Above: Black and white photo of stolen Okinawan crown, courtesy of the FBI.

This week’s stolen art centerpiece from the FBI’s National Stolen Art File is the crown of the Sho Royal Family of the Ryukyu Kingdom (also known as Okinawa). It was manufactured by Chinese Imperial Workshops and is described as a rounded helmet with gold bands running front to back studded with beads of coral, crystal, jade and glass. Helmet is pierced by a gold hairpin with a knob on one end.

According to officials, a number of Okinawan artifacts were reported missing following fighting on the island during World War II in 1945. They had been stored at Nakagusuku Palace near Shuri Castle, and when battle neared, palace employees hid some of the valuables in a ditch. When they returned, the palace had been torched, and the artifacts were gone.

Vital Stats
Description: Stolen
Category: Other Jewelery
Maker: China
Materials: gold, coral, crystal, jade, glass, silk
Measurements: 18.40 x 21.80 cm, y: 14.60 cm
Period: 18th-19th century
Additional Information: crown Okinawa; Japan; royalty

For more information and to report recovered objects in the NSAF, contact:

National Stolen Art File Art Theft Program, Room 3247 Federal Bureau of Investigation 935 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, DC 20535 Fax: (202) 324-1504