Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Early and mid Twentieth Century South Africa: Legacies of local gold- and silversmiths.

Legacies of immigrant gold- and silversmiths during early and mid-twentieth century South Africa.
Fred van Staden
Department of Psychology, University of South Africa, PO Box 392, Pretoria, 0003
(Published in the South African Journal of Cultural History, June 2013) 

Nalatenskap van immigrante goud- en silwersmede gedurende die vroeë en middel twintigste eeu in Suid-Afrika.

Hierdie artikel bestaan uit ‘n oorsig van bekende Suid-Afrikaanse immigrante goud- en silwersmede se werk tydens die vroeë en middel twintigste eeu. Die aantekeninge is op ’n oorsig van koerantberigte, tydskrif- en joernaalartikels, boekpublikasies, tersaaklike e-posse  en internetsoektogte gebaseer. Hierdie inligting is verder geïntegreer met bydraes uit onderhoude wat met goudsmede en spesialiste in die industrie gevoer is. Waar moontlik is die goudsmede se vervaardigerstempels opgeteken.

Sleutelwoorde: edelmetaalkunstenaar, goudsmid, silwersmid, vervaardigerjuwelier, vervaardigersmerk, twintigste-eeuse Suid-Afrika.

The work of noted South African immigrant gold- and silversmiths during the early and mid twentieth century is reviewed in this article. The summaries are based on a review of newspaper reports, magazine and journal articles, book publications, relevant e-mail exchanges and internet searches. This information was integrated with contributions from interviews with gold- and silversmiths and specialists in the industry. Where possible, the makers’ stamps have been recorded.

Key words: precious metal artist, goldsmith, silversmith, manufacturing jeweller, maker’s mark, twentieth-century South Africa


The Arts and Crafts movement in the European world emerged as a reaction to the mechanisation and mass production processes developed during the Industrial Revolution. Since then the tension between individualised creation and mass production of precious metal artefacts has been ever present. This tension is also found in differentiations that are drawn between ‘art’ and ‘craft’. In addition, in the case of jewellery design, the demand of functionality has also placed additional challenges to its definition as Fine Art. In an attempt to solve the dilemma, the Germans have defined a third category of ‘high craft’ known as Kunsthandwerk, a discipline in its own right, where craft approaches the ambitions of fine art.[1]

One critic, in 1957 described jewellery as being

ideally a form of sculpture on a small scale, combining beauty with a decorative function … a standard that includes the triple combination of sculpture, beauty and utility … controlled by its function (and) the materials used in its making. The functional quality of jewellery seems to have affected its development as a form of art. It became associated with decoration and ornament and so escaped the discipline and protection that were ensuring the sound development of painting and sculpture. Modern technology has had … (a) … devaluating effect.[2]

Nevertheless, as the Scandinavian designers (both in Scandinavia and those who emigrated to the United States) of the early twentieth century have shown, the dilemma of mechanical reproduction and aesthetics can to some extent be resolved with refined designs that reflect high levels of aesthetic appreciation, along with sophisticated quality-controlled manufacturing processes that include both hand- and machine work.[3]

During the first half of the twentieth century, it appears that the creative processing of precious metals was not a widespread practice in South Africa. The discovery of diamonds in Kimberley in 1867 and shortly thereafter gold in 1886 stimulated an initial trickle of European gold- and silversmiths. This notwithstanding, the socioeconomic devastation caused by the South African War (1899-1902) set the context for a lack of growth in the field of precious metal jewellery making at the turn of the century. This was followed by the First World War (1914-1918), the global economic depression in the 1930s and the Second World War (1939-1945). The aftermath of the Second World War had a benefit for South Africa though, for it resulted in a wave of skilled immigrants that lasted until the early 1970’s – thereby contributing significantly to the development of a South African inspired legacy of precious metal artefacts.[4]


This study concentrates on noted early twentieth century gold- and silversmiths who established their workshops before 1950.[5] A literature search of publications in academic journals, books and suitable magazines such as the South African Panorama, Lantern, Artlook Magazine, The S.A. Jeweller and the Diamond News as well as The Diamond News and The S.A. Watchmaker and Jeweller yielded an initial list of gold- and silversmiths whose work was noted and commented on. Internet searches on local studios and workshops were then conducted. Interviews were held with (mostly retired) gold- and silversmiths and specialists in the field to extend and corroborate existing information. Where possible, the goldsmith makers’ marks have been recorded, as well as the years during which they were used.

An initial draft was submitted to a few experienced practitioners for review. It was also posted on the internet and comments from readers were invited.[6] Where warranted, the text was adapted.[7]

Some noted manufacturing gold- and silversmith workshops established during the early to mid twentieth century in South Africa

A Sidersky & Son (Johannesburg, 19022006)

Adolph Sidersky was schooled in Leipzig, Germany as an engraver, setter and jeweller. He immigrated to South Africa in the late 1800s and participated in the South African War on the side of the Boers. After the war, in 1902 he opened his own manufacturing jeweller studio in Surrey House near the Rissik Street Post Office in Johannesburg. In 1928 his son Max entered the studio and was trained as a jeweller by his father. He took over the business ten years later when his father died. In 1959 Anthony Sidersky (Max’s son) became the third generation to enter the Sidersky jewellery manufacturing business. In 1973 a retail shop was opened in Sandton City, where they traded until the business was sold in 2006. With more than 100 years of continued trading, it was the oldest family-run jewellery manufacturing concern in the country.

The studio specialised in the mounting and setting of gemstones in platinum or gold as primary mediums of their designs. Throughout the years a number of authors have commented on the exceptional quality of their jewellery craftsmanship.[8] This is further borne out by commissions from a South Rhodesian firm for decorative jewellery that was presented to the young British Princess Elizabeth and later to the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret. It consisted of three identical brooches in the form of the flame lily flower, each consisting of 300 diamonds set in platinum.[9] Among other achievements are two mayoral chains that were made for the city of Johannesburg. The first was made by Adolph Sidersky in 1910 and was replaced in 1950 by a newly designed chain made by Max Sidersky. In both cases the mayoral chains were commissioned by the gold mines operating within the city limits. The chains were hand-carved and chased.[10] The Sidersky workshop partook in an early De Beers’ initiative to stimulate market interest in buying diamonds by contributing two diamond parure sets designed and made by Max Sidersky, which featured as central displays in the ‘Jewel Box’ at the Diamond Pavilion of the Rand Easter Show in 1963.[11] In 1979 the studio introduced, with good success, matching sets of engagement and wedding rings (a one-ring-only look) to the South African public.[12]

Figure 1: The flame lily brooch with 300 diamonds by A Sidersky & Son in the early 1950s. The original was made as a gift for the British Princess Elizabeth, with later replicas made for the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret.
(Photograph: The Diamond News and the S.A. Watchmaker and Jeweller, July 1952, p. 57)

Figure 2: A ruby and diamond brooch consisting of Diamonds, rubies and emeralds mounted on a platinum base by Max Siderski in 1957, responding to De Beer’s call to local jewellers to make more use of diamonds in their designs.
(Photograph: The Diamond News and the S.A. Watchmaker and Jeweller, August 1957, p.10)

Max Sidersky was also active in the organisational side of the diamond and jewellery industry. For a number of years in the late 1950s he was chairman of the South African Manufacturing Jewellers Association.[13] His progressive attitude to the development of the local jewellery manufacturing sector was illustrated in a letter to The Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller in 1958 where he cogently argued the case for instituting a standardised jewellery marking system.[14] His call fell on deaf ears, for it took another 55 years before the first concrete legislation in establishing a South African hallmarking system was introduced in 2013.[15]

South African Mint (Pretoria, 1923 )

Following an Act of Parliament, the Pretoria branch of the Royal Mint was established in 1923 under the auspices of the newly proclaimed South African Reserve Bank. In 1941 this was to become the South African Mint. It was situated, until the early 1960s, at the corner of Paul Kruger and Visagie Streets – currently the building houses the Ditsong National Museum of Cultural History in Pretoria. Between 1923 and 1932 the Mint produced British gold sovereigns that carried the Royal Mint of Pretoria mark. Apart from producing coins, the Mint also made medals, mayoral chains, masonic jewels, cigarette boxes, commemorative trays, chalices as well as the Historic Monuments Commission’s brass plaques. During the Second World War under the directorship of Mr E Nayler (who was chief die sinker at the Mint), they also manufactured an array of munitions.[16] After the war this extended range of the Mint’s manufacturing activities shrank with an undertaking by the South African government that it would not compete on the open market. With this assurance, a large number of die sinkers, engravers and gold- and silversmiths left the Mint to open their own businesses on the open market. Among them were Bob Campbell (die sinker), Joe Calafato (designer, jeweller), Boet de Lange, Percy Cave (designer, die sinker, engraver)[17], Bill Myburg (die sinker), Gordon Blything, Eddie Luther (die sinker), Bob Taylor, Photis Sboros, and Messrs Becklake, Hendriks, Ralph Lindup, Bousset (a Belgian) and Mr Stanford.[18] The release of these artisans into the open market along with an influx of gold- and silversmiths from Lithuania and Germany stimulated a significant growth in the local precious metal manufacturing market in the 1950s.[19]
Figure 3: One of the first coins to be minted by the South African branch of the Royal Mint was the 1923 one penny. In March 2013 it was on sale for R920.
(Photograph retrieved from, January 2013. Also,, January 2013)

Over the years, much medal work continued to be done. Mr Dick Bradstreet took over from Mr Nayler as chief die sinker, medal designer and engraver for a year, and then Mr Tommy Sasseen took over from 1959 to 1974. Sasseen used the maker’s mark TMS (Transvaal Medallion Society) and later reduced it to TS.[20]

Jack Friedman (Johannesburg, 1933–1995, 1995 )

Jack Friedman was born in 1908 in Riga, Latvia from three generations of jewellers and starting at the age of 13 he gained his skills in jewellery design and watchmaking from his father. In 1928 at the age of 20 he arrived in Johannesburg as a qualified journeyman. In 1933 he started his own workshop in Pioneer House, Loveday Street with only a handful of workmen. The business was called J. Friedman, Manufacturing Jeweller and Diamond Setter. It expanded rapidly and in 1938 he moved to larger premises in Fox Street behind the old Colosseum Theatre. Twelve years later he moved to 291 Bree Street in Braamfontein. Here he concentrated on the manufacturing of jewellery through the setting of diamonds.

For a while during the early 1950s Friedman had his own diamond-cutting factory where he secured the sole agency in South Africa to produce profile cut diamonds (Princess Cut).[21] In terms of jewellery design he was an innovator giving expression to the opportunities and demands of his time. For example, in the early 1960s he was one of the first local manufacturing jewellers to heed Mr Harry Oppenheimer’s call for local gold- and silversmiths to include small diamonds in their designs. Friedman made use of combinations of mounted clusters and dispersed small diamonds to optimise its reflective effect.[22] True to the dominant style during the 1970s, J. Friedman Jewellers created

… geometric, clear cut lines which combine elegantly with the glitter of diamonds.[23]

In the early 1960s his son Frank Friedman trained as a jeweller under his father’s tutelage after which he studied for a year in Pforzheim, Germany and in England specialising in gemmology. On returning from his studies he spent a number of years with his father before opening his own workshop called Frank Friedman Jewellers in the late 1980s.[24]

One of Jack Friedman’s first apprentices was Joe Calafato who qualified in 1937 and who later became a recognised manufacturing jeweller in his own right.[25] Other well-known jewellers who worked for him were the husband-and-wife team Ewald Kratz and Liz Bezuidenhout-Kratz. Early signs of their promise were already evident when they won the Fourth Chamber of Mines Gold Jewellery Competition prize in 1973 for the best overall entry while working for J. Friedman Jewellers. Their piece consisted of a combination necklace made from black onyx and an 18-carat gold set with thirteen diamonds. The necklace could be divided into a choker and a bracelet.[26] With this award, J. Friedman Jewellers received its fifth overall grand prix prize in the South African Chamber of Mines gold jewellery competitions. Proving in 1979 that the family design tradition stood strong, his daughter Lorna Fervier won two prizes for jewellery design at the De Beers Diamonds Today competition.[27]

Figure 4: Mr Jack Friedman is being congratulated by Mrs and Dr Nic Diederichs, the Minister of Finance, on his winning entry in the 1973 Chamber of Mines Gold Jewellery Competition. The model is wearing the winning choker.
(Photograph: The Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, April 1973, p. 30)

Friedman stated the following regarding the interdependent nature of design and demand:

The design develops itself. The stone is the beginning of the creation, and the materials used around it develop and proportion itself in its natural cause.[28]

For most of his working life, Friedman was active in establishing and developing formal associations for diamond cutters and jewellery manufacturers. He served in all the top positions of the early Johannesburg Jewellers’ Association, the Manufacturing Jewellers’ Association, the Industrial Council and the Diamond Club.[29]

Friedman died in 1995 and the business continues to be run by his daughter Lorna and grandson Howard Fervier. Their main factory in Eastgate, Johannesburg employs five full-time jewellers. They also have branches in Cape Town and Sandton. They specialise in fine jewellery with custom-made exclusive designs.[30] Perhaps they are best known for their Edwardian collection, originally designed by Jack and later extended by Howard. His name Jack Friedman (in cursive font) continues to be used as a maker’s mark.[31]

Figure 5: Original pre-World War ll drawings of Jack Friedman, initiating the development of his Edwardian collection.
(Photograph: Undated, from the Friedman resumé)

Figure 6: An example of the Edwardian collection designed by Jack Friedman.
(Photograph: Undated, from the Friedman resumé)

Kurt Jobst (Johannesburg, 19351971)

With Austrian and Italian parentage, Kurt Jobst was born in 1905 in Ascona, Switzerland – a town known for its accommodation of alternative naturist lifestyles that included a nudist colony. He studied widely at goldsmith academies in Hanau, Nürnberg and Offenbach in Germany. Here he followed a classical apprenticeship in gold- and silversmithing and became skilled in jewellery making, enamel work, hammer work, metal engraving, wood carving and wrought iron work. He opened his first workshop in Germany in 1926 at the young age of 21 and his first commissions included clerical items such as altar candlesticks, crosses and communion chalices. In reaction to the rising Nazi sentiments in Germany he relocated in 1935 to South Africa. The passage for him and his family was paid for with money he earned from a commission by Hitler’s office.[32] His skilled execution of precious metal objets d’art was already recognised by the future German state and would probably have been further rewarded had he stayed in Germany. But instead, he sensed the imminent destruction of Europe, and at the age of 30 he arrived in Johannesburg, where he opened a workshop called The Jobst Shop. His creations were individually crafted and bore the mark of a unicorn or the linked letters Jk. Sometimes he added his surname Jobst to the marks.[33]


Figure 7: A copper and enamel engraving announcing the wedding of Kurt and Lotte Jobst in 1926. At this early stage his creative and skilled versatility was already obvious.
(Photograph: D & A Jobst, Kurt Jobst Goldsmith and Silversmith, Johannesburg, 1979, p.4)

In defiance of the separatist Zeitgeist of the time, he employed both white and black South Africans in his workshop and trained both in the intricacies of bench work.[34] In the early 1970s he was invited by the Swazi government to partake in a project aimed at training young Swazis in jewellery design and manufacture. Again, partly in reaction to the rising entrenchment of apartheid policies he planned to relocate his workshop. However, he died in 1971 at the age of 68 in a car accident on the way back from Mbabane.[35] His staff tried to keep the workshop afloat, but without the master metal smith the business declined and closed within a few years.[36]

A versatile artist, Jobst produced a wide array of metal creations including jewellery made in gold, silver and copper, often encrusted with semi-precious and precious stones and pearls. His designs, which were described as classical, pure and timeless. It defied the trend at the time to produce chunky and less refined work.[37] He was fond of gold granulation, and also made use of wire work in his designs.[38] His cutlery and table ware, both hand-beaten and smooth, consisted of forged silver with mostly clean unembellished lines. Beakers, vases, candlesticks, bowls, tea sets and trays in pewter, copper or silver were hammer raised. His church work included chalices, wine and baptismal jugs, collection plates and crosses, mostly in hammered silver or copper along with some enamelling. He also created multicoloured stained glass windows. His hand-forged wrought iron grilles, rails, fire grates, chandeliers, gates and garden furniture are well known (some examples can be found at the Loreto Convent in Pretoria and in a Benoni church, along with an oxidised copper light fitting for a synagogue in Germiston). His work is interesting, unusual, and avant-garde for his time.[39]

Figure 8: A gold lily cross pendant set with a turquoise centre, Japanese pearls, cabochon amethysts and topaz by Kurt Jobst during the 1960s
(Photograph: Optima, September 1970, p. 108)

During his 36-year-long career in South Africa, Jobst did commissioned work for the South African government, notable organisations and individuals. Among his achievements are government gifts to HRH Princess Elizabeth, commemorating the royal tour of South Africa in 1947. It consisted of a gold box containing a diamond, as well as a silver box containing a diamond necklace along with a hand-beaten silver powder bowl with a Tudor rose mounted on the lid as a wedding gift. A cigar box as well as tableware such as a vegetable dish with his coat of arms were made for Sir Ernest Oppenheimer. A 22-carat gold chalice was commissioned by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange for presentation to the London Stock Exchange. In addition, he was commissioned by the South African government to design and produce a (possibly jewellery) box with a golden effigy of an elephant on its lid as a gift to Lady MacMillan, wife of Lord MacMillan during their visit to South Africa in 1960.

During the 1950s and 1960s Jobst taught for sixteen years at the School for Arts and Crafts at the Wits Technical College in Johannesburg.[40]

Figure 9: Kurt Jobst in 1959, working on a government commissioned gift (containing the image of a golden elephant) for Lady Macmillan
(Photograph: D & A Jobst, Kurt Jobst Goldsmith and Silversmith, Johannesburg, 1979, p.5)

Figure 10: An example of Jobst’s maker’s mark
(Photograph: F van Staden, Pretoria, 2010)

Jobst was regarded as a pioneer in metal and jewellery art work in South Africa. Artistically, he developed and maintained a broad base of skills rather than specialising in one form of artistry only. Already in his lifetime he was acknowledged as a

… master in sculpturing, silversmithing, goldsmithing, gem and metal art work in general, decorative woodcarving and stained-glass work [41]

Jobst attributed some of his artistic development to the influence of William Morris (18341896), a leading member of the European Arts and Crafts movement that specialised in textile, wallpaper and tapestry designs. In agreement with Morris, Jobst held the opinion that the aesthetics of fine art should be incorporated in commercial design, therefore elevating the quality of machine-made articles, rather than dismissing mass production as inferior by definition. He resisted the abstract tendencies of the post World War Two era, and often gained his inspiration from the ascetic but striking aesthetic content of twelfth century expressions. He insisted that no art can be produced without intimate engagement with the qualities of the medium that is used. The mastery of technical working skills was a fundamental precondition for the successful construction of any design.[42]

In a tribute to Kurt Jobst, Nadine Gordimer typified him as a master craftsman preoccupied with strong forms, an aesthete able to combine function with a well-developed sense of beauty in his creations.[43] Another author characterised his jewellery work as

            Timeless, enchanting...[44]

Mr Antony Wiley, a noted South African antiquarian, commented as follows:

His work has not achieved the recognition that say Lynnware or Kalahari pottery have, even though it is far more important. Today.. he is rather forgotten – which is sad.[45]

Perhaps reflecting his Bohemian background, Jobst had quirky habits such as spicing up his food in restaurants with cayenne pepper that he kept in the hollow handle of his walking stick.[46] He had an outgoing personality and often entertained at home. He was generally recognised by the affluent Johannesburg society of the day as a metal artist of exceptional skill. As such, he exerted some influence on the local development of style appreciation from the 1940s until his death.[47]

Else Wongtschowski (Cape Town/Johannesburg, 1936–late 1970s/early 1980s)
Else Wongtschowski (née Reinheimer) was born in 1914 in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany. In 1933 she relinquished a career in medicine in favour of an apprenticeship with Messrs G and H Warnecke in Frankfurt.[48] Under their guidance she specialised in enamelling, copper and silversmithing. At the onset of the Second World War in 1936, she immigrated to South Africa. She worked for Kurt Jobst for a year after which she opened her own studio. During this time she extended her skills base by becoming a competent engraver. A creative period in her working life followed when she relocated to Cape Town from 1947 to 1949. She finally settled in Johannesburg in 1950.

Initially much of Wongtschowski’s product range consisted of copper and silver utensils, but from the mid-1950s she began to concentrate on jewellery with enamelling as a central medium in her work. Her work was typified by the setting of gemstones in various (often contrasting) colours in enamelling.
Her design inspiration was instinctual rather than analytical, guided by the particular combination of semi-precious stones at hand. She was of the opinion that it is 

…far better to have a well-fashioned semi-precious ring or brooch than an ill-designed diamond ornament.[49]

Figure 11: An undated newspaper photo of Else Wongtschowski at work, possibly around 1970
(Clipping by courtesy of Mr F Haenggi, Basel, Switzerland)

Ms Wongtschowski and her husband Hans were ardent mountaineers and mapped a number of hiking routes in the Drakensberg recorded by the Mountain Club of South Africa.[50] In the mountains they came across San rock paintings. In 1949 this served as the inspiration behind the creation of a bracelet containing representations of San art. She was one of the first local artist jewellers to set the tone for the development of a South African design style that was later to become known as Safari jewellery. She was known as an innovator and was the first to introduce multicoloured bracelets (often with stones she collected herself) to the South African market. She was also the first to locally introduce a broad-type wedding band in silver and gold. A critic described her work as follows:
… she displays the broad rich strokes of the artist, who thinks in big terms and avoids any suggestion of finnickiness and unnecessary elaboration.[51]

Her work was internationally recognised by the German publication, Goldschmiede Zeitung.[52] It is not clear when Ms Wongtschowski closed the doors of her studio, possibly during the late 1970s or early 1980s.[53]

Margaret Richardson (Johannesburg, late 1940s–early 1970s)

Margaret Richardson did her apprenticeship at the Fachschule Schwäbisch-Gmund in the 1930s after which she worked in Königsberg and then in Palestine. After the Second World War she immigrated to South Africa and established a studio in Cape Town until 1957, when she moved to Johannesburg. There she initially rented studio rooms in the Von Brandis Building in Johannesburg. Finally she settled at 909 Philadelphia Court in Von Wielligh Street. In the early 1970s she relocated to the United Kingdom and died shortly thereafter.

Her preferred mediums were copper, sterling silver and, upon commission, gold. Throughout her career in South Africa she was enamoured with the beauty of South African gemstones. She was a member of the Witwatersrand Gem and Mineral Club and spent much of her time searching at gemmological sites for stones she could use in her designs.[54]

Her maker’s mark consisted of the letters M and R, where the right vertical leg of the letter M is merged with the left vertical leg of the letter R. The M was situated in a slightly uppercase position in relation to the R.[55] A collection of her silver work consisting of pendants, earrings, rings and a bangle (all of which were inlaid with semi-precious Southern African stones) was auctioned in 2008 in the United Kingdom for prices ranging from £90 to £300 (around R1 000 to R3 500 when translated to their 2008 rand values). Her work continues to have international appeal.[56]

Figure 12: Margaret Richardson’s maker’s mark
(Photograph: courtesy of Mr F Haenngi)

Figure 13: Example of Margaret Richardson’s work on exhibition in 1970
(Photograph: courtesy of Mr F Haenngi, Basel, Switzerland)

Joe Calafato (Pretoria, 1947–1984)

Guiseppe Leonardo Calafato established his first workshop in 1947 under the name of Metal Art Creations. From 1947 until 1984 he was responsible for the design and manufacture of jewellery under the maker’s marks of Candida, Carina, Velia, JC, Joe Calafato and Dawu. Calafato’s work has been extensively discussed in an earlier article.[57]

Haglund Jewellers (Johannesburg, 1948–1952, 19532007)

Birger Haglund was born in the small town of Sveg in Sweden in 1918. He apprenticed as goldsmith in Köping and Kristianstad in Sweden after which he worked in Stockholm for various jewellers. In 1948 he relocated to South Africa and immediately presented a solo exhibition of his work in Johannesburg.[58] Here he also opened a workshop where he worked until 1952, when he was forced to return to Sweden after having come into conflict with the country’s growing apartheid nationalism. He paid European wages to his black workers – this was deemed to be unacceptable at the time. He continued to have a notable career as a Swedish silversmith and diplomat.[59] He died in 2006 and international recognition of his work is increasing.[60]

He was productive during the five years he stayed in South Africa, producing mostly silver jewellery. His training was rigorous and led him to create souvenir jewellery and ornamental utensils of high quality, displaying originality in engaging with his subject matter. Whereas his contemporaries in South Africa such as Joe Calafato were still embracing the retro moderne design style of the 1940s (geometric shapes combined with scrolls and swirls), the work of Haglund expressed a typically Scandinavian organic simplicity [61] through which he interpreted primarily themes from his European background along with some minimalist abstractions concentrating on line and form. The thematic and technical sophistication of his work attest to a skilled artist and craftsman.[62]

His maker’s mark consisted of the words HAGLUND, SOUTH AFRICA and STERLING SILVER (in bold capitals). Sometimes a date or HAND MADE was added. He imported some mass manufactured clasps used for securing brooches, a practice that was regarded by the jewellers of this time as prohibitively expensive. Until the mid 1950s when high tariff duties on imported jewellery items were lifted, most local jewellers made their own clasps.[63]
Hans Georg Blum spent his childhood in South Africa before he entered the Goldschmiedeschule in Pforzheim, Germany where he completed his training as a master jeweller and goldsmith.[64] Afterwards he worked with various gold- and silversmiths in Switzerland and France, also gaining experience in precious metal alloy making for the jewellery market. Traditionally, all newly apprenticed craftsmen were expected to gain a few years of experience under different taskmasters before setting up their own workshop. In 1951 he returned to South Africa and began to work with Birger Haglund. Blum then convinced his cousin Rolf Waizenegger and his wife (both schooled as master gold- and silversmiths at Pforzheim in Germany) to relocate to Johannesburg where they initially worked for a  jeweller called S. O’Reilly. In 1953 the two cousins bought the Haglund workshop. They retained the name Haglund Jewellers (Pty) Ltd. They continued to make use of the Haglund mark, perhaps in order to keep the clientele that were established by their predecessor. Along with the Haglund mark, in 1955 they started using a stylised pair of jewellery pliers (may also be mistaken as Springbok horns) as a mark on their manufactured products. This was used until the mid 1980s as an additional signature of the Haglund workshop’s products.

Initially Blum and Waizenegger carried on with the Scandinavian schooled designs of Birger Haglund and, to some extent, followed it through in their own designs. Soon, African designs consisting of traditional African cultural life and wildlife images dominated their work, along with a measure of decorative stamp engraving as well as hand engraving included in some designs. Like Else Wongtschowsky a few years before them, they also gained inspiration from the local images of San rock art for some of their souvenir jewellery designs.[65]

Given his extensive training in Germany, Hans Blum became one of the foremost practitioners of precious metal piercing in the country. This consisted of using a hacksaw to cut fine silhouette outlines from oxidised silver plate. Waizenegger contributed to their design base through stylised wiring expressions of animals in addition to the modelling of relief designs of wild fauna in plasticine and pewter for silver casting. In Germany, Waizenegger worked for a year at a mass production jewellery workshop, where he gained experience in modern techniques of die making and casting. This experience he invested in the design of their product ranges. Working primarily in silver, their jewellery consisted of a combination of handmade and casting techniques. According to one author in 1957, their designs were underpinned by the conciliation of aesthetics and the qualities of the material they worked with. The successful harmony between art and technique was a fundamental force in their designs. Early in their careers, their work was described as

… one of purity and simplicity. In their work can be seen the clean, clear lines of the modern school – in which they generously acknowledge the influence of their predecessor.[66] 

In 1973 Geophrey Foden joined the business and completed an all-round apprenticeship with them in gold- and silversmithing, precious stone setting and mounting, as well as hand engraving. Hereafter Foden joined the business on a permanent basis. He began training Able Mahontsi (initially employed at the workshop as cleaner/tea maker) in jewellery design and manufacturing. In quiet defiance of the law,[67] they devised a warning system to ensure that the gold and diamond police, government officials and apprenticeship inspectors did not discover the specialised training that was taking place. During the 1980s Foden and Mahontsi became bolder and started training a number of black South Africans to gain at least good production bench skills, with the more talented apprentices moving onto design and goldsmith skills.

The business continued to expand and in 1976 they began to export their work on a small scale to Australia and the USA. From the mid 1970s their early work became increasingly refined and reconceptualised to reflect the tastes of the time whilst integrating the latest design and manufacturing technologies. They continued to incorporate San art in their jewellery designs, along with the setting of locally available semi-precious stones. Given the sharp rise in the gold price during the late 1970s, Waizenegger and Foden began to manufacture jewellery in vermeil (gold-plated sterling silver) for a while instead of using nine-carat gold.[68]

In 1981 Marchand van Tonder, a graduate in jewellery design from the University of Stellenbosch joined the business as fourth partner. Hans Blum and Able Mahontsi died in the mid 1980s and Rolf Waizenegger began to withdraw from the running of the business until he retired in 1996.[69]

Figure 14: Examples of early Haglund designs as well as maker’s marks. The top two rows contain the work of Birger Haglund and the rest was made by Hans Blum and Rolf Waizenegger.
(Photograph: H Wilhelm, Pretoria, 2012)

Foden and Van Tonder partook in a number of jewellery design competitions and exhibitions, such as   Intergold’s (now the World Gold Council) Gold in Fashion competition.[70] A range of corporate jewellery contracts were secured, such the South African Airways Tourism awards and the Johannesburg Centenary celebrations. Commissioned work included a number of trophies of which the highlight was a trophy for The Young President’s league in the form of a detailed eagle. In 1985, Foden’s work was selected by Intergold in collaboration with an international fashion research bureau as representative of contemporary international fashion styles at the time.[71]

State gifts to President Clinton and his wife presented by President Mandela in 1998 were also commissioned. These consisted of African beaded cuff links in 18ct gold and a matching choker with presentation gemstone boxes. 

Displaying a commitment to the organisational and training development of the industry, Foden served four terms as Chairman of the South African Jewellery Council, and contributed to the development of the first curriculae for the Jewellery Manufacturing School of the Jewellery Council of South Africa as well as the Technikon Witwatersrand’s Jewellery Department in 1990. Since the 1990s the Haglund workshop has also contributed significantly to a long-standing jewellery manufacturing training project in Atteridgeville, Pretoria.[72]

During the 1990s the company became a target for organised crime that compelled the partners to relocate the business three times. In 2003 Marchand van Tonder withdrew from the business and in 2006 Geophrey Foden formed his own company, Foden Manufacturing (Pty) (Ltd). As maker’s mark he chose the impression of a giraffe. In 2007 he sold the Haglund trademark which disappeared from the market within a year.[73]  Foden died in 2012. The business is continued by his son.

Haglund Jewellery was one of the first local manufacturers that began to specialise in African-inspired jewellery (since the mid-1950s). Through cultural images, such as headdresses and village life, their early work captures anthropological tones and continues to gain in collector’s value. In 2008 a pair of sterling silver screwback earrings (modernist with Koi San hunting and dancing motifs) was offered on the internet for $US125 (around R1000 in 2008 market value).[74]

Early manufacturing commissions abroad

Because of a limited local capacity during the first half of the twentieth century, some jewellery and souvenir metal manufacturing work was commissioned from manufacturers in Europe, especially from Norway, Great Britain and the Netherlands.[75]

During the 1930s a fair amount of Birmingham plate was imported. For example, the Bowls Club of the Pretoria Country Club commissioned their commemorative spoons from Birmingham containing hallmarks ranging between 1929–1936 and a manufacturer’s mark of D&F. Similarly, an enamelled lapel pin of the Vryheid Bowls Club’s coat of arms is marked Thomas Fattorini Ltd, Regent St, Birmingham.[76]

In 1949, advertisements were placed in Die Transvaler newspaper for ordering sterling silver teaspoon sets (six spoons and a sugar spoon) that were designed by the South African artist WH Coetzer. They were manufactured by Gilpin in Sheffield, United Kingdom and bear the inscription 1949 SVK UWB. They were designed to commemorate the inauguration of the Voortrekker Monument on 16 December 1949.[77]

Some of the work of Thorvald H Marthinsen was also commissioned and imported. The company was established in 1883 in Tonsberg, Norway, and is currently run by the third generation of Marthinsens. They are well known for their limited edition silver spoons.[78] Around the mid-1950s they exported elaborately designed silver-plated souvenir spoons with African motifs such as a lion’s head or an African shield with assegai and knobkierrie on the finials of the spoons to the local market. Sometimes the words National Kruger Park – Nasionale Kruger Park or South Africa – Suid Afrika were embossed on the inside hollows of the spoons. The mark on the back handle of the spoons read T.H. MARTHINSEN NORWAY and occasionally a registered number would also be provided.

During the early 1950s a number of commissioned flatware and hollowware items were produced by the Royal Dutch Silverworks under the Elwezetta line in Voorschoten. They contained South African motifs such as a bowl with African wildlife scenes and a cake lifter with the relief of an ox wagon on the finial.[79] Teaspoons in silver with the crest of the City of Johannesburg containing the following mark at the back: 1G encircled, Made in Holland encircled, 90 encircled were also imported from the Elwezetta workshop.[80]

Figure 15: Examples of Norwegian, British and Dutch imports from early to mid twentieth century. Note the North European influence in the spelling of ‘Krijger Park’ instead of ‘Kruger Park’ on the enamelled Norwegian-made brooch.
(Photograph: F van Staden, Pretoria, 2012)

Traces of early gold- and silversmiths and marks used in South Africa

The names of some gold- and silversmiths and makers’ marks appear from time to time on items at the South African collectibles market with little more information than perhaps a place name or a workshop logo on the inside of the jewellery box. Similarly a number of gold- and silversmiths are briefly mentioned in the literature without any further reference. Since they belong to the greater South African collective heritage of precious metal artistry, some of the bits of information that have thus far come to light are presented below – not only to place it on record again, but also in the hope that it may help uncover new sources of information.  

Henry Wade (Pietermaritzburg, 18841933)

Henry Wade was a watchmaker and a jeweller from Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, who stamped his work with the words H Wade, Maritzberg. His work is fairly rare and represents exceptional skill in the ability to combine different metals in one composition without making use of soldering. He worked in gold, sterling silver and copper.[81] According to a British-South African immigrant record, Henry William Wade was born in 1853 in Dublin and emigrated to South Africa in 1883. He married Maria Winkley (a widow with two daughters) in 1885.[82] Another source states that Henry Wade opened a watchmaker and jeweller’s workshop at 107 Church Street in Pietermaritzburg, where he traded for around fifty years, from 1883/84 to 1933.[83]

Figure 16: Examples of the work of H Wade. The pin is still in an original Henry Wade jeweller’s box.
(Photograph: F van Staden, Pretoria, 2012)

Southern Cross brooches (Origins unknown, perhaps postWorld War l)

Brooches made from gold in the form of a Southern Cross with glass stones representing the five stars have been appearing on the collectible and antique markets in recent years. Most of the pieces were forged by hand in 9ct gold and with no maker’s mark, with exceptions such as a JO mark on some pieces. Judging from the variable quality as well as different core designs, it seems that a number of gold- and silversmiths contributed to a call for a war veteran support project.[84] An interesting anomaly is also found in the setting of coloured glass in 9ct gold.

Figure 17: Examples of the Southern Cross brooches in 9ct gold with handmade clasps, perhaps stemming from post World War 1
(Photograph: F van Staden, Pretoria, 2012)

Felix Vetter (Johannesburg, 1947 mid 1960s?)

Felix Vetter was born in Munich, Germany around the turn of the century. Both his parents hailed from a long line of jewellers dating back to the 1700s. At the tender age of 14 he was accepted into a seven-and-a-half-year-long apprenticeship in Pforzheim after which he spent another six years at art schools both in Pforzheim and in Munich. With such extensive training behind him he worked over the next years in fourteen different countries for internationally known jewellery houses that included  Friedländer in Berlin, Cartier in Paris and Tiffany’s in New York. He came to South Africa in 1932 where he worked for a Johannesburg jeweller during the war years. In 1947 he opened his own studio in Jeppe Street, Johannesburg, where he created exclusively handmade jewellery.[85]

He was known for his ability to set a range of stones in one setting – combining gems such as rubies, sapphires, emeralds, tourmalines and pearls in gold and platinum settings. He made lavish use of these stones in his designs. He also produced work in silver.[86] 
No further reference to his studio or his work could be traced after the mid 1960s.


The initial decades of the twentieth century were tumultuous and challenging for South Africa as an emerging economy that still had to develop its markets. Those skilled in the practice of precious metal crafting were few and far between. The establishment of a local Mint was possibly the most significant event of the early decades in nurturing a local core of independent gold- and silversmiths. As a parastatal organisation it brought skilled artisans together and provided them with a secure income.

An important indicator of a more systematically organised future for local jewellers was the formation of the South African Jeweller’s Association Ltd in Johannesburg in March 1942. This set the wheels in motion for greater cooperation among jewellers in South Africa and provided them for the first time with a mouthpiece through which concerns could be voiced and guidance to develop business opportunities could be provided.[87]

Whereas jewellery making during the initial decades of the twentieth century served only a small well-heeled client base, the era was marked with experienced artisans who were thoroughly trained and who produced work comparable to the best on the international market.[88] In most cases they were artist jewellers. By the middle of the century, partly machine-made jewellery began to appear on the market. Since this resulted in lower prices, the local market began to show the first signs of a market appetite for wearable and more affordable objects of beauty, an appetite that would grow throughout the second half of the century.

[1] E Smit (ed.), An appreciation, Erich Frey 25 years (Pretoria Art Museum, 31 July–18 August 1985), p 4. Interview: Mr A Pass, Goldsmith, Cape Town, 2009-09-30.
[2] Author unknown: Jewel Craft: Eone de Wet, Lantern, March 1957, pp 289 & 290.
[3] C Truman (ed.), Sotheby’s Concise Encyclopedia of Silver (Conran Octopus Ltd, London, 1993), pp 164165, 167168.
[4] Author unknown, Uit die rotse kom voort skoonheid, Suid-Afrikaanse Panorama, Februarie 1966, p 29.
[5] The original gold- and silversmiths mentioned in this article all happened to be immigrants, which reflect a lack of significant home grown gold- and silversmiths at the time. Goldsmiths who became known from 1950 onwards, fall outside the ambit of this article and will be dealt with in follow up articles. These include names such as such Egon Guenter, Colonel Gilroy and Jo King, George Xanthides, Eone de Wet, Mauro Pagliari, Peter Cullman, Kurt Donau and others fall outside the ambit of this article.  The work of Erich Frey, Maia Holm, Stephen Colgate and Maurice Pitol is described in: F. van Staden, Erich Frey and associates: a bold contribution to South African silver- and goldsmith design. South African Journal of Cultural History, 25(1), june 2011, pp. 148-179.
[7] Reviewers were Messrs Vic Thomson and Charles Kgosana (engravers, Pretoria), D Schilofsky (jeweller, gemmologist, Pretoria) and F Haenggi (art dealer, Basel, Switzerland).
[8] Author unknown, Outstanding example of South African craftmanship, The Diamond News and the S.A. Watchmaker and Jeweller, April 1942, p 23. Also: Author unknown, The Latest, The Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, August 1963, p 57. Author unknown, Best seen in South Africa, The Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, April 1963, pp 35, 37 & 51.
[9] Author unknown, Rhodes’ centenary gift to Queen Mother and Princess Margaret, The Diamond News and the S.A.Watchmaker and Jeweller,July 1952, p 57.
[10] Author unknown, Johannesburg’s new mayoral chain, The Diamond News and the S.A.Watchmaker and Jeweller, October 1950, p 49. The original mayoral chain was presented to the MuseumAfrica  in Johannesburg. In 1950 a nine-carat gold mayoral chain was also made for the municipal council of Potgietersrus (now Mokopane).
[11] Author unknown, Best yet seen in South Africa, The Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, April 1963, pp 35, 38 & 51.
[12] M Neri, Golden gleanings, The Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, August 1979, p 15.
[13] Author unknown, Man of the month: Mr Max Sidersky, The Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, February 1958, p 16.
[14] M Sidersky, Merchandise act: Marking of jewellery, The Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, October 1958, p 25.
[15] Interview: Mr Lourens Maré, chief executive officer, The Jewellery Council of South Africa, Parktown, Johannesburg, 2012-04-10.
[16] Unisa archives, Pretoria: The S.A. Numismatic Society, Van Riebeeck Centenary Numismatic Exhibition booklet, Cape Town, pp 3334, 1952.
[17] Mr Cave became a noted artisan of his time being multi-skilled in die sinking, engraving, tool-making, wood- and ivory carving. He opened his own business after World War II with two other colleagues. He obtained the commissions to manufacture nine maces for the various proclaimed South African homelands. In D van Heerden, Mace Maker: All in a day’s work, Panorama, February 1973, pp  4445.
[18] There was also a reluctance to resign from the Mint during the war, which would have sent the artisans straight to the war front. However after the war, opportunity in the open market became an attractive alternative, and the South African Mint appears to have spawned this ‘renaissance’ in the South African manufacturing silver- and goldsmith fraternity. Interview: Mr T Sasseen, apprenticed and employed as die sinker at the SA Mint 1950–1974, Pretoria, 2010-06-02.
[19] Interview: Mr V Thompson, engraver, Pretoria, 2009-09-30.
[20] Interview: Mr T Sasseen, apprenticed and employed as die sinker at the SA Mint 1950–1974, Pretoria, 2010-06-02.
[21] Author unknown, An active leader in the Diamond Trade, The Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller,November 1962, pp 51 & 53.
[22] Author unknown, S.A. Jewellery in Diamond Pavilion, The Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, March 1963, p 48. Also, Author unknown, Best yet seen in South Africa, The Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, April 1963, pp 35, 38 & 51. Until this time, manufacturing jewellers made almost exclusive use of only large stones in their designs.
[23] Mirella Neri, Gold Gleanings, The Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, August 1979, p 15.
[24] Alice Weil, Friedman opens innovative shop in Sandton City, The Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, January 1984, pp 15 & 17. Also, Alice Weil, Honours for Sandton jewellers, The Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, October 1988, p 11.
[25] F van Staden, Joe Calafato: A late twentieth century South African precious metal artist, South African Journal of Cultural History, 24 (1), pp 126149.
[26] Author unknown, High standards at gold jewellery competition, The Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, April 1973, pp 30, 31 & 33.
[27] Author unknown, Diamonds Today 1979, The Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, May 1979, p 3.
[28] Author unknown, award winning jewellery, Artlook, May 1973, p 27.
[29] Author unknown, Man of the month: Mr Jack Friedman, The Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, July 1958, p 16. Also, Author unknown, Manufacturing Jewellers’ Industrial council, Success of Johannesburg experiment, The Diamond News and the S.A. Watchmaker and Jeweller, January 1949, p 37.
[30] Jack Friedman – History,, 2009-10-08.
[31] E-mail: H Friedman, Re: Jack Friedman history, 2009-10-08.
[32] Author unknown, Kurt Jobst,  Artlook, June 1968, p 11.
[33] Updates Live: Kurt Jobst, Goldsmith and Silversmith, /2208/09/kurt-jobst-goldsmith-and-silversmith.html, 2009-07-03.
[34] D & A Jobst, Kurt Jobst Goldsmith and silversmith (Johannesburg, 1979), p 3.
[35] D & A Jobst, Kurt Jobst Goldsmith and silversmith (Johannesburg, 1979), pp 2, 3 & 4446. Also, N Gordimer, Kurt Jobst: 1904-1971, Artlook, June 1971, p 13.
[36] A Wiley, Master craftsman forgotten by time, Sunday Times, Metro section, The Magpie column, 1999-11-21, p 14.
[37] Author unknown, Die wêreld sien hoe ons vroue getooi word, Sarie Marais, 27 March 1963, p 10.
[38] G Hughes, The renaissance of the Artist Jeweller, Optima, September 1970,  pp 108 & 110.
[39] D & A Jobst, Kurt Jobst Goldsmith and Silversmith (Johannesburg, 1979), pp 914  & 17–43. Author unknown, Kurt Jobst, Artlook, June 1968, pp 1011.
[40] Author unknown, Kurt Jobst, Artlook, June 1968, pp 1011.
[41] Author unknown, Kurt Jobst, S.A. Jeweller and the Diamond News, June 1957, p 9.
[42] Author unknown, Kurt Jobst, S.A. Jeweller and the Diamond News, June 1957, pp 911.
[43] D & A Jobst, Kurt Jobst Goldsmith and Silversmith (Johannesburg, 1979), pp 4446.
[44] Author unknown, Kurt Jobst, Artlook, June 1968, p 10.
[45] A Wiley, Master craftsman forgotten by time, Sunday Times, Metro section, The Magpie column, 1999-11-21, p 14.
[46] Jobst contracted polio as a child, an affliction that required the use of a walking stick in his later years.
[47] A Wiley, Master craftsman forgotten by time, Sunday Times, Metro section, 1999-11-21, p 14. Also e-mail: A Wiley – F van Staden, Article on Kurt Jobst, 2012-01-23.
[48] H Wongtschowski, Catalogue for the Hans Ludwig Katz retrospective exhibition, S.A. National Gallery, Cape Town, 1994.
[49] Author unknown, Else Wongtschowski, The S.A. Jeweller and the Diamond News, September 1957, p 13.
[50] Hans and Else Wongtschowski, The Bell: Wong’s route (North East Face), The Mountain Club of S.A Journal, 1944, pp 23&24.
[51] Author unknown, Else Wongtschowski, The S.A. Jeweller and the Diamond News, September 1957, pp 13 & 14.
[52] Eberhard Dechow, Arbeiten aus Südafrika, Goldschmied Zeitung 68(4), 1970, p 416.
[53] B Woodhouse, Hans Wongtschowski: A tribute, The Digging Stick 13(1), April 1996, p 12.
[54] Author unknown, She creates artistic ‘pieces’: Mrs. Margaret Richardson’s jewellery exhibit, S.A. Jeweller and the Diamond News, September 1958, p 29.
[55] Eberhard Dechow, Arbeiten aus Südafrika, Goldschmied Zeitung, 1970, 68(4), p 416. Also, Margaret Richardson, Silver jewellery,, (2011-06-18).
[56] Auctioneer Dreweatts 1759: & decorative Arts, Donnington Priory, Newbury Berkshire UK – 24th June 2008, lots 365, 367, 368, 371, 376, 377, 378 &381:, (2011-06-18).
[57] F van Staden, Joe Calafato: A late twentieth century South African precious metal artist, South African Journal of Cultural History, June 2010, 24(1), pp 126149.
[58] Birger Haglund biography, http://74.125.93,132/translate_c?hl=en&sl=sv&u=http:/, 2009-09-08.
[59] C. Truman (ed.), Sotheby’s concise encyclopaedia of silver (London, 1999), p 183.
[61] Birger Haglund, http://74.125.93,132/translate_c?hl=en&sl=sv&u=http:/, 2009-09-08.
[62] Comparison of examples in the Van Staden collection.
[63] F van Staden , Joe Calafato: The story of a South African fine metal artist, Reflections of Yesteryear 2(3), 2001, pp 1317. 
[64] Blum emigrated as a child to South Africa in the 1930s. During World War II he volunteered his services to the Red Cross in Europe. Interview: Geoph Foden, Johannesburg, 2009-10-28.
[65] Author unknown, Two young craftsmen and their work. The S.A. Jeweller and Diamond News, July 1957, pp 67.
[66] Author unknown, Two young craftsmen and their work. The S.A. Jeweller and Diamond News, July 1957, p 7.
[67] Chronic skilled and semi-skilled shortages undermined the implementation of the 1956 Job Reservations Act in South Africa. Almost immediately the clandestine training of blacks took place. It became increasingly widespread over the next three decades and by 1984 the jobs reservations system was all but abandoned. C Feinstein, An economic history of South Africa: Conquest, discrimination and development, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2005.
[68] Author unknown, Haglund presentation at 30th anniversary, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, May 1982, p 23.
[69] Interview: Geoph Foden, Johannesburg, 2009-10-28.
[70] AWeil, Intergold encourages innovation, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, September 1981, p 15.
[71] Author unknown, Capturing jewellery fashions for 1985, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, March 1984, pp 2325.
[72] Foden Jewellery Manufacturer, http//, 2009-02-06. Also, K Seanego, Gem of a future awaits skilled youth: Jewellery project set to improve lives of historically disadvantaged, Pretoria News, Focus section, 2010-07-06, p 6.
[73] E-mail: Mr G Foden – F van Staden, Jewellery, 2009-10-29.
[74] Vintage Sterling Silver Modernist Birger Haglund Studio Screwback Earrings, http://www.rubylane.corn/shops/quick-red -fox/item/JF04080803, 2008-12-6.
[75] Interview: Ms M Holm, goldsmith and early student of Erich Frey, Pretoria, Meyerspark, 2009-11-16.
[76] The Moore collection of 16 spoons of which the finials are shaped in the form of a round medallion with an enamelled circle containing the words ‘Pretoria Country Club’. The insides of the medallions were then engraved with the dates of the tournaments and the initials of individual players along with their scores.
[77] Teelepelstel, Die Voortrek, Spesiale Byvoegsel tot Die Transvaler, 1949-12-15, p.4. SVK is an acronym for the Sentrale Volksmonumente Komitee that was responsible for raising funds to build the Voortrekker Monument. The original design of WH Coetzer is recorded in the Catalogue of Pictures in the Africana Museum, vol 6, p 157, housed at the Museum Africa in Johannesburg. In 2011 the spoon set was on sale for R2 400., 2010-02-11.
[78] Antique Appraisals and Online Valuations,,certificate&act=form , 2009-08-04.
[80] The author’s collection.
[81] From the author’s personal collection. Printed on the inside of a presentation box of a gold tie pin are the words: watchmaker and jeweller, Henry Wade, ©, 233 xxx (street name is unintelligible) St. Maritzburg, Natal.
[82] www. Entry number 164.
[83], accessed 2010-02-10. This information still needs to be verified.
[84]  Interview: Mr Vic Thompson, Pretoria, 2012-01-27.
[85] Author unknown, Rand jeweller in the old tradition, The Diamond News and the S.A Jeweller, May 1962, p 63.
[86] Photograph with caption, The hands of a master craftsman, The Diamond News and the S.A Jeweller, July 1962, p 55. Author unknown, R2 000 000 gems and jewellery on display, The Diamond News and the S.A Jeweller, April 1963, pp 37 & 50.
[87] Mr M Cohen, The South African Jeweller’s Association Ltd, The Diamond News and the S.A. Watchmaker and Jeweller, September 1950, p 42.
[88] Author unknown, South African craftsmanship, The Diamond News and the S.A. Watchmaker and Jeweller, August 1941, p 32. 


  1. Hello
    I find your project most interesting. I came across your site working on my own site, dedicated to Kurt Jobst. The article on Kurt Jobst's work is very interesting and is now mentionned on the link pages ( I am myself trying to make an "inventaire" of the existing work of my father, and therefore started a blog ( Should you need any information, I would be very happy to help ! Do not hesitate to make contact on my mail address : Congratulations for your blog and all my best wishes !
    Tarquinius Jobst-Billiet (Belgium)

  2. Good day Prof Fred van Staden,

    I am putting together a newsletter on South African Jewellery designers - a small (but growing) collection of which I showcase and sell at my store, Bancroft, in Johannesburg - for the South African Antique Dealers' Association (SAADA), and not only have I come across your very exciting and informative blog here but Heleen Bossi, who I am consulting and including in the newsletter, has also suggested I contact you.

    I have so far been unable to reach you by telephone, so if you receive this soon please be kind enough to contact me back on 082 823 1492 or

    Warm regards,

    Paul Mrkusic
    Bancroft Antiques
    011 784 6922 / 082 823 1492