Monday, 4 June 2012

Twentieth century gold- and silversmith makers' marks used in South Africa



Notes on the hallmarking of twentieth century South African precious metal artifacts.

 Fred van Staden

(Published in the South African Journal of Cultural History, 31(1), 2017)

This paper comprises a review of attempts to establish hallmarking systems in South Africa during the twentieth century. Specific attention is paid to the efforts of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) and the short-lived Goldsmiths’ Guild of South Africa to establish hallmarking guidelines.
In addition, details of more than 70 South African gold- and silversmith studios or workshops active during the twentieth century are chronologically tabulated. This includes information such as names of the goldsmiths and their studios, their maker’s marks and dates when these marks were in use.

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

 _____________________________


One of the oldest forms of marking possessions stems back to 3000 BC in Egypt where domestic animals were branded with hot irons to identify ownership. This identification procedure was later extended from marks denoting ownership, to marks that authenticate the maker or the region from where creative objects (such as pottery) originated. [1]

Modern forms of hallmarking emerged from around the 10th century in Europe, with formal heraldic systems serving as regulated military insignia. The earliest marks represented town guilds in Europe, and first appeared in France in 1272, with makers’ marks emerging shortly thereafter in 1378. Systems for marking precious metal objects sprung up all over Europe and regulations varied from town to town. Mostly because of trade over the centuries that followed, the marking systems used in different parts of Britain and the European continent evolved along similar lines. Already in 1544 in England, a full set of hallmarks consisted of at least four marks, denoting the precious metal content, the location of the assay office, a date mark and the maker’s mark. This became law and is presently still enforced.[2] However, until the end of the nineteenth century, jewellery was often not hallmarked because of its small size and often delicate form.[3]

Today, compulsory hallmarking of beneficiated precious metals is practiced in most European countries. Most countries outside Europe do not make use of hallmarking schemes, although some have voluntary systems in place.[4]

South African hallmarking
The first attempt at establishing a South African hallmarking system stems from 1715 when the Governor of the Cape, Maurits Pasques de Chavonnes founded the Mint of the Cape of Good Hope. Under the new statute all silversmiths were required to stamp their work with personalised makers’ marks. They also had to submit all their work to two Masters of the Mint for testing. If approved, the hallmark of the Mint (consisting of the figure of Good Hope) as well as the Mint Masters’ mark would be added to the maker’s mark. For smaller pieces only the Mint Masters’ mark and the maker’s mark were required. A silver standard was fixed at eleven pennies for five grams. However, this commendable effort at standardisation fell into disuse soon after the initial three-year appointment of the Mint Masters came to an end. A follow-up appointment was not made. There is also no evidence that this ordinance was ever enforced. Nevertheless, there is some indication that the official ‘Hope’ stamp was still in use in 1780.[5]

It appears that during the 1800s no systematic effort was made to re-establish a South African hallmarking system. Later, in 1938, 1942 and 1958 the associations representing local jewellers and watchmakers submitted memoranda to the Minister of Commerce and Industries calling for the establishment of an assay office[6] to develop and implement a hallmarking system in the Union of South Africa.[7] In all three cases their representations fell by the wayside.

At the founding of the Jewellery Council of South Africa in 1972, a resolution was adopted to devise a compulsory local hallmarking system that would denote the country, the metal content and a maker’s mark. This was to be done in collaboration with the South African Bureau of Standards.[8] This call was again renewed in 1984 when representatives of the Jewellery Manufacturers’ Association, Intergold and the South African Bureau of Standards formed yet another committee to investigate the feasibility of implementing a compulsory local hallmarking system.[9] Again, the representations were unsuccessful. 

Throughout the twentieth century the local use of hallmarking remained voluntary.  It was only in 2011 that the regulation process became legally formalised with eventual implementation in 2013.[10]

Whereas the South African texts of Mollie Morrison (1936)[11], D. Bax (1974)[12] and Stephan Welz (1976)[13] contributed much to the documentation of hallmarks used in the early Cape between the 17th and 19th centuries, no comparable recording of hallmarking in South Africa during the 20th Century has as yet been produced. The present research was conducted in an effort to address aspects of this gap in South African hallmarking history.

Method

This study deals with organisational efforts to establish voluntary markings systems in South Africa during the 20th century. It concludes with a tabulated summary of more than 70 locally used maker’s marks. The table was composed of information contained in a series of articles covering the work of creative gold- and silversmiths who worked in South Africa during the early to late 20th century. [14] The reviews included publications in academic journals, books and specialist newsletters or magazines such as Artlook Magazine, The S.A. Jeweller and the Diamond News, The Diamond News and S.A. Watchmaker and Jeweller as well as government sponsored national magazines such as Lantern and the South African Panorama. Where possible, interviews were held with gold- and silversmiths or with their families or co-workers such as engravers, enamellists and die sinkers. Often, résumé’s, photo’s, letters and documents were made available. Internet searches and e-mail exchanges were included in the recording and corroboration process.

The period from 1980 to 2000 is for the most part not included in this review because of limitations to manuscript length. In addition, it covers a phase of significant socio-organisational change and requires a review in its own right.

It is notable that the majority of goldsmiths mentioned in the consulted literature worked in Johannesburg and Pretoria. A possible reason for this may be that the exponential development of the mining sector on the Witwatersrand during the 1950s also attracted more gold- and silversmiths to the area. In addition, after the Second World War, a number of gold- and silversmiths resigned from the South African Mint to open their own studios and workshops in Pretoria and Johannesburg. Also, skilled artisans from the Baltic countries and from Europe who were encouraged by the South African government to immigrate, tended to settle on the Witwatersrand. Another distinguishing feature of this sample is that the gold- and silversmiths whose work was recorded, were noted in national rather than regional publications. Further exploration of smaller community based publications may yield more information on creative goldsmiths whose credentials have not been included in this article.[15]

Although a general overview the South African Indian goldsmith contributions was presented in an earlier publication,[16] their use of maker’s marks have not been recorded in this article. The topic needs to be pursued in a follow-up article.

The South African Bureau of Standards certification marks.
In April 1948, at the request of the Chamber of Mines, the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) published in the South African Government Gazette voluntary hallmark specifications for the marking of precious metals. They consisted of the letter ‘U’ encircling the head of a Springbok for articles made of gold, and the head of a lion for articles made of silver. No mention was made of other precious metals such as platinum or palladium. It was decided to use the letter U (denoting the Union of South Africa) which was used on the ammunition manufactured by the South African Mint during the Second World War, and which gained international recognition as a significant contribution to the war effort.[17] The lion and springbok heads were quite detailed and required the skill of experienced die makers. The punches were sold by the South African Mint who had an overseeing role in regulating the use of thereof.[18]

Figure 1: Images of the respective SABS certification Hallmarks in use between 1948 – 1973, 1974-1999, and from 1995 onwards.
(Excerpts from SABS Bulletin, 4, 7, March 1975, p 172, and SABS Bulletin, 17, 2, June 1998, p 7)

In addition to these standardisation marks, articles had to bear the grade marking (e.g. stg or ct), followed by a letter symbol denoting the year of manufacture,  along with the gold- or silversmith maker’s mark. The year mark was  standardised by using a gothic typeface alphabet in lower case, starting with the letter ‘a’ denoting gold and silver products made in 1948 and concluding the cycle with the letter ‘z’ in 1973. In 1974 a new alphabetic cycle was introduced consisting of upper case Roman letters, where ‘A’ represented the year 1974,  ending with the letter ‘Z’ in 1999. It appears that a third alphabetic cycle was not introduced and the dating system discontinued.

Figure 2: An example of the Gothic (1948-1973) on top and Roman (1974-1998) lettering below used to denote the year in which precious metals were made in South Africa.
(Photo: SABS Bulletin, 4, 10, June 1975, p 225.)

In 1975, the realist images of the springbok and lion marks were replaced by a single stylistic image of a Springbok head encased in an oval form.  It was thought that this new mark would give a more distinct imprint. The mark was also used for products made in platinum.[19] In 1995, the logo of the SABS (the acronym is imprinted in the top half of an oblong outline) was introduced as certification mark. It is not clear whether this mark replaced the old dating system, or whether it was used alongside[20] the completion of the dating system that would have continued until 1998.

Figure 3: From 2013 all South African made precious metal goods must contain the ‘ZA’ mark denoting their South African origins. A long overdue first step in proper hallmarking practice.
 (Photo: F. van Staden, Pretoria, 2012)

In 2011 the Standards division of the SABS published a revised edition of a hallmarking standard for articles made of precious metals. It consists of the letters ‘ZA’ encased in an oval, denoting South Africa as country of origin.  A year mark is not required but it was recommended that the grade marking content be indicated alongside the ZA mark. This is then followed by the individual maker’s mark. This recommendation was written into legislation and finally enacted in 2013 where all South African-made precious metal products above 1 gram in weight are required to comply with the specifications. Individual maker’s marks remained optional.[21]
An important next step would be to legislate that the country of origin will also have to be indicated on imported precious metal artefacts. This would serve the dual purpose of quality control and improved consumer awareness. Such import control will go a long way in addressing the perception that  ...we become a dumping ground for work regarded as substandard in more developed markets such as the UK and Europe. [22] The designation of the precious metal content was summarised by the SABS in Table 1.[23]


Table 1: The South African Bureau of Standards specified designation of precious metals.

Where the silver content consists of 99,9% purity (indicated by the mark 999) the term ‘Fine Silver’ or the letters ‘FS’ may also be used. The abbreviation ‘stg’ could be added to the mark 925 (indicating a purity of 925/1000 parts). In the case of gold content exceeding a fineness of 995/1000 is indicated by the mark 24ct. The words ‘Fine Gold’ could also be added to the markings.[24] In an interesting deviation from international markets though, South African jewellery buyers continued to prefer nine carat gold as opposed to  the preference for 14 carat gold on international markets. [25]

Since its inception in 1948 until 2012, the SABS certification marking remained voluntary. Those who registered with the SABS, were required to regularly submit samples of their work for certification of its precious metal content. The SABS performed the role of voluntary assay office. [26]




Figure 4: An example of an SABS certified hallmark used in 1949 on a candelabrum. From top to bottom: Three stamps bearing the certification mark of a lion’s head within the letter ‘U’, the letters ‘STG’ (sterling silver grade mark) and the gothic date letter ‘B’ indicating 1949 as the year of marking. Then follows the maker’s mark consisting of a hand holding a sword and the inscription EXCALIBUR.[27] Lastly its South African origin is also stamped.
(Images: Ms C. Meyer, Ditsong Museum, Pretoria, 2014.)

It appears that during the 20th century, the SABS certification system was mostly used on silver flatware and hollowware. Perhaps because the certification mark system was voluntary and consisted of four elements, most creative jewellers resorted merely to a maker’s mark and precious metal indicators.

Portfolio of Mr Arthur Boddy
According to the research done by Mr Arthur Boddy,[28] an ardent researcher and student of 20th century South African silver, the maker’s marks[29] listed below, can be found on silver and gold ware made by smiths who were either registered with the SABS or who just made use of their dating mark. Boddy endeavoured to develop a record of local precious metal maker’s marks and their owners.[30] In a series of letters written between 1972 and 1975 he attempted, with variable success, to gain information on the maker’s marks of local silversmiths from the SABS, The South African Mint and the Jewellery Council of South Africa. In one letter, the SA Mint made it clear that such information on the clients of the Mint was confidential “… and cannot be transmitted to the public.[31] This secretive power play attitude was perhaps also a manifestation of the authoritarian zeitgeist in South Africa at the time.  

In 1974, Boddy remarked on a notable lack of knowledge amongst silver- and goldsmiths about the SABS hallmarking standard.[32] This may have been due to a combination of factors that include a lack of marketing, the voluntary basis of the marking system, as well as not wanting to submit one’s work to the scrutiny of an assay office because of extra administrative demands or because the required silver or gold content was not met.

The information below provides an initial knowledge base for the recognition and identification of locally-made silver in the mid twentieth century.  In 1972[33] the following businesses were permit holders for the making of sterling silver articles under the SABS mark:

A&M Cohen, Manufacturing Jewellers and Diamond Mounters, 95 Mooi street, Johannesburg. No maker’s mark has yet been determined.[34]

La Scala, Manufacturing jewellers (Pty) Ltd, Cennewa House, 12th floor, West Street,  Durban.
This manufacturer created hollow and flatware such as silver tea services along with jewellery. They used the name ‘La Scala’ as their maker’s mark.[35]

Em-Ess Silverware (Pty) Ltd, Isando, East Rand.
Described in 1975 as the largest producer of silver plate and sterling silver, this manufacturer produced jewellery (such as rings) along with flat- and hollow ware such as candlesticks, salvers, candle snuffers, meat covers and letter openers. They made use of the following marks; a springbuck head, the marks S925 (denoting sterling silver) and the letters S and a date letter (‘S’ denoting the retailer Spilhaus and a date letter stemming from the SABS system).[36]

In 1948 Mr Julius Martin bought the original business, then known as Henry Joseph & Sons (Pty.), from its original owners, who were Birmingham immigrants. Shortly thereafter, his son Leslie Martin joined him and by the late 1960s the company was already established as the largest manufacturer of silverplate in South Africa. Their initial range of products focused extensively on sporting trophies in silver plate as well as sterling silver and gold plate. Other products included pewter beer mugs, silverplated hollowware that included tea and coffee services, soup tureens, water pitchers, serving trays, butter dishes and sugar basins in distinctive style. They also produced insulated tea and coffee sets in stainless chrome. During this time, their exhibitions at the Rand Easter Show regularly earned them gold medal awards. The company had a tool room where most of the dies and component parts required for the manufacture of their products were created. In 1967, the quality of its products was described as equal to the best contemporary silverware available on the international market. The mark Em-Ess was used on the trophies, silver plated hollowware and pewter ware. [37]    

A notable commission was the creation of 250 pairs of sterling silver goblets to mark the 25th anniversary of Diners’ Club International.  The Diners’ Club emblem in addition to the SABS marking system was used on the goblets. A set number was stamped below the SABS standardization marks. The first two pairs of goblets were presented to the Africana Museum in Johannesburg as well as to the Director of the SABS in 1975. The goblets were designed by Mr T. Cavalho and were estimated to be worth around R300 at the time.[38] 

The South African Mint, Pretoria (now relocated in Centurion).
From 1948 the South African Mint was registered with the SABS as a hallmark permit holder. They made use of the acronym SAM as maker’s mark.[39]

E. Tiessen (Pty) Ltd, Manufacturing Jewellers, 14 Juta Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
They manufactured small articles such as silver chains, identity bracelets and sometimes other articles of jewellery such as cuff links. The maker’s mark ET+ was used.[40]

Norman Watson, Engraver and Manufacturing Jeweller (Pty) Ltd, 16 Fenton Road, Durban Central.
This engraver and manufacturing jeweller made use of the following marks. Firstly, their registered trade mark ‘Dick King’, the ‘stg.’ abreviation, then the SABS mark of a lion’s head, and lastly the SABS year mark.[41]

Natal Wholesale Manufacturing Jewellers (Pty) Ltd, Durban.
Natal Wholesale Manufacturing Jewellers was born in 1988 from the amalgamation of Durban Manufacturing Jewellers (established in the late 1940s) and Natal Wholesale Jewellers. In 1998 their production range consisted of rings, charms earrings and pendants. A small amount of hand crafted jewellery was also made. Apart from sterling silver, around 133kg of 9 carat gold alloy was used per year in the late 1990s.  They made use of the SABS precious metals marking system.[42]

Joe Malamed (Pty) Ltd from Cape Town is also mentioned as making use of the standardization marks of the SABS.[43]

Other marks recorded in the Boddy portfolio include:

R & G Metal Art (Pty) Ltd, 68 New Market street, Foreshore, Cape Town.
Owner Radoslav Kirov was born in 1955 in Bulgaria where he was trained as a coppersmith. Apart from copper, steel and wood, he also produced hollow and flat silverware. He specialised in spun and spot hammered ware. He retailed his work through Spilhaus but also undertook private commissions. Although he was not registered with the SABS he made use of its date letters. His hallmarks consisted of the letter ‘K’ (for Kirov), the sterling silver grade mark S925, the inscription ‘Spilhaus’ (for wares that were sold through this retailer) as well as the date letter according to the SABS convention.

Don Sheasby and Lorna Quinton, Cape Town.
This husband and wife team make use of the marks ‘Sheasby’ and ‘Quinton’ along with the marks ‘silver’ and 925. He is described as an artist craftsman whereas his wife specialised in the cutting and polishing of semi-precious stones. Sheasby is one of only a handful restorers of silver in the country. One reviewer described him as having “… an instinctive feel for his work and relates in an almost mystical way with the original craftsman.[44]

Silvercraft, Cape Town.
Harold H. Felstein in partnership with Thomas McQuillan established this firm in 1953. They produced the new mace for parliament in 1961 which was reputed to be the largest piece of wrought gold at the time in the country. Thomas McQuillan used the letters MCQ on his work.[45]

South African Goldware,   (Johannesburg)
This firm used the letter SAG followed by the imprint of a protea (or similar flower) as maker’s mark. It was active during the 1950s and the 1960s and made the christening mug of Mr Boddy’s son. Items by this firm regularly appears on local antique and collectors’ markets.[46]
                                                        
The Goldsmiths Guild of South Africa

For a brief moment during the mid-1970s, a number of local goldsmiths came together to create a better structured environment to work in. They formed the Goldsmiths Guild of South Africa. It was a time of hope and enthusiasm, but it did not last long.  Even though all of the founder members enjoyed national recognition for their work, their technical and creative brilliance was not strong enough to withstand the forces that were working against them. Within a decade their dream of a better future fell apart.
Late in 1973, under Peter Cullman’s leadership, the Goldsmiths Guild of South Africa was born in Johannesburg. Other founding members were Dieter Dill, Ewald Kratz, Liz Bezuidenhout-Kratz, Erich Frey, Kurt Donau, Jochen Kessel, along with Hartmut and Ilse Jäger.[47] All, except for Liz Kratz (who was a South African and educated  in Stellenbosch), were immigrants from Switzerland or Germany. They were extensively trained and highly skilled precious metal artists with master’s degrees in design and goldsmithing along with qualifications in gemmology. The majority received their training at Pforzheim in Germany.


Figure 5: Some of the founder members of the Goldsmiths Guild of South Africa. From left to right:  Peter Cullman, Hartmut & Ilse Jäger, Kurt Donau, Liz & Ewald Kratz and Jochen Kessel
 (Photo: H. Jäger, Australia, 1973)

A three-page constitution was adopted at the founding meeting of the Guild. Their aim was to produce and promote high-quality jewellery as an art form and to hold nationwide and international exhibitions.  Another lofty ideal was to raise public awareness of original South African designed gold and silver jewellery. The Guild was to meet from time to time to assess the implementation of its aims as well as to share information on new designs and techniques in experimental jewellery making (including the use of facetted gemstones, mineral specimens and enamelling).


Figure 6: Logo created by the Goldsmiths Guild of South Africa
(Photo: P. Cullman, Canada, 1974)

The Guild created a logo (a smith’s anvil in combination with a stylised ring) that members were requested to stamp on their work in conjunction with their own makers’ marks as well as the caratage of the piece. After earlier attempts to establish a South African hallmarking system was abandoned in the late 1700s, talks were only held again from 1938 onwards to establish a proper register, but no final agreement materialised amongst the members of the South African Jewellers’ Association at the time. The directive of the Goldsmiths Guild to its members to produce works with their own marks and Guild’s stamp of approval constituted the first real attempt to reintroduce a local standardised hallmarking system again. In an effort to differentiate their work from manufacturers who made use of mass-produced techniques, the Guild’s constitution specifically stipulated that

No jewellery of repetitive or ordinary nature may bear the logo stamp of the Guild.” [48]

Membership of the Goldsmiths Guild was optional and recommendations made by the Guild were not binding on the local goldsmith community. From the onset the Guild was represented at the Jewellery Council of South Africa.[49]  Nevertheless, the proper organisation of the industry as a whole (which included the field of gemmology) remained open-ended throughout the twentieth century.[50]
At an Intergold jewellery competition held by the Chamber of Mines in 1974, members of the Goldsmiths Guild received ten awards, including three first prizes along with the most outstanding design in gold. In 1975, two years after the formation of the Guild, the members arranged their first group exhibition in Johannesburg consisting of 120 pieces in precious metals. The exhibition proved to be such a success that in November of the same year a follow-up exhibition was held in Stellenbosch.[51] A number of other exhibitions were also held by twinning haute couture with artist jewellery. This was followed by a number of local exhibitions. In 1979 the Guild even opened a short-lived Goldsmith Gallery in Rosebank, Johannesburg where they intended to feature permanent exhibitions by South Africa’s foremost goldsmiths.[52]

                            

Figure 7: Intergold 1974 Grand Prix winning entry consisting of a combination neckpiece, brooch and a buckle by Goldsmith Guild members Liz and Ewald Kratz
(Photo: From the Kratz résumé, Brisbane, Australia)

Given the individual and unique design of every piece they made, these goldsmiths are  artists in their own right. Precious metals became the sculptural basis with which they combined texture, relief, line and colour to create jewellery of high quality. Precious stones were integrated in their designs to punctuate or emphasise aspects of their compositions. With youthful boldness, this generation of goldsmiths also expanded their palette of design materials to include organic elements such as wood and ivory. In some cases, copper and perspex were also used. They also celebrated the abundance of South African semi-precious stones by absorbing these into their work. The imaginative captivation of unique colour tones inherent in stones such as tiger eyes, amethysts, agates, rose-quartz and jade in their creations gave way to an increasing acceptance of semi-precious stones as part of leading jewellery design in South Africa.[53]

Some goldsmiths used their well-developed technical skills to collaborate with local painters and sculptors in giving expression to jewellery sets, hollowware and flatware. For example, Kurt Donau collaborated with Cecil Skotnes, Edoardo Villa and Hannes Hars on a number of occasions.[54] In 2012 a pair of cuff links designed by Cecil Skotnes and made by Kurt Donau, was auctioned for R9 500 by Stephan Welz & Co. in Johannesburg. In another collaboration, Erich Frey worked with Walter Batiss and Alexis Preller in creating jewellery pieces and medallions. Frey’s legacy is also gaining increasing attention at auction. In February 2012, at the Strauss & Co. auction in Cape Town, a collection of Erich Frey jewellery containing bangles infused with elephant hair were sold well above the auctioneers’ estimates.[55]

However, the conditions in which the Guild did its work conspired against its successful growth. Chief amongst these was an unresponsive and largely indifferent government that looked upon the profession with suspicion. More often than not, local goldsmiths were regarded as potential illicit traders of raw precious metals. Consequently, little was done officially to nurture and develop an organised community of resident gold- and silversmiths.

Political instability caused by the policy of separate development along with the Job Reservations Act further compounded the problem of rooting an indigenously sound and prosperous goldsmiths association. Whereas little formal training and job opportunities for black South Africans existed in the sector during the 1970s, white goldsmiths had to deal with increasing international sanctions that made exposure of their work very difficult, resulting in having to work in a small local market.

Within a few years of its formation, the Goldsmiths Guild began to neglect the mandate contained in its constitution internally. Already in the early 1980s their group exhibitions began to dry up and some members failed to implement the recommended hallmarking system. During the late 1970s members of the Guild began to emigrate to other countries, especially after the Soweto riots in 1976. Over the years that followed, all of the founding members of the Goldsmiths Guild of South Africa took their considerable skills to settle elsewhere. Apart from political instability, a sharp increase in theft and violent crime compelled most to emigrate from South Africa. Peter Cullman relocated to Toronto while Erich Frey and Dieter Dill returned to Germany. Kurt Donau resettled in his native Switzerland and Jochen Kessel went to London but returned to South Africa at a later date again. Ewald and Liz Kratz as well as Hartmut and Ilse Jäger emigrated to Australia.[56] 

By the late 1980s membership numbers dropped to such an extent that the Guild was no longer a viable association.

The formation of the Goldsmiths Guild of South Africa represents a notable effort to create an organisational platform for the advancement of high-quality local jewellery. Unfortunately, owing to the constraints at the time, it was destined to be only a momentary flash in the pan of our local jewellery-making history.

Hallmarking and recording of signifiers

In response to the on-going call by purchasers and collectors for the recording of creative silver- and goldsmith insignia or makers’ marks,[57] an initial listing of local makers’ marks used during the twentieth century was compiled and is shown in the table below. It should be noted that the list is not conclusive and only serves as an initial record of noted gold- and silversmiths who used a maker’s mark. In keeping with the listings of Western hallmarks,[58] the emphasis is placed on the name of the silver- or goldsmith, the name of the studio or workshop where he/she worked, a description of the maker’s mark(s), the dates during which the mark was used and the city where the studio or workshop was located.

Table 2: Chronological summary of makers’ marks by some noted silver- and goldsmiths working in South Africa during the early to late twentieth century.[59]

Name of gold- and/or silversmith[60]
 Workshop or studio
Format of maker’s mark
Years in use
Place
H Wade
Henry Wade Watchmakers and Jewellers
The words H Wade, Maritzberg.
1884–1933
Pietermaritzburg
A Sidersky (snr.)
M Sidersky
A Sidersky (jnr.)
A Siderski & Son
The surname Sidersky
1902-1938
1928-2006
1959-2006
Johannesburg
Large numbers of die sinkers, engravers, jewellers and medal makers.
South African Mint
Royal Mint of Pretoria mark
SAM

SABS marking specifications with SAM as maker’s mark
1923-1932

Early 1940s - 1947
1948 – present                            
Pretoria (1923-1991), Centurion (1992 –present )
J Friedman


H Fervier
Friedman Jewellers

Friedman Jewellers
The name Jack Friedman.

Continued with the name Jack Friedman.
1933–1995


1995 to date
Johannesburg


Johannesburg & Cape Town
K Jobst
The Jobst Shop





Outline of a unicorn. Sometimes his surname Jobst was added to the mark or the letters Jk with the vertical lines of the letters blended into one line.
1935-1971
Johannesburg
Makr’s marks in useE Wongtschowski
Undetermined
Mirror image of a rounded letter e of which the top leg extends above a rounded letter w. The mirror image creates the impression of a w followed by a b.
1938-1946

1947-1949

1950–late 1970s
Johannesburg

Cape Town

Johannesburg
Mssrs J & L Martin
Henry Joseph & Sons (Pty.) Ltd.
Later Em-Ess Silverplate



SABS marking specifications with the letter S
The name Em-Ess was used on silver and pewter hollowware.

1940s – possibly late 1960s



Only reference: Early-mid-1970s
Isando, East Rand
F Vetter[61]
F V Jewellers
A stylised capital letter F nestled in (but not touching) a larger stylised capital letter V.
1947–late 1960s
Jeppe Street, Johannesburg
G Calafato & B Campbell











G Calafato

















Mr & Mrs Dique
Metal Art Creations (1947-1951)

Metal Art
(1951-1953)

Precise Die Makers and Engravers (Pty) Ltd
(1953-1968)

Joe Calafato (Pty) Ltd
(1968-1984)















Joe Calafato (Pty) Ltd
(1984 to date)
The name CAndidA with STER SILV.

The name CANDIDA with STER SILV. Sometimes also S.AFRICA.

The name Carina with STER-SIL or SILVERPLATED and sometimes S.AFRICA or SOUTH AFRICA.

The name Velia with STER-SIL or SILVERPLATED or GENUINE COPPER and sometimes S.AFRICA or SOUTH AFRICA.

The words DAWU, COPPER and SOUTH AFRICA.

Shield outline containing the letters JC and Copper when applicable.

The name JOE CALAFATO. On badges and pins BOX 1457 PRETORIA was added.
1947-1951


1947-1972
(Limited use after 1972 to 1984)

1972-1984





1972-1984







1972-1984



1972-1984




1972-1984
1984to date
Pretoria


Pretoria




Pretoria





Pretoria







Pretoria



Pretoria




Pretoria
Ga-Rankuwa and then Ekandustria.
M Richardson
Undetermined
M and R, with the legs of the letters merged and the M slightly uppercase in relation to the R.
Late 1940s–early 1970s
Johannesburg
B Haglund


H Blum
M Waizenecker
G Foden
M van Tonder





Haglund Jewellers










HAGLUND, SOUTH AFRICA and STERLING SILVER (capital bold font). Sometimes Hand made or a date was added.


Stylised pair of jewellery pliers (may also be mistaken as Springbok horns)
1948–1952


1953–1986
1953-1996
1973–2007
1981–2003

1955-1985

Johannesburg







Johannesburg
G Foden
Foden Manufacturing Pty (Ltd)
Impression of a giraffe.
2006 to date
Johannesburg
Large number of artisans[62]

H Ocker,
B de Lange &
Mr Rupel

M McNorton


Mr & Mrs A Dique and
Mr J Erasmus
Metal Art
The inscription METAL ART POSBUS 1483 BOX  PRETORIA.

1951-1953


1953–late
1970s


Late 1970s-1998

1998 to date
Pretoria
T Keder
T Keder
The letters TK
1952-2005
Cape Town
A Oboler
L & M Oboler
A Oboler Manufacturing Jewellery
The name Oblo
1952-1998
Cape Town
B Miller
M Miller
B Miller & Co.
The letters bm
1952- present
Cape Town
G Xanthides


M Xanthides

B Xanthides
George Xanthides
Jewellery
The letters GX.


The letters MX.

The letters GX.
1953 to date


1981 to date

1981 to date
Pretoria
Undetermined
Undetermined
The words Riviera, st. silv. and a regd. mark.
Around 1953
Not known
H. Felstein & C. McQuillan
Silvercraft
The letters MCQ
1953-undetermined
Cape Town
Not known
South African Goldware
The letters SAG followed by imprint of a protea (or similar flower)
1950s and 1960s
Johannesburg
J Joubert
N Dreyer &
Mr Stanford
Simba
The words AFRICA, Simba and Handmade imprint. Later on only Simba was used, and sometimes REGD was added.
1954–early 1980s
Pretoria
J Malamed
J Malamed Jewellers
The name JAYEM
1955-1995
Cape Town
E Luther
R Erasmus
Mari-Lou Jewellers
The name MARI-LOU along with STER-SILV.
Late 1950s–early 1970s
Pretoria
E de Wet
Worked from home
Mostly unmarked. Sometimes a waterwheel containing 8 spikes.
1956–2011
Johannesburg
M Pagliari


R Regasto & T Pagliary
Pagliari (Pty) Ltd,  The Cape Mint (Pty) Ltd, Sports Medallions (Pty) Ltd, Gia Jewellery CC and Cape Silver (Pty) Ltd
Any of the following marks: PAGLIARY, CAPE MINT, CAPE SILVER, CM, CS and K.
1957–2001


2001 to date
Cape Town
Commissioning body:
National Parks Board

Various workshop contributions
The words WILDTUIN KRUGER PARK, sometimes REGD was added. Some only state KRUGER PARK.

A circle (1 cm in diameter), where KRUGER was stamped across the middle of the circle with a rounded WILDTUIN on the top and PARK on the bottom.

Marks for other national parks such as ADDO PARK were also used.
Mid-1950s–mid-1970s
Pretoria
T Sasseen
Produced from home
The letters TMS

The letters TS

Mid-1950s – early 1980s
Mid-1980s to date
Pretoria
Mrre Baroda
Baroda Brothers
The letters BB as well as bb
1958-mid 1980’s
Cape Town
E Frey






S Colegate and R Hacquebord

R Hacquebord (and M. Pitol 1988-1991)

K & N Coetzee


Erich Frey Master Goldsmith Pty (Ltd)



Erich Frey Gold and Silversmiths
The letters e and f below the imprint of a hand.

The name EFREY as well as efrey.

The name efrey.


Continued with the name efrey.


Continued with the name efrey.
1961



1964-1977


1977-1987


1988-1999



1999 to date
Pretoria



Pretoria


Pretoria


Pretoria



Pretoria
M Holm
Works from home
An encircled cross with its points protruding beyond the circle (4 mm x 4 mm).

Smaller version of the above design
(1,5 mm x 1,5 mm).

The same smaller version of the above design where a quarter of the circle spanning one of the quadrants is missing.

Return to the original design
1962-mid-1980s




Mid-1980s-1999



1999 - 2014





2014 - present
From 1961 to date at various locations around Pretoria and Hartebeespoort, except for Franschoek from 1973-1975.

A Pass
Abe Pass
His name Abe Pass.
1963- 2012
Cape Town
S Forman



D Forman
The House of Sid Forman
A diamond (or rhombus) outline within which the letters S and F appear.

The letters S and F encircled by the outline of a heart.
1963-present



2002-present
Johannesburg



Johannesburg
F Huppertz
Franz Huppertz Jewellers
The letters FH
The name Franz Huppertz
1964-1997
Mid 1980s - 1997
Cape Town
G Potash
Potash Jewellers
The letters Pop
1965- late 1980s
Cape Town
Isack Kurgan
Icky Kurgan
I Kurgan & Co.
Galaxy Jewellers
The letters IK
1965-1995
1995-present
Cape Town
Cape Town
P Cullman
Peter Cullman Jewellers
C encased in a rectangle.

Outline of a stylised ring on which two disks and a trapezium are mounted. Sometimes CULLMAN was added to the ring mark.

Continued using the stylised ring and his surname. Sometimes only Cullman was used.
1967-1973


1973-1977






1978-2003
Johannesburg


Johannesburg






Toronto
HF Gattichi

Prestige Jewellers
The letter P.
1967-1999
Pretoria
U Koetter

J Louw

Uwe Koetter Jewellers
 U and K where the right leg of the U is merged with the vertical leg of the K.
1968-present

1980-present
Cape Town
T Fleischer
Studio in Broederstroom
Copper work is marked with a flower pattern underscored by FLEISCHER in a half circle. Silver work is marked with KUNSTGEWERBE FLEISCHER arranged in a circle around the outline of a bird. Underneath, the abbreviations HAN. ARB appear.
1968-present
Broederstroom
D Lipman
C Horowitz
G Miller
Goldring

Goldmaster
Stylized square G
1968-1974

1975-2009
Cape Town

Cape Town
K  Donau
Kurt Donau Jewellery
The letters k and d.
1969–2008

2008-present
Johannesburg

Chur, Switzerland
D Steglich

D. Steglich Gold- and Silversmith
Image of a sickle moon and  letters d s.
1969–2006
Pretoria
D Sheasby & L Quinton
Sheasby Quinton silver
The names Sheasby and Quinton along with the marks silver and 925
1970-present
Cape Town
M Cope
Mike Cope
Capital letter M encircled by a C that is joined to the right bottom leg of the M.
1972-present
Cape Town
A & M Cohen
A&M Cohen
SABS marking specifications. Maker’s mark not determined yet.
Only reference: Early 1970s
Johannesburg
Undetermined
La Scala
SABS marking specifications with La Scala as maker’s mark.
Only reference: Early 1970s
Durban
E. Tiessen
E. Tiessen
SABS marking specifications with ET+ as maker’s mark.
Only reference: Early 1970s
Johannesburg
N Watson
Norman Watson
SABS marking specifications with Dick King as maker’s mark.
Only reference: Early 1970s
Durban
R Kirov
R&G Metal Art
The marks K , S925, Spilhaus and the SABS date letter.
Only reference: Early 1970s
Cape Town
Undetermined
Undetermined
The letters WWL.
1970s
Not known
Undetermined
Undetermined
The letters PJ.
1970s
Not known
WZ Ungar
Undetermined
The word Zeeta.
1970s-early 1980s(?)
Not known
M Oboler
Oblo Jewellers
The word Oblo.
1970s-early 1980s(?)
Cape Town
E and L Kratz
Studio K
The name Studio K or the letters E and K superimposed on each other.
A third mark still in use at present consists of two overlapping 90˚ triangles giving the impression of a bow tie.

1974–1986

1986–1997


1997 to date
Johannesburg

Pforzheim, Germany

Brisbane, Australia
G Traest
Undetermined
Made use of guyRS as acronym as well as two stylistic letters G where the second letter is turned around to become the mirror image of the first.
1974–late 1980s(?)
Johannesburg
A Zimmerman
Zimmerman Studio
The letters AZ
1975-1990
Cape Town
Not known
Lentin & solway
L III, L IV, L V etc.
1975-Late 1980s
Cape Town
F Hirner
Frans Hirner
The letters fh
1975-undetermined
Cape Town
H Köhler
KöHLER
Stylized infinity symbol
1975-1998
Cape Town
D Jacobs



D Jacobs &
G Nel





D  Jacobs


Stellenbosch Manufacturing Jewellers

Goldart






Daniel Jacobs Jewellery Design
 The letters SMJ.
 The letters DAJ.


Abstracted form of the letters G and A was used where the larger right-leaning G is fused to a smaller left-leaning A.

A stylised butterfly with four segmented wings.
1980-1989
1980-1994


1989–1994






1994 to date
Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch


Stellenbosch






Stellenbosch
T Beyers
Works from home
The letters t and b. Upright legs of the t and b are fused.
Late 1980s to date
Pretoria
Prins & Prins
Dr P Prins
Aurum Art Atelier
P&P
1982-present
Present
L Friedlander
Lilly Friedlander Goldsmith
Encircled L
1983-present
Stellenbosch
P Winhall &
D Holmes
Winhall and Holmes
The letters W+H
1983-1999
Cape Town
D Peters
7 Guys Jewellery
7G
1985-1988
Cape Town
E Benson
CONTI Jewellers
Conti
1985-1995
Cape Town
A & C Goodman
Olga Jewellery Design Studio
Stylized name Olga
1988-present
Cape Town
S Colegate
Stephen Colegate Jewellers
The letters s and c.
1988-present
1988-1997: Pretoria
1997 to date:
Knysna
Undetermined
Natal Wholesale Manufacturing Jewellers
SABS marking specifications. Maker’s mark not yet determined.
1988-late 1990s
Durban
M Nunes
Raffaele D’Amato Jewellers
A zigzag pattern contained within a tubular or capsule outline.
1988-present
George
D Balding
D Balding Manufacturing Jewellers
The letters db
1990-present
Cape Town
P Gilson
JPPE Manufacturing Jewellers
The letters jppe
1990-present
Cape Town
C Greig
D Balding and other workshops
Outline of Table Mountain
1990-1998
Cape Town
P Gilder
Various workshops
The letters PG
1990-present
Cape Town
D Evans
AUGENTA
1992-present
Stellenbosch
M Pitol
Works from home
The letters M, V and P encircled by an oval ring. The letters M and P are vertically joined with the letter V superimposed on them.
1995-present
Pretoria: 1995-1999
Knysna: 1999 to date




Concluding remark
As a concluding observation, there are also those manufacturers and artist jewellery makers who did not mark their creations, for whatever reason. This creates a legacy problem, since their work cannot be catalogued or defined with any certainty, except for perhaps design features that could be tied to a specific artist jeweller. Sadly this heritage is bound to disappear into an amorphous world without a history. In addition, creative silver and goldsmiths are often confronted with having to melt up the creations of (earlier) colleagues. This presents the dilemma of a continued withering down of our identifiable precious metal heritage. Perhaps it is naïve to expect jewellers to refer such items to antique and collectible dealers for resale. Perhaps the collectible market is too small and not being cultivated either. Nevertheless, as a country we are the poorer for not making a more concerted effort to conserve and appreciate these beautiful and joyful expressions of our heritage.






[1] A. George, Constructing Intellectual Property, (Cambridge, 2012), pp 281-294.
[2] A. Truman, Sotheby’s Concise Encyclopedia of Silver, 1996, (Conran Octopus Limited, 1996), pp 194-195. See also, see D. McKinley, “The Goldsmiths’ Company of London’s sterling standard”, Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver, article nr.186, August 2014, http://www.ascasonline.org/articoloSETTE186.html, accessed on 01 September 2014. See also, J. Bace, Collecting Silver, (Miller’s, London, 1999), p 46. See also, P. Prins, Gems and Jewellery, The South African Handbook, (Isikhova, Johannesburg, 2009), p 216.
[3] C. Phillips, Jewels and jewellery, (V&A Publications, London, 2000), p 142.
[4] C. Blair, The History of Silver, (Little Brown & Co, London, 2000), pp 234-240.
[5] Anon, “The silversmiths of the old Cape: Hall-marking scheme introduced in 1715”, The Diamond News and the S.A. Watchmaker and Jeweller, December 1950, pp 51-54. See also, J. Ambrose Brown, South African Art, (Macdonald, Cape Town, 1978), p 50. See also, D. Wemyss, “Bounty of Silver, Collecting old silver can be a rewarding and interesting hobby”, South African Garden & Home, December 1992, p 18.
[6] An assay office is responsible for testing the metal content of precious metal products. All approved items are then certified with a hallmark stamp. Anon, “Assays – what happens”, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, December 1984, p 6.
[7] Anon, “Urgent need for government hall-mark system”, The Diamond News and the S.A.Watchmaker and Jeweller, August 1942, pp 30-31. See also, anon, “More jewellery marking worries”, The Diamond News and the S.A. Jeweller, November 1958, p 32, as well as anon, “Proposed marking up of all jewellery”, The Diamond News and the S.A. Jeweller, September 1958, p 5.
[8] L. Dellatola, “Jewellery Council”, South African Panorama, 18, 12, 1973, p4.
[9] J. Hobbs, “SA hallmarking – one step nearer”, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, December 1984, pp 3, 6 & 32.
[10] National Gazette no 34233, 29 April 2011, vol 550, p 17 based on the SABS’ South African National Standards (SANS) 29 version 4, section 6.2.2. See also, Anon, ZA stamp compulsory for all locally produced products, SA Jewellery News, March 2013, p 8, as well as L. Loyd, “SA stamp compulsory for all locally produced products”, SA Jewellery-biz News, 2013, week 07, p1.
[11] M.N. Morrison, The silversmiths and goldsmiths of the Cape of Good Hope, 1652-1850, (Johannesburg), 1936.
[12] D. Bax, Het oudste Kaapse Silver 1669-1751, (Noord Hollandsche Uitgevers Maatschappij, Amsterdam/London), 1974.
[13] S. Welz, Cape Silver and Silversmiths, (AA Balkema uitgevers, Cape Town/Rotterdam), 1976.
[14] The following texts containing summaries of the legacies of noted gold- and silversmiths who worked in South Africa between 1900 and 1980, were published in the South African Journal of Cultural History:
Joe Calafato: A late twentieth century South African precious metal artist, June 2010, 24, 1, pp 126-149.
Erich Frey and Associates: A bold contribution to South African silver- and goldsmith design, June 2011, 25, 1, pp 148-179.
Early and mid-twentieth century South Africa: Legacies of local gold- and silversmiths, June 2013, 27, 1, pp 139-163.
An overview of noted gold- and silversmiths in South Africa in South Africa in the 1950s, June 2014, 28, 1, pp 90-113.
South African precious metal design between 1960 and 1980, June 2015, 29, 1, pp 22-57.
[15] See footnote 14 above.
[16] F. van Staden, Twentieth century jewellery design in South Africa, South African Journal of Cultural History, June 2016, 30,1, pp 119-143.
[17] J. Ritchy, Specification for marking articles made of gold, ref. 15/12/1, SABS Bulletin No. 29, 01 March 1948. Specifications for the assay of 22ct, 18ct, 15ct and 9ct gold was provided.
J. Ritchy,  Specification for marking articles made of sterling silver, ref. 15/12/1, SABS Bulletin No. 30, 01 March 1948.  See also, M. Vowles, Hallmarking in South Africa: dead or alive?, SABS Bulletin, 7, 2, June 1998, pp 5, 7 & 8.
[18] A. Boddy, Letter addressed to the South African Mint, 15 January 1973.
[19] J. van Heerden, Hallmarks on SA silver, SABS, Letter to Mr A. Boddy, 12 November 1975.
[20] From the Boddy portfolio: Notes on the work of Radoslav Kirov from R & G Metal Art indicate that he continued using the dating mark until completion of the series in 1999.
[21] L. Loyd, “ZA stamp compulsory for all locally produced products”, SA Jewellery News, March 2013, p 1, week 07, 8. See also, Anon, “ZA stamp comes to Jewellex 2014”, SA Jewellery News, May 2014, p 8.
[22] Interview: Mr Lourens Maré, CEO, Jewellery Council of South Africa, Parktown, Johannesburg, 10 April 2012.
[23] SABS Standards Division, South African National Standard: Articles made of precious metals, SANS document 29: 2011, Edition 4, March 2011. The document “…specifies the range of fineness and the composition of precious metals, and lays down requirements for the marking of articles made of precious metals”, p 3. The table indicating the designation of precious metal content and its marking is provided on p 6.
[24] SABS Standards Division, South African National Standard: Articles made of precious metals, SANS document 29:2011, Edition 4, March 2011, p 8.
[25] Interview: Mr G. Foden, creative jeweller and owner of the Haglund workshop, Johannesburg, 28 October 2009. See also, www.goldinsouthafrica.com, Gold in South Africa Report, Chapter 4, p 84, 2005, accessed on 16 February 2012. 
[26] Anon, “A hallmarking system for South Africa”, SABS Bulletin, 4, 2, October 1974, p 31. See also, Anon, untitled clipping from the Boddy portfolio, SABS Bulletin, 4, 10, June 1975, pp 222-226.
[27] Background on the Excalibur mark is confusing, since the mark was also found on Sheffield silverplate cutlery in the Dubarry design (1940s/1950s). The matter was further complicated by the existence of cutlery sets where only the name EXCALIBUR (without the hand holding the sword) was stamped together with the metal content.  As no further evidence or information on this mark could be found in reference materials or on the internet so far, the country of origin and the connection to South African silver remain uncertain. Further research is necessary. E-mail: C. Meyer-F. van Staden, Goldsmiths hallmarks final, 18 June 2015.
[28] E-mail: D. Boddy - F.van Staden, RE: Updated version, 19 June 2014 provided the following synoptic biography of his father Arthur Henry Boddy:
Born in 1904 - Worked for Guardian Insurance Company retiring in April 1968. His son David, began collecting silver as a 14 year old boy, and Arthur started to create his yellow card index system registering over 6000 silversmiths of whom there was either a photographic reference to their work or prices realized at auction. These were collated from the Connoisseur Magazines together with hundreds of silver sale catalogues, books and pamphlets on the subject. In the early 1970’s he started research on post 1948 South African silver compiling a research record of this history and a list of silversmiths and their marks. This gave him hours of pleasure. His son David did the collecting whilst Arthur did the research, a warm father/son collaboration. At the age of 73 Arthur suddenly passed away in 1977 of a heart attack. His retired son continues the work his father began all those years ago.
[29] The listing of maker’s marks were summarised from the notes of Mr A. Boddy. The information was confirmed by letters from the silversmiths themselves, or the South African Bureau of Standards or the Jewellery Manufacturers Association of South Africa , or the South African Mint, or by published articles.
[30] A.H. Boddy, letter addressed to Mr A.H. Fahn, Empangeni, 25 January 1975.
[31] W.S. van As, S.A. Mint, Letter to Mr A Boddy, 13 November 1972. See also a follow up letter by Boddy, (dated 15 January 1973), requesting an indication of the number of hallmark punches that were sold by the Mint, appears to have been ignored. The Boddy portfolio also includes a letter from Mrs. G. E. P How (of Edinburgh), residing in St. James street, London, dated 8 March 1973 in which she regrets the lack of co-operation Boddy was receiving from the S.A. Mint.
[32] A.H. Boddy, letter to Mr E.S. Fyfe, Director of the Jewellery Council of South Africa, 13 December 1974.
[33] J. van Heerden, Director General: SABS, letter to Mr A Boddy titled Hallmarks on SA silver, 24 November 1972.
[34] Apart from being listed by the SABS, no additional information could be obtained.
[35]L. Muller (for the proprietor F.A. De Meillon), letter to Mr A Boddy, 28 February 1973. In 1972 Frans de Meillon and Ron Stuart produced a 5 piece silver tea service based on protea designs, weighing 125 troy ounces  (newspaper cutting from the Boddy portfolio: Anon, Poetry in silver, Tribune, 03 December 1972).
[36] Notes from the Boddy portfolio.
[37] Anon, Henry Joseph & Sons (Pty.) Ltd.: Premier manufacturers of silverplate and pewter ware, in a monograph titled Kempton Park, Transvaal, Felstar Publishers, Johannesburg, pp. 136-139, 1967.
[38] Anon, Up to the Mark, newspaper clipping from the Boddy portfolio, 3 October 1975. See also, J. van Heerden, SABS, letter to Mr A. Boddy, 12 November 1975.
[39] N. Groenewald, S.A. Mint, letter to Mr A Boddy, 9 August 1972. See also, F. van Staden, Legacies of immigrant gold- and silversmiths during early and mid-twentieth century South Africa, South African Journal of Cultural History, 27,1, June 2013, pp 143-144.
[40] S. English, Sales manager: E Tiessen (Pty) Ltd., Letter to Mr A. Boddy, 24 January 1973.
[41] R. Venables, Norman Watson Engraver & Manufacturing Jeweller, letter to Mr A Boddy, 16 March 1973.
[42] B. Fitzgerald, Manufacturing to the mark of quality, SABS Bulletin, June 1998, pp 25-26.
[43] From the Boddy portfolio: Anon, Standardisation marks of the SABS, March 1974, p iii. Apart from being listed, no additional information could be obtained.
[44] D. Wemyss, Bounty of silver, South African Garden & Home, December 1992, p 168.
[45] From the Boddy portfolio: Article on p 25, scrapbook nr 9.
[46] L.J. Coombes, Secretary of the Jewellery Manufacturers’ Association of South Africa (Transvaal Branch), letter addressed to Mr. A. Boddy, 2 November, 1972.
[47] Unpublished document, Constitution of the Goldsmiths Guild of South Africa, signatories of founding members, 1973.  Shortly thereafter, another well-known goldsmith Franz Huppertz, joined the Guild.
[48] Peter Cullman and founder members, Constitution of the Goldsmiths Guild of S.A./Goudsmede Gilde van Suid-Afrika, 1973, p 1.
[49] Interview: Mr D. Shilofsky, manufacturing jeweller and gemmologist, Lynnwood, Pretoria, 2009-09-30. Membership of the Jewellery Council was also optional.
[50] B. Maree, Skoonheid uit die natuur, Suid-Afrikaanse Panorama, January 1986, p 37.
[51] L. Dellatola, Precious jewels, South African Panorama, January 1975, pp 32-33. See also, Anon, Eg Suid-Afrikaanse sierade, Die Huisgenoot, 18 Junie 1976, p 69, and E. Phillips, They are creating beauty in metal, 1975, unreferenced newspaper clipping courtesy of goldsmith Hartmut Jäger.
[52] Anon, Smiths open Rosebank Gallery, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, August 1979, pp 6-7. Anon, Gold gleaning, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, November 1979, pp 13 and 42. See also, unknown author, Timeless gold keeps pace with the latest fashions, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, September 1981, pp 25 & 27.
[53] F. van Staden, South African metal design between 1960 and 1980, South African Journal of Cultural History, 2015, 29(1), 22-57. E-mail correspondence: K. Donau – F. van Staden, Kurt Donau, 01 February 2012. 
[54] E-mail correspondence: K. Donau – F. van Staden, Kurt Donau, 01 February 2012.    
[55] Strauss & Co, Catalogue for the auction of South African art, jewellery and decorative arts, on 06 February 2012 in Cape Town, Strauss & Co (Pty) Ltd, pp 84-87, 2012. 
[56] E-mail, H. Jäger – F. van Staden, Ilse, Hartmut and the SA Goldsmiths Guild, 13 December 2012. See also, e-mail, H. Jäger – F. van Staden, 3rd lot of pictures from Hartmut, 15 December 2012 and  e-mail, H. Jäger – F. van Staden, A few more answers, 17 December 2012. E-mail, L. Kratz - F. van Staden, Re: Goldsmiths: E & L Kratz, 14 August, 2012. E-mail, P Cullman – F. van Staden, Goldsmiths Guild et al, 12 July 2012 and Re: Goldsmiths Guild et al, 14 July 2012.
[57] Interview: Mr & Mrs Coetzee, goldsmith owners of Erich Frey Jewellers, Montana, Pretoria, 18 September 2009. See also, J. Hobbs, “SA hallmarking – one step nearer”, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, December 1984, pp 3, 6 & 32.
[58] S.B. Wyler, The Book of Old Silver, (Crown Publishers, New York), undated. See also, R. & T. Kovel. Kovel’s American Silver Marks 1650 to the Present, (Crown Publishers, New York), 1986.
[59] One of the SAJCH reviewers of this manuscript provided valuable additional information on makers’ marks in use. This information was integrated in this table.
[60] See footnote 14.

[61] Felix Vetter was a master goldsmith with sophisticated engraving talents with which he created sculptural roses as part of his designs. After casting his jewellery pieces he would shape them by carving and engraving the pieces with self-fabricated tools. He was interred in Namibia during WWII. During this time he created rings with flower patterns engraved on the inner band along with his maker’s mark. The stones he used were ground by hand. In the early 1950s he won first prize in the creative jewellery section of the Sao Paulo Biennale in Brazil. He had exceptional upper body/arm strength. He was married in the 1950s to the Berlin-born Editha. They had no children. He died of a heart attack one afternoon in the late 1960s in his Jeppe Street studio. E-mail: P Muser, (Oakville, Ontario, Canada - F van Staden, 19 January 2014), 'He was a true renaissance gentleman’. Felix Vetter was a close friend of Muser’s father.
[62] F. van Staden, “Joe Calafato: A late twentieth century South African precious metal artist”, South African Journal of Cultural History, 24, 1, June 2010, pp 130-131.

76 comments:

  1. helen@troy.za.net13 May 2013 at 20:56

    Do you know of a mark T.M.S. on 18-carat gold medallions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It refers to Tommy Sasseen, who worked at the SA Mint for quite a while. He is well known for his medallion work

      Delete
  2. What mean mark J+H on gold ring@

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It means, JAGER HARTMUT , an awards winning member of the now defunct Goldsmith Guild of South Africa. :-)

      Delete
    2. No, Hartmut did not make use of a maker's mark. This mark might be referring to two people or to a partnership.We'll keep on looking.

      Delete
  3. I have the following marks on different pieces by Guy Traest:
    Two capital G's, the 2nd one mirrored
    The name Guy written in elaborate cursive script

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you Sari, This is important information. Wish we could get more biographic information about his life as a goldsmith and artist jeweller though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know he worked with a sculptor on some of the animal pieces. Do the initials RS mean anything to you? I have them on a silver sculpted lion together with his Guy sign.

      Delete
    2. Nothing comes to mind. Nevertheless, this is information that is now recorded and perhaps we get answers over time.

      Delete
  5. Hello, This is a fascinating website! I have a gold ring with MAG inside- any idea? I know it came from South Africa. Thanks x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you ever discover the meaning of MAG ?

      Delete
  6. Hi Lynda
    Do you know anything about the provenance of the ring? Where was it originally bought, by whom, from whom? If one can localise the origin of the piece, it makes it easier.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hallo Fred, how very useful your blog is! I bought a set of 6 South African silver cake forks and teaspoons on Auction. Are you able to give some information. The marks are as follows: From left to right: 1. a man riding a horse, 2. STG, 3. very hard to decipher- could be a shield, or fox head, or shape of Africa????and 4. a cursive "n". Thank you. Kind regards, Renerose

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Renerose, This is a very interesting mark you describe. I have never seen such extensive marking on South African made artifacts. I may be wrong, but to me it looks like a European form of marking, especially with the cursive 'n' at the end (it could refer to the year it was made). It is intriguing. From what I've seen of South African silver marking, the imprints are short and not in a string of four marks. Have you got any more information on the set you bought?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Fred, thank you for the prompt response. The only information I have is that they were maybe/possibly made by a Durban Silversmith, and that the rider is/could be Dick King..? Does that help at all?

      Delete
  9. Hi Fred, I have a wedding ring that belonged to my aunt (fifties)...or maybe her mother. It would have been bought in ENgland. There are lots of markings, including: w.w.IP; the letter "P"; a crown; #22; shields with a lion face (I think); and the word "Century". There is also an engagement ring on which the markings are pretty worn, but include #350-2. I would appreciate anything you can tell me about them. Thanks so much!

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  10. Hi Ron, I'm not an expert on Continental silver. Here's how far I got: ww.IP rpobably is the maker's mark, the letter P refers to the year that it was made, the crown reflects the place where it was made (maybe Sheffield silver?), the shields with a lion's face is the final puzzle I can't figure out. Good luck with your search. You'll find the answer. The English are vociferous administrators.

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  11. Dear Fred
    I was given a gold wedding ring, probably dating from the late 1930s. Inside it has the number 326 clearly stamped. Then very small, and close together is 106 JB 106. The JB is stamped at an angle inside a square. Are you able to help me with the meaning of these marks?
    Thank you.

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    1. I see I was reading the tiny writing either side of the JB upside downl 106 is actuallu 9Ct!

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  12. Hi, 106 and 9ct - it shows how easily one can misinterpret a mark. I have not come across the letters JB as yet (it most likely would be the initials of the goldsmith). And the number 326 add to the mystery. The period around the 1930's is not well documented yet. Would you know something about the provenance of the ring and perhaps in what town it was originally sold?
    I'll keep this in mind, and who knows, one sometimes find answers in the most unexpected places!

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  13. Hi Fred. Thanks for the reply. The person who gave it to me was not so clear on the details.But it seems like Cape Town could be a likely place, as that is where the people were married. The ring has wedding bells and small leaves engraved in a repeating pattern on it.

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  14. Hi Fred.

    I am in my 50's and I have Bracelets that were given to me in the 1970's, When I lived in Rhodesia. The Bracelets are inscribe with " ZEETA N SILVER PAT/PEN 72/7028 " I would like to know more about them.I have done some research, and keep coming up with the name " W Z Ungar " as the designer, and no other information.

    The Bracelets are very beautiful and I wear them everyday.

    Vanessa

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  15. Hi Vanessa,
    Yes the Ungars own the Zeeta mark. The business called Zeeta Manufacturers was established in 1953 in Bulawayo. Their early work was very skilled, and will increase in value over time. According to the patent request your bracelets were designed in 1972. It is good that your bracelets have been dated.
    At the recent Jewellex exhibition (which I unfortunately could not attend) two Ungar brothers also exhibited their work. It seems the family business has continued in some form. I have made a number of enquiries through Google but they have not responded yet.

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    1. Hi Fred.

      Thank you very much, for your quick response.

      Now I can at least tell my son not to throw or give them away when he inherits them. I will put a note about them, in their box.

      I would love to hear about any responses you do receive from Google.

      My 3 bracelets range from a half a cm to one and a half cms wide, with beautiful engraved designs on them, which I am thinking are Jewish. What I am wondering is, were the Ungar's Jewish.

      It is a pity you could not make the exhibition.

      Vanessa.

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    2. Hi Vanessa
      I also guess that the family is possibly Jewish, maybe from one of the then East Block countries. Judging from theestablishment of the workshop in 1953 it may be that Mr Z Ungar emigrated during or just after the war. Will keep you posted if anthing substantive comes up.

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  16. I'm clearing out a man's old watch collection for his widow, amongst it I found and old small pocket watch(not working) which has inside the back cover a circle mark with the words "Registered Cape Gold" around a picture of, maybe, an ostrich and spears. Also stamped with the number 3 and below that 6 0 4 6 7 on both back covers. Any information would be appreciated, Eric.

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    1. Hi eric, I am asking around and will come back to you if anything substantive comes up. I do think it is a special find. The 'Registered Cape Gold' mark is rare. The ostrich and spears emblem seem to confirm a South African origin. The number serves some kind of recording purpose. Let's see what comes up.

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  17. Thanks Fred, I can post some pictures if it helps (If I knew how to) I took some pics intending to pop it on Ebay but thought It would be nice to find out more about it first. Eric

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  18. hi i have an unmarked Joe Calafato "lo Umfaan Brooch" - it was black when i got it at and have gently cleaned it - but there are no marks at all on this, i am 90% sure it is silver, would there be a reason it was not marked ? or a copy, were copies made of this ? i also have a swan open salt with spoon makred JC 950 could this also be his ? or another SA maker possibly, i can send pics of both - thanks kathy

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  19. Hi Kathy, some 'lo umfaan' brooches are not marked. It could be that the mould was copied. The copier then simply did'nt bother to make marking punches. It maght also have been too brazen to copy the makers mark as well. With or without the mark, it remains an iconic piece - just delightful. Please post images - i I find the salt holder interesting. I don't recall that Joe Clafato made use of the mark 950 to indicate silver content. But let's see. Bye, fred

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    1. hi Fred i cant seem to post pics - i can email them to you - do you have a face book link ? that would work - i could post brooch and the JC mark on face book - is there a way to add pics here - sorry to ask thanks kathy

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    2. Hi Kathy, Send the images to fvanstaden@mweb.co.za. I'll then poost it - do not know how else to do it. I am a bit of a computer cripple..
      Best
      Fred

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    3. done emailed them to you - regards kathy

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  20. Hi Fred, I've popped the watch on Ebay to test the water, if you'd like to see it there are a few photos on there http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/221561582820?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

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  21. Hi there, you have indicated that as at June 2013, the law has changed. please can you refer me to the name of the legislation

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    1. Hi, see my comment below for the reference. It was already Gazetted in 2011 but implementation took awhile. Also see: SA Jewellery News, ZA stamp compulsory for all locally produced products, March 2013, p.8.

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  22. hi, please can you guide me to the source which says that the country of origin will also have to be indicated on imported goods/jewellery making use of precious metals.

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  23. Thanks for this observation. Going back to the source (an interview with a Jewellery Council official), it appears that this may just have been on their wish list.. I'll check the written sources I have.
    The closest I get to legislation is the National Gazette, No 34233, 29 Apr 2011, vol 550, p. 17. Given that this is based on a SABS 29:2004 recommendation, I am not sure that it also speaks to import controls.I'll check this and amend where required. Even if it is merely to argue that such legislation would enhance quality control and improve consumer awareness? Thanks again.

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  24. Hi Fred, My name is Sue. I have a beautiful bracelet that is sterling and has great tool work in the piece. It also has the letters Africa tooled into the work. It is a heavy well made piece. It has an animal mark that looks more like a ram's head to me. Would it be possible to send you a picture of the mark and bracelet? I got if from my jeweler who said it is very old, Thanks Sue at catgre2157@aol.com

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  25. Hi Sue, Perhaps it is the haglund mark (looking like the outline of a springbuck head - it actually is an abstracted version of the pincers used by jewellers). PLease post an image. Best, Fred

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  26. Hello I was given a nice white gold bracelet its about 4
    30 years old the only marks on it are 18 ct this is on the link to the clasp and also on the first large link of the bracelet, can you tell me if this is an official mark it is very nice, kindest regards

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    1. How true it is that the bracelet consists of 18ct gold can be tested by a good jeweler. Since there is no maker's mark, you really do not have a guarantee. Bur for the most part I think the goldsmiths of that time were honest. Especially if the piece was well crafted. Was the bracelet bought in South Africa?

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  27. Hello there could you tell me about a silver hall mark on a large table spoon I have from left to right a bold B then another bold B can't make out the 3rd but the fourth is a 1 or an I the fifth looks like a thistle with a crown inside and the letters N S also in the middle of the spoon is stamped african silver would be grateful for your help

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    1. Very intriguing isn't it. Could it be a UK (scottish?) maker? If so was there ever a time that African silver was imported by UK silversmiths? This may help with dating. There is also a smaller possibility that the mark originated in Africa. Would be interesting to see an impression of the mark. I'll look around.

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  28. Hello & Good Afternoon,
    I am in hope with seeking assistance regarding a lovely vintage 9ct gold 'bouquet' pearl & garnet brooch consisting of 5 small flowers & 4 'scattered' leaves. It was only recently gifted to me by a family member. Brooch marked ZEETA & what I believe to be the mark of 9ct. The are 5 pearls placed in each flower along with 4 small garnets placed in each leaf.
    It weighs approx. 5 grams & measures 2.5cm x 4cm. Thank you.
    Ann. (Melbourne, Australia).
    P.S. how can I upload photo's?

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    1. Clifford, could you describe the PJ mark in more detail. I have a PJ mark on a set of sterling cuff links with a 'Made in South Africa' stamp. In my case, the two letters are have flowing curves with a full stop between the two letters: P.J
      ct is the marking for gold content and 15.5ct is a strange marking for gold content.

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  32. Hello Fred, thank you for your fascinating site. Please would you help me with identifying the maker of a pair of South African wine coasters. The maker's mark is MSC. Do you know of anywhere I can find a list of the date marks?
    Thank you for your help.

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  33. is there a way for me to upload a photo of the hallmarks on my gold pendant? It came from Africa in the 1980's but I haven't been able to identify all the markings on it...and there are quite a few!

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  34. Need help identifying a gold bar pendant which I bought in Africa in the 1980's. There are many hallmarks on it.

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  35. Nice blog! This blog have lots of information related to antique collectors and antique dealers. One good thing about silver tableware products is that if they are cared for correctly, they will last for generations. The marks on the bottom of a piece of silver can be an indication of the age, maker, and origin of the piece.

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  36. I have been very interested in the work by K. Jobst mentioned in this blog. I would like to learn of any pieces and or pictures of these. My email is simon@landsgate.co.za

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  37. Hi,
    I have an antique looking ring stamped with ZEETA it belonged to my granny. Would the stamp up to value or does it not mean much? Thanks :)

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  38. have a carved ruby with gold attached band of feathers that reads SA and has a copyright symbol. any help on this

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  39. I have a necklace with little men with different outfits with cz's on their clothes. They are black and the chain is heavy gold. The hang tag is GX over LX, do you have any idea who this might be. Maybe from the 50's or 60's. George Xanthides.

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  40. Hi, It sounds like an intriguing piece. Could very well be a George Xanthides creation. However, the LX mark is somewhat of a mystery. E-mail me with an image? vstadfj@unisa.ac.za

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  41. Hello Fred and good morning ZA,
    thanks a lot for your outstanding website ! I'm seeking assistance regarding a big gilded silver tray,which I bought some weeks ago. To my mind the hallmarks-springbok,"925",leopard or lion passant,crowned,"R"crowned, (I've posted some pictures to your email-address) seem to be of South African origin (e.g. especially the "springbok"). Did you hit upon a similiar hallmarking in the past ?
    Thanks a lot in advance and greetings from Germany,
    Gisela

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  42. Hi Gisela, I am not an expert on old 18th-19th century South African silver. Given the impressive design of golden pheasants, it appears to be from the late 19th century. The lion passant appears to be English and the R may indicate the date. The two crowns are somewhat mystifying - nevertheless, this points to an English origin and the crown may point an aristocratic connection. The bokkie or the deer denotes a maker's mark. The deer has a strange crown like formation on its head. It is an intersting and showy piece - worthwhile to explore further.. Good luck. Fred

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  44. I have an old bracelet with the words PEN.PAT 72/7028 and the word ZEETA with a capital M underneath and the word SILVER underneath that, just trying to find more information about it. Thanks

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    1. Hi Rene, The pending patent number indicates that the piece was made in 1971/1972. This is good, since you have a date stamp. It appears that the ZEETA mark was owned by a Mr WZ Ungar who originally had a studio/workshop in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Since he applied for a South African patent right, it could be that the business moved to South Africa at one point. The Zeeta marks appears mostly at collector's and antique markets in the Western Cape. Excellent quality work was produced. I wish we can unearth more information on this mark and its owner.

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    2. Rene, The M mark could either be a maker's mark (someone within the Zeeta workshop), or it could be a date stamp - as yet, a mystery. Enjoy the piece!
      fred

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    3. Thank you Fred, much appreciated

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  45. I HAVE A WRIST BANGLE WITH MARKING GX

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  46. See my my May 2012 posting on 'Rooted in the 1950's' - you'll find a brief review of the work of George Xanthides who used the GX mark. He was a multi skilled goldsmith who could carve dies for mass production and did hand engraving apart from goldsmithing.

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  47. Dear Fred, your blog and notes are most useful and I hope you can help me? I am trying to ascertain the maker of a pair of heavy 925 SA silver candlesticks, dated 1993. They are stamped with the Springbok head, 925, makers mark E (it is not a solid E but an open stencil E). The year is a T (Times Roman font). All the stamps are in a square, except the 925 which is in a rectangle. Many thanks, Liz.

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  48. H. i Liz, We know the piece is South African, done in 1993 by an old school (established?) silversmith workshop. I haven't come across an open stencil E maker's mark yet.It is possible that the maker could still be alive - one should be able to trace him or his family since there are very few of them left. Perhaps silver restorers like Don Sheasby in the Cape could shed more light on it. I'll let you know if I do get a lead. Best, Fred

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  49. here is available every types of silver utensils after coming here my search is competed thanks for providing Silver Utensils Manufacturer In Delhi

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  50. My wife has a gold, garnet and pearl brooch. On it are markings ZEETA, BJI with a small capital D, a diamond with 9 in the middle, and what looks like 175 inside a box, and what could be a capital C inside a box with connections from the C at 12 o'clock, 6 o'clock and 9 o'clock reaching to the edge of the box.
    It could be South African, but I am not sure of the date, etc.
    Could you help please? Would some drawings of the marks help?

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    1. Hi Steven, Zeeta has been around since 1953 when a Mr Ungar opened a jewellery workshop in Bulawayo. It seems the workshop has since moved to Johannesburg and is manager by two Ungar brothers. From what i have seen, the early Zeeta works mostly only carried the Zeeta mark and gold/silver content. Given the multitude markings, the piece is possibly younger (around the 1980s?). The date and maker should be traceable. Hope this helps for now. I'll keep you posted. Enjoy the pieces, The Zeeta people have had a specific flair in design and deserve to be better recognised.

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  51. Steven, it might be that the piece was maed much earlier - 1960s? See my earlier correspondence with Rene Hulbert above.

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  52. Any information about Kerby & Huber Natal. Brooch in unmarked silver sheild shape with gold (also no carat specified) spear design riveted to front. As well as the name the brooch is marked No.3.
    My guess is 1970's or earlier.

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  53. Good day

    I have a ring stamped 960 with a emblem resembling a (possible horse)and za encircled. Could you please assist in identifying please.

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