed in a peculiarly chaste and unique manner.