New York: The Century Co., 1908. First edition. Hardcover. Large quarto (11 1/2 x 8 1/4"). xix, , 548pp. Uncut. Original gilt-stamped turquoise cloth, with green lettering on cover, and gold lettering on spine. Top edge gilt. Half-title inscribed and signed by Lili'uokalani - the first queen regnant and the last sovereign monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii - to "Auntie" Alice Nāmakelua* (1892-1987), and dated Christmas 1916. In her moving inscription to Alice Nāmakelua, the then deposed Hawaiian Queen added the names of deceased Queen Kapiolani, and King Kalākaua. Tissue-guarded color frontispiece portrait of Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, the Czarina of Russia. Title-page with decorative border.
This monumental, profusely illustrated volume by two noted authorities is probably the largest single collection of data on the subject of pearls. Its enormous amount of detailed information covers their origin and history, structure, and form; the pearl fisheries of Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas; fascinating facts and lore on pearl-culture and pearl-farming; the gem's mystical and medicinal properties; famous pearl collections around the world; and much more.
Over 180 illustrations embellish the text, including five maps. Some plates are in sepia tone. All color and sepia-tone plates protected by captioned tissue guards. Spine age-toned, slightly cocked and parttly frayed at head and tail. Binding in overall good- to good, interior in very good condition. g to vg. Item #44799
* "Auntie" Alice Nāmakelua (1892-1987), was a renown Hawaiian composer and performer. She was also a kumu hula dancer and lei-maker. Nāmakelua was an expert performer of the slack-key guitar and a master of the Hawaiian language. She was a mentor of other musicians, wrote around 180 songs of her own, and was inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame in 2011. As a teenager, Alice Nāmakelua sang for the deposed queen Lili'uokalani (who inscribed the book), and the two had a very close relationship which lasted until the queen's death, on November 11, 1917.