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First Postage Stamp to Feature
a Butterfly

First Postage Stamp to<BR>Feature a Butterfly
Queen Liliuokani has a butterfly decorating her hair in the definitive issue of 1890-1891.

From the Penny Black issued in 1840, through most of the 19th century, portraits of kings, queens, presidents, generals and other historic personaliities were the subjects of most postage stamps. For that reason, I was a bit surprised to read in Cheryl Ganz's Every Stamp Tells a Story that the first stamp to depict a butterfly was issued by Hawaii in 1890-1891. Close examination of the stamp reveals that Queen Liliuokalani has a butterfly ornament in her hair. This detail makes the stamp stand out amongst all the other "portraits" of its era. Liliuokalani was the last monarch to rule before the establishment of a provisional government, followed by a republic and eventual annexation by the United States.


Ganz, Cheryl R. Every Stamp Tells a Story. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution
     Scholarly Press, 2014.

"Hawaii." Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue. 2008.

"Liliuokalani." Wikipedia. 18 Jul. 2016. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 20 Jul. 2016.

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