Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Information on goldsmith Felix Vetter (late 1930's - 1967/68)

Below is an e-mail exchange with Mr Paul Muser who was acquainted with Mr Felix Vetter. He also provides examples of Vetter jewellery. I hope it would inform readers/viewers about the remarkable work Vetter has produced.  Perhaps others who own jewellery made by him would respond and post examples of his work as well?
(Additional information about Mr Vetter's life and achievements is provided at the end of my posting on Early and mid Twentieth Century South Africa: Legacies of local gold- and silversmiths.)

From: Paul Muser <>
Date: November 24, 2013 4:29:10 PM EST
Subject: Felix Vetter

Dear Professor van Staden,  
Re: South African Goldsmiths Research Project,  
request for information regarding Felix Vetter.

My name is Paul Muser. I was born in 1941. Ever since I can remember
Felix Vetter was a regular weekly visitor to our home at 80, 6th Avenue Mayfair North Johannesburg until mid 1968 when my Father Gustav, (who was I believe it is fair to say was Felix's best friend and confidant), passed away.
The following , in no particular order, are my childhood recollections with respect to Felix. I trust you will find them both interesting and beneficial to your project.

My earliest strong recollections of Felix are of 1946 during which Felix would bring large numbers of empty cardboard boxes, along with considerable amounts of foodstuffs; chocolates, coffee; medications, wool, knitting and sewing materials, cigarettes, writing materials; clothing, (and other items that a 7 year old would not really be interested in), which my mother would pack tightly into the cardboard boxes, then wrap and sew up each box in a sturdy woven material, (bed sheeting?) , before attaching/sewing on an address/contents label, which I believe carried the International Red Cross symbol. As I recall the sewn parcels would all be taken to our near by Post office for delivery to German citizens who I was told were all suffering too, in the aftermath of the war.   There must of been several hundred parcels that my mother packed and that Felix paid both the cost of and the shipping for. I thought this was a great humanitarian gesture on Felix's part.
At that time Felix already had his own Jewellery manufacturing and showroom Store in downtown Johannesburg. I believe it was on Jeppe Street?

After the cessation of the Parcel period, Felix would often stop by our home on his way to and or from work, most often to also unwrap and show us his latest creations, many of which were in the various manufacturing stages, as he also had constructed a work shop and bench within his 3rd Avenue Mayfair North home.

We found these pieces fascinating - not only for their incredibly complex beauty, but because of the remarkable workmanship. Most of Felix's jewellery appeared cast at first from various metals, then assembled and inserted (whilst still warm?) into a deep red hard wax-like substance that wold firmly hold the pieces onto the end of a sturdy hardwood "dowel" and whilst holding this attached Dowel in one hand, Felix would literally carve and engrave the metal using a variety of specially fabricated tools, that Felix had also made especially for the this purpose. Normally Felix would work at his workbench with a leather apron below the carving/setting area, to catch all of the removed carvings bits for recasting later, but sometimes,
to illustrate how he produced his masterpieces, he would proceed to carve or engrave some details, whilst sitting at our kitchen table! 

Felix was a prodigious worker, often working at home until the wee hours of the morning, all the while smoking and listening to his fine classical music recordings. All this fine and demanding work required, as one can imagine, a great deal of strength on Felix's part, which resulted in Felix having exceptional upper arm/body strength.

One memorable afternoon Felix appeared at our home in high spirits, with a large brown paper and string wrapped large object under his arm, saying ""you must haf a look at what I haf.." (in his deep voice with thick German accent), and hurried to our kitchen table with my parents and I in close pursuit, whereupon he put down and unwrapped the massive 9 Pound  Emerald which he had just purchased from the Williamson Diamond mine in Tanganyika. A year or so later, Felix brought over a truly magnificent 3 tier Emerald Necklace with matching massive Bracelet and Earrings, all cut from the Williamson purchase for my mom to wear and pose with.  Later he told us he had sold the set to US individuals reportedly acting for Sophia Loren.

On another occasion, Felix told us that an elderly lady often came by to look in his window, her peculiarity being that her head bobbed up and down continuously. One day he intercepted her outside his store and invited her in. It turned out she was British Royalty, possibly an aunt of Queen Elizabeth? I cannot recall who she was exactly but I know she had the title "Lady" and subsequently bought a lot of jewellery from Felix.

On still another occasion, Felix again appeared in very high spirits with News, brochures and photographs showing he had jus won the Sao Paulo Biennial, held in Brazil, where he was judged the world's best Jeweller. 

Felix was very kind to me and whenever the situation allowed, would always enquire as to my welfare/wellbeing and would give me sage advice regarding ethics and how I should behave and encouragement to pursue my dreams. On one such occasion, I asked about how he had come to S. Africa and he said it was by boat and he would never forget his first day. He had landed at Durban and after clearing Immigration, found himself in this beautiful warm, ocean paradise, surrounded by roadside vendors who were selling the most delicious variety of fruits he had ever laid eyes upon, especially since he had come from europe where I understood he had been hungry and cold and had not seen fruit for a considerable time, especially the tropical kinds which he saw in abundance.. As he only had a very small amount of money he enquired about the price from the vendor, but being unable to communicate, he finally gave the vendor a silver "tickey (3 pence). The Vendor then gave him a huge amount of fruit! Felix was  both overwhelmed and hungry and determined that he could not possibly let this fruit go to waste, so he promptly sat down and proceeded to eat all the fruit throughout the day until early evening when he started to feel quite ill, then began throwing up as well as developing a case of diahorrea. Nevertheless after recovering next day he was certain that he had landed in paradise. 

After travelling to Johannesburg as I recall, he rapidly prospered and within a few years, owned both a car and a thriving business. However as luck would have it it was wartime, and being of German Descent and in a British Colony, he was arrested one day and without further adieu, packed of to an internment camp in South West Africa, where he was held for several years. True to form however, and ever the entrepreneur/businessman, he immediately set about making a blow-furnace and new sets of tools, from a remnant of a car spring for one,  he told me, and then began to produce jewellery in the camp!  In answer to my question as to where he managed to acquire the gold and silver, he explained that he was able to trade for inmates and guards wedding rings, watch cases, coins, and even gold teeth fillings from the dentist! He also produced and sold jewellery to the Guards and thus was able to be on very good terms with them.
In addition, he also employed several inmates to grind and polish agate and other stones by hand, (mostly in a cabochon shape). It would take them a considerable amount of time to complete the polishing, but that was ok as they had plenty of time and there was nothing to do anyway he said with a laugh.

I'm pleased to tell, I  have several of these exquisite pieces made in the camp!  

During a return visit to SA in 1974, I mentioned to his wife Editha, how much I had always admired his work and asked, if she had any jewellery Felix had made that she might wish to sell? She replied that she had just assembled the 8 pieces Felix had made in the camp and had kept for sentimental reasons, and was just about to send them to the Johannesburg Museum! but would much prefer for me to have them if I wanted. Naturally I bought them all.  Unfortunately 5 pieces were stolen some years later, but below please see the images of the much cherished remaining 3, as well as others made by Felix after his release.

                        Carved Interior  with Felix's stylized FV makers mark clearly visible

1.   This Mostly yellow gold, with Leaf and Roses main Motif, ornamented with White Gold Engraved shank and 2 side elements, is also engraved on the inside with Felix's trade-mark "Flower Motif" design. The hand-ground and polished, mainly Green with fine Maroon mottling/specs Cabochon stone, appears to be either an agate or a type of Malachite. I has hardly been worn and is consequently in good condition. 

2.   This "sister ring, so similar to Ring No. 1 above, is instantly recognizable as Felix Vetter's handiwork during his Namibian internment camp period. The stone is a beautifully hand polished Agate, mainly cream/grey with dark Brown and dark Grey mottling throughout. Also signed FV and Engraved with a more elaborate but similar "Flower Motif" behind, (as also seen as seen in Ring No. 1.) 

             IMAGE/S TO FOLLOW

3.   Unfortunately this "Internment Camp" ring,  No. 3, also instantly recognizable as Felix's creation. is being worn by my daughter who is out of the country at this time, so cannot be Photographed.  I will send images as soon as she returns around Christmas 2013

In addition, I also have the following Felix Vetter creations:

4.  This Yellow Gold "Leaf Motif" with 3 White Gold roses and Ruby set, Tie Pin, (above) Felix gave me for my 21st birthday. 51 years later It is still one of my fondest possessions!

5.      Modelled on a Byzantine Poison Ring, designed to be worn on his little finger, this ring, in yellow and white gold, was bought by my mother Jutta, for my Father Gustav, as a  present for their 25th wedding anniversary. The stone is a Namibian Agate and I suspect, from the workmanship, it too was made in the internment camp in the 1940's.  Like all the other Namibian pieces, it is engraved with a flower motif on the inside - and signed there, with Felix Vetter's distinctive engraved FV makers mark. My Father just loved this ring and wore it whenever the occasion to dress up presented itself. I wore this proudly for many years, but have now set it aside to give to my son upon the appropriate occasion.

(MAKERS MARK ( a smaller capital F nestled within (but not touching)  a larger capital V. Both letters stylized.
To my knowledge, almost all of Felix Vetter's creations, from the very earliest produced in Namibia, to his latest in the 1960's, were signed this way. 
In fact it appeared prominently in dark Blue colour, on his Business Cards; his store signage, as well as a large framed emblem (almost Coat of arms one could say), hanging in his store.)   


6.         This ring, in white Gold, with a beautiful blue sapphire flanked by 3 small diamonds was purchased by my Father for my Mother, as her reciprocal present for their 25th Wedding anniversary. My mother truly cherished this ring and the memories that come with it, wearing it well into her 97th year! It, like the Namibian internment camp pieces, also has small engraved roses at various positions, which add exceptional beauty & charm to so many of the other creations of Felix's I have seen. In fact I believe it could be stated that these small, exquisitely executed roses could be considered a trade-mark of Felix's work, as they appear so frequently on his creations. I often watched as Felix proudly demonstrated how they were carved by him, out of the metal/s, using specially hardened steel tools he had made, expressly for that purpose.

7.         This yellow and white Gold ring, featuring an ancient Roman Coin in place of a jewel, was was another present to Mom, that Dad commissioned from Felix.

8. This Art Deco style White Gold "dress-ring Masterpiece, (it might be rhodium plated, but as it is unstamped I do not know), with inset rectangular vivid Pink Stone(?) set below the angled disk with Diamonds, Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald and what appears to be a light blue Tourmaline, amidst groups of Felix's trade mark roses and lilies design, was purchased at first site from Felix one day by my parents. Felix always referred to at as "the Moon Ring" and so did my Mother.

9.     This Yellow & White Gold set with Emeralds and Diamonds, was originally my Maternal Great Grandmother's Engagement ring, which she in turn gave to my Maternal  Grandmother upon her engagement in the late 1800's. My Grandmother then gave it to her daughter, (my Mother) upon my Mother's engagement to my Father  in the mid 1920's.  After meeting Felix in the mid 1930's or so, My parents asked Felix to remodel the ring as it was showing signs of considerable wear by that time. Felix did a most marvellous job, and my mother proudly wore the ring virtually every day, until early 1993, when, upon being introduced to my wife to be, immediately took off the ring and handed it to future Daughter-in-law, with heartfelt blessings and warm wishes, along with her hope that my wife would continue the tradition, by handing over the ring, when our children would become engaged.  One can just imagine how wonderful the moment was, and what powerful emotions were engendered. Consequently, just 3 years ago, with the ring showing signs of significant wear once again, we found a most exceptional Jeweller locally, who we asked in turn, ( as we really loved Felix's re-incarnation), to refurbish the ring as closely to Felix's original 1930's remodelling as possible. Now, we have the ring, in it's magnificent condition, safely stored, awaiting the day when our daughter announces her engagement intentions, so that we may continue the tradition to the 5th Generation of ring custodians - and - hopefully with God's blessing, even beyond…..!

10.   This 18 Gold cufflink was made & engraved by Felix Vetter as a replacement for one of my Grandfather's that was lost some 40 plus years previously. It bears no FV signature. but is illustrated simply to show Felix's wide ranging abilities. 


I do know that When Felix was released from the South West Africa Internment camp, upon his return to Johannesburg, He found that his car had been used to the point where it was unusable, his belongings, workshop, furniture, dwelling, ransacked and most all of his possessions had disappeared. Once again he was almost destitute, except for the wonderful pieces he had diligently made in the Camp, and so he was able to start all over again and establish himself anew, where by 1947 he was driving a lovely 4 door Silver Opel Kapitan, then by 1948 or so he was driving a great big Baby Blue Buick Road-master and even owned a lovely home on Third Avenue in Mayfair North. One day in 1950 or thereabouts he appeared all excited at our door to take us all for a drive in his very impressive, shiny new, Black Jaguar motor car! After he left, my mom told me somewhat breathlessly, that the car had cost as much as a house did in those days!  I was greatly impressed and Felix rose even further in my esteem as a result.

Later in the mid to late 1950's Felix, with my father as support, went to Jan Smuts Airport one afternoon to meet a most beautiful, refined younger  Berlin born lady, Editha, whom he subsequently married a short time after. "Edit" was lovely, physically, and in both mind and soul. She spent a considerable time with our family who loved her dearly. Unfortunately there were no children of this union.  I think they both would have loved to have children and would have been great parents.

Felix was also a great cook and would cook up copious quantities of food at the slightest excuse, to have a party. It is fair to say Felix really loved life.

Edit and Felix had a Female Ridgeback dog called "Woezel" that would stare at one  - unblinkingly - all the time that one was in their home! …..It was really quite unnerving! If one turned one's head, Woezel would move around to where she could lock her golden eyes on on one's own, and just continue to stare - hard! Otherwise she was a lovely dog.

In the early 60's upon learning I was courting a young lady, Felix and Edit insisted that we needed to have an appreciation of both Opera and Classical music, and as such, should attend their beautifully appointed cultured home, every Thursday evening for an hour or longer classical music concert, played through their wonderful, state of the art, modern Hi-Fi equipment. This continued for many months, for which I am forever grateful, as that love of classical music remains with my family to this day.  Just another example of how kind, generous and thoughtful a human being, Felix Vetter really was. 

In the mid 60's, Felix died of a heart attack one afternoon in his Jeppe Street store. Some years later, (probably 1975) Edit left SA  to live with her sister in London England.

In the Mid 90's , courtesy of the internet, I came across an extensive Rosebank auction of Felix's jewellery at very reasonable prices. Unfortunately I found the site, too late to bid.
If there is anyone reading this who wishes to part with any of Felix Vetter Jewellery, I would be very interested in being given the opportunity to purchase it. Please feel free to contact me via e.mail at or by telephone at :  +1 905 338 2087


As mentioned earlier, Felix possessed exceptional strength, but he once said it was nothing compared to two other men he once knew:

One was the Blacksmith in Pfortzheim or Cologne, (I cannot recall), where Felix and others were all apprentice Goldsmiths learning their craft, and who paid regular visits to the local blacksmith. To demonstrate his strength one day, the blacksmith took one of the horseshoe nails he had fabricated and whilst the students watched in amazement, he twisted the h nail into a corkscrew, using only his bare hands!… and taunted the students to do the same on subsequent visits.  Not being able to, and wishing to best the blacksmith, Felix and his friends made, annealed and hardened a fake "horse shoe nail", doing their best to make it appear as ordinary as possible, which they subsequently gave to the blacksmith simply asking him to make another corkscrew for them…..Upon accepting the Fake and beginning the first twist, the blacksmith smiled broadly and said…Ah so gentlemen,.. I see you have learned something at your school after all  hey?… and whilst they watched in astonishment, gritting his teeth but still smiling, he slowly twisted - by hand - the hardened steel fake into the corkscrew spiral they had requested, and handed it to them with a flourish!
I immediately visited our local blacksmith to acquire some horseshoe nails, which Felix generously turned into rings for my friends and I, which we wore proudly for many years. 

The other strong man Felix mentioned was another German who lived on a huge farm in the then South West Africa, Felix said he could lift a 45 gallon steel drum full of water, from the back of an ox wagon and place it on the ground, without any assistance! Felix also mentioned that he was also a "real Character" quite famous in the Windhoek area. For example he had a wife who had nagged him for several years to take her to one of the functions in Windhoek whenever these social occasions took place from time to time.  On one occasion a large dinner and dance was also to be coupled with some celebrities appearance and she really wanted to attend.   Ok he said, after much nagging…. "get yourself ready for this Friday night and we will go.  In the meantime I have to go to Windhoek for some supplies and will be back tomorrow evening"  - Instead he went to Luderitz, boarded a tramp steamer that was travelling the world and only returned 2 years later!

Some time after the 2nd WW had ended he received a letter from his wealthy family in Germany, informing them that their fortunes had  eroded precipitously, and as a consequence,  they were no longer able to send him the semi annual stipends he had been receiving for many years.
In response, he had a photographer from Windhoek, make a special visit to his farm, to photograph him, seated on a large chair, surrounded by a huge number of scantily clad Herero and other tribes-women, together with their children, in a large semicircle around him.
He then sent this large photograph back to Germany with a note stating that as he could no longer afford to live in Namibia without the stipends, he would have to bring his family home to Germany, and would they please prepare for his family's arrival as soon as he could make all the arrangements. Needless to say, the stipends were miraculously found again in Germany and continued to be sent for many years!

Funny how these stories stick in ones's mind all these many years. - No?

I consider myself really blessed to have known Felix Vetter. A true Renaissance Gentleman.

In closing, I trust you will find the above information of some value and would like to wish you much success with your research project.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if there is anything else you feel I might be able to do.

With kindest regards,
Paul Muser
Tel/Fax: - +1  (905) 338 2087
e.mail: -

Hi Paul
No, for some reason I have not received the original e-mail. But I am absolutely delighted that you resent it. Thank you very much for your recollections of Felix Vetter – which made him come alive. For me as an academic, this information is worth gold..  I knew little about him, apart from the attached newspaper clippings. But I had a sense that this man was a master craftsman with great creative vision. This is also clear from your images of his work. And the Sao Palo Biennale winner for creative jewellery (have you got an approximate date – I could then follow it up with a newspaper search?) confirms that. Your collection of internment jewellery produced by Felix reflect the time and care that was invested in it. Please take good care of it. Work of this quality produced under internment circumstances is rare, very rare. And beyond its beauty, it also has historical cultural and anthropological significance. His flower motifs are just breathtaking.
I’ll record his maker’s mark in my work.
I would appreciate more information about him: Dates, such when he entered the country, when did he die. I assume, he worked until the day he died – As you have noted, great artists have a compulsion to create and he couldn’t suppress that.  
Again, heartfelt thanks for sharing this information. Would you mind if I post it on my blog? 

I also like the lapel pin – hope you wear it often times.

                                                           Felix Vetter, May 1962, Diamond News, p. 63

                                                                          Diamond News, July 1962, p. 55

Diamond News, April 1963, p.37

From: Paul Muser []
Sent: 20 January 2014 09:23 PM
To: Van Staden, Fred
Subject: Re: Felix Vetter 2ND ATTEMPT

Hello Professor, 
So delighted to learn you finally received the e.mail and images and that you are pleased therewith.
Thank you so much for the images which you attached to your reply, I particularly value the Photo of Felix as I did not have one until now.

As for your request for additional information, I believe the Sao Paulo Biennial In which Felix participated would have been  in the time period from 1951 (inaugural), 1953, 1955, 1957, 1959, 1961, periods, but I'm sorry I cannot recall exactly. Their Website is listed in Wikipedia as:-    ttp://

Felix's Store/Workshop Exterior sign read "F.V Jewellers" in bright blue outlined letters on a White background. The FV was in the shape of his Makers Mark. As soon as I have some time, I will determine the exact locations of both of his retail premises in downtown Johannesburg, for your records.

As for when he entered S.Africa, Felix was already successful in Johannesburg at the start of WW2 so I surmise he must have emigrated possibly as much as 5 years prior. I know his port of Landing was Durban.

Felix, collapsed and died of a massive heart attack in his premises in approximately 1967/1968.   I'm sorry I cannot recall the precise date either.

Also, professor, my objective was both to respond to your original request for information, and to hopefully honour Felix by leaving leave a record of some of Felix's life and works.  I think that Felix would be very pleased to discover he is being memorialized in your Project/Blog too.

How wonderful that you took on your interesting and worthwhile project. I am sure that the families of other Jewellers/Goldsmiths would be greatly honoured by your fine efforts too.
Bravo Professor!

With kindest regards, 

Paul Muser

From: Van Staden, Fred
Sent: 21 January 2014 06:53 AM
To: 'Paul Muser'
Subject: RE: Felix Vetter

Dear Paul (and please call me Fred),

Thank you for your ‘bravo’, it doesn’t happen often and I feel flattered..

Also, thank you for good information that I shall include in future publications. It gives me great satisfaction to record the lives of our creative jewellers – it is a bit like a Sherlock Holmes process, but every now and then, someone like you comes along and provide information I could not get in any other way. I find it exciting.

I have great regard/respect for people who can express ‘wonder and beauty’ with their hands. I am rather useless in that regard.  

Thank you for letting me post your work on my blog. I would like to post your e-mail as a whole as well as relevant sections of our correspondence. Must say, the jewellery is very well photographed. And let’s see, when it is uploaded, perhaps someone else who owns Vetter jewellery may respond.

Best regards

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

South African precious metal design between 1960 and 1980

Fred van Staden

(Published in the SA Journal of Cultural History, 29(1), 2015, pp.22-57) 


This paper comprises a review of the legacies of noted gold- and silversmiths, who opened their studios in South Africa from 1960 to1980.[2] Through literature searches, interviews, relevant e-mail exchanges and internet searches, précis with pertinent information were composed. Information on 14 local gold- and silversmith studios are chronologically presented. Brief notes on a further 8 goldsmiths are also provided. Where possible, descriptions of maker’s marks and the years they were in use are provided.

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


 Although small in numbers, the South African silver- and goldsmiths of the mid to late twentieth century proved themselves on par with their international counterparts.  From 1965 until 1969 and again in 1974 the South African exhibits at the annual International Arts and Crafts exhibitions won gold medals and praise.[3] In 1968 the Director of the Industrial Design Institute division of the South African Bureau of Standards, Mr Peter Whitworth (previously employed on the staff of the Council of Industrial Design in the United Kingdom) attested to the good quality of South African jewellery design and manufacture, by declaring that:
            South African jewellery can compare with the best in the world.[4]
A few years later Mr. John Donald, a noted English goldsmith at the time, had this to say about the quality of South African entries for the 1973 Chamber of Mines Gold Jewellery Competition:
I was surprised and delighted by the high standard of the work submitted both in design and craftsmanship.[5]


Information dealing with the careers of silver- and goldsmiths who opened their workshops in South Africa from 1960 to 1980[6] was gathered by reviewing suitable journals and magazines such as the South African Panorama, Lantern, Artlook Magazine, The S.A. Jeweller and the Diamond News, The Diamond News and The S.A. Watchmaker and Jeweller, as well as internet searches.

Goldsmiths whose work was reported in the media during the period of 1960 – 1980 were followed up where possible with internet searches, e-mail exchanges and interviews. A semi structured interview schedule was used to compose a summation of relevant aspects of their careers. This included issues such as their apprenticeships (as well as those they supervised), a characterisation of their work, important commissions, descriptions of their maker’s marks, achievements and recognition of their work. Interviews were also conducted with family members or co-workers to gain corroborating background information.

The interviews and all pertinent e-mail exchanges were content analysed and integrated with available literature.  An initial draft was submitted to a few experienced practitioners for review. Where warranted, the text was adapted. [7]

Some noted South African silver- and goldsmith studios established between 1960 and 1980.

Erich Frey (1961 – 1977)         
The work of Erich Frey and associates Maia Holm (1962 - ), Stephen Colegate (1965 -) and Maurice Pitol (1981- ) have been extensively discussed in an earlier article.[8]

Abe Pass (Cape Town, 1963 – early 2010s )

Abe Pass was born in Lithuania in 1926, and as a child immigrated with his parents to South Africa. He completed his apprenticeship as goldsmith with Cooper’s in Cape Town in 1945. To gain further experience he worked with other artist jewellers such as Doug Saunders and Levitt’s. In 1963 he established his studio in the Groote Kerk building in Cape Town. He designed individual jewellery items with precious metals and stones. Since then until 1998, he exhibited his work at least 15 times at exhibitions in Cape Town and in Johannesburg. In 1967 he contributed to the gold winning South African exhibition at the International Arts and Crafts Exhibition in Florence. In 1970 he won a first prize and commendation at the Intergold jewellery competition. In 1976, he repeated this performance with a first prize in the section for bracelets and a second prize in the men’s jewellery section of the competition. In the early 1970’s he also lectured at Stellenbosch University. [9]  

In 1977 his work was described as
… of distinguished quality …expressing refinement and a strong aesthetic sensibility.[10]
He worked on his own and used an imprint of his name Abe Pass or only Pass as maker’s mark on his work.[11]

Figure 1: Dress ring encrusted with diamonds, emeralds and garnets by Abe Pass. Valued between R15 000 to R20 000 in 2010.
(Photo: Strauss & Co, November 2010 auction catalogue, Cape Town, p. 37)

Sid Forman (Johannesburg, 1963 – present)
Sid Forman was born in July 1935 in Mayfair, Johannesburg. At the age of 16 he started his apprenticeship as a diamond jeweller in the workshop of Cellini’s. After completing his five year apprenticeship, he worked for another five years with a manufacturing concern called Ideal Jewellers owned by Mr Morris Adler, after which he worked for Mr Max Siderski for a while. In 1963 he opened his own workshop in Castle Mansions in Rissik Street under the name of The House of Sid Forman. The business grew fast and due to a lack of workspace he moved to a few other premises in Johannesburg to finally settle in 1996 on the fifth floor of Jewel City in 225 Main Street. Since 1963 he used a makers mark consisting of the letters S and F inscribed within the outline of a diamond (or rhombus) shape. A variation where the shape of a heart is used was introduced by his son David at the turn of the millennium. Forman works in platinum, 18ct and 9ct white-, yellow- and red gold. Forman reminisces as follows about his early days of jewellery making:
During the 1950’s the main expense of jewellery making was the labour and not the materials. Funny how things have changed.[12]

In 1966 he bought a casting machine and underwent casting training in Italy. He became one of a small handful of goldsmiths who casted some of their designs.[13]  At the high point of his career he employed around 120 people in his 1000 square meter workshop. Whereas his jewellery designs were primarily influenced by Italian trends of the time, it was also dictated by market demands. Forman is also an accomplished visual artist in the fields of painting, sketching and sculpting (mostly marble, wrought iron, scrap metal and gold). Apart from holding one solo sculpting exhibition in Norwood, he did not commercially pursue his sculpt and paint work, viewing it as a hobby. He also served for a brief while on the South African Jewellery Council.

Amongst his achievements was the presentation of an 18cm high ostrich made from 18ct gold that was presented to President Mandela. He also made a range of figures that included leopard, elephant, rhino, birds, bushmen, lion, horses and a hunter with his dog. His high technical skill is especially evident in a small replica of an antique Chevrolet complete with moving doors, as well as an encased pistol set in gold.[14] On evaluating the merits of a jewellery piece he contends that:
First and foremost its artistic qualities must resonate with the viewer. The artistic qualities of a piece are expressed in the way that modulation or relief is unpacked in the design.[15]
Figure 2: A pistol set made of ivory and 18ct yellow and white gold encrusted with diamonds that took Mr Sid Forman three years to complete. In 2013 the set was valued at 750 000 US$.
(Photo: F van Staden, Johannesburg, 21 February 2013)

Since 1973[16] the House of Sid Forman won a range of awards in jewellery competitions that included the Chamber of Mines Gold Intergold Jewellery Design competition in 1981[17] as well as winning the Diamonds Tomorrow Student Design Competition in 1983.[18] His wife Lorraine and two sons Mark and David hold the distinction of being the only family who have each in their own right won the coveted Diamonds International award.

Franz Huppertz (Cape Town, 1964 –1997)

Born in 1940 in the German town of Eshweiler (near Aachen), Franz Huppertz studied jewellery design (1959 – 1962) at the Kunst und Werkschule in Pforzheim, West Germany and specialised on the history and techniques of bracelet making. His training extended beyond silver- and goldsmithing techniques to a wide range of artistic expression in graphic design, drawing, painting and sculpting in stone. He studied with Dieter Dill (who later moved to the Western Cape for awhile) under the tutelage of well known German jewellery master and museum curator Klaus Ullrich. [19]  

Before coming to South Africa in 1964, he worked in Switzerland where he rebelled against the strictures of the Goldsmith Guilds and decided to explore Africa. After an overland sojourn lasting seven months he eventually settled in Cape Town where he opened his studio called Franz Huppertz Jewellers at the Stuttafords Town Square in Adderley street.

He exhibited his work both internationally in Switzerland, Italy and the United States of America and locally in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. During the 1980s he regularly exhibited his work in group exhibitions curated under the titles of African Experience (1980), Gold in Fashion (1983 – the collection was also exhibited in Paris and Milan) and Dreams of Diamonds (1988). In 1985 he held a successful first solo exhibition at the Kunskamer Gallery. A unique touch at this exhibition was the design of the jewellery presentation boxes as wall hangings, allowing the jewellery items to decorate a wall when not worn.  A few years later in 1989, he staged another solo exhibition titled Art in Jewels at the Town House Museum in Cape Town.  [20]

Huppertz was a prolific designer and demand for his custom made jewellery grew fast during the 1980’s and he opened a second studio showroom in Cavendish Close, Claremont, Cape Town.[21]

Figures 3 & 4: Ring drawings by Franz Huppertz as a student in 1961. On the right is a necklace, mask and a brooch in 18carat gold by Franz Huppertz.
(Photo: Monique Nienaber, Cape Town, 2012 )

In his designs he favoured the use of diamonds and gemstones along with creating interchangeable combination jewellery clusters. He used the lustre, cut, brilliance and emotive qualities of the stones he selected for his designs, as guidelines for developing the setting of the design.[22] Forms, textures and colours in nature as well as cultural motifs often formed the design bases of his jewellery settings. His work shows a fondness for granulation along with relief work where different levels are combined or juxtaposed. [23] He made only individual jewellery items and as a rule created a number of designs for a customer to choose the most suitable from. As is the case with a number of other goldsmiths, he was of the opinion that a reflection of the wearer’s inner self should be captured by the jewellery that is worn.[24] Later in his career he diversified the materials he incorporated in his designs to include mother of pearl, stinkwood, elephant hair, steel and even plastic.[25] A critic reviewed his use of materials as follows
His art is vested in all material that has the potential to please. So even in some of his more formal work, there is surprise and amusement at the audacious use of the unconventional.[26]
His daughter, a goldsmith in her own right describes his designs as the
… organic merging of geometric elements. He designed around the stone and believed that the piece flows from the qualities and shape of the stone that is used.[27]

As a qualified master goldsmith, Huppertz was accredited with the Kunst und Werkschule in Pforzheim (Germany) to offer apprenticeships to their students. He gave regularly of his time as external examiner for apprenticeship work and students’ jewellery design work. [28]

Between 1970 and 1982 Huppertz won a total of eight awards at various competitions organised by the Chamber of Mines, Diamonds of Today and Intergold competitions. [29]  In 1982 he won the overall Intergold jewellery design prize with a pair of aquamarine encrusted 18carat gold earrings, as well as winning entries in the section for men’s jewellery with a set of cuff links, along with a gold necklace submitted to the section for ethnic jewellery.[30]

Franz Huppertz suddenly passed away in 1997 at the age of 57 as the result of a stroke. A few months before his death, Mr Nicholas Opperheimer presented him with the De Beers Shining Light Award for Excellence in Diamond Jewellery Design[31] – a timely testament to a noted goldsmith who helped to extend the range and interpretive limits of local handmade jewellery.

Hartmut and Ilse Jäger (Johannesburg, 1965 – 1984)

Of German parentage, Hartmut Jäger was born in 1940 in Hitler occupied Czechoslovakia in Eger (now Cheb). After World War II the family returned to West Germany where he received his initial goldsmith training in Koblenz. He continued his studies in engraving, setting, making and designing jewellery at the Art College in Schwaebisch Gmuend.

In 1965, Jäger immigrated to South Africa, working successively for goldsmiths Sid Forman, then Jack Friedman and for Anthony Sidersky before starting his own studio in 1969. He became a founding member of the Goldsmiths Guild of South Africa.[32]  At the 1975 Intergold competition he won first prizes in two pricing categories. In the late 1970’s he partnered with Jochen Kessel and opened a Jewellery shop in the Bryanston Shopping Center, of which he and his wife Ilse later became the sole owners.

Jäger enjoyed working with precious metals and gemstones. His design style was described as
’universal’ as it varies with ease according to mood and circumstances.[33]
In an article on the role of goldsmiths as artists, Jäger stated the following:
Fine art should have the quality of taking the observer beyond his or her everyday surroundings to give them a glimpse of a greater beauty. In jewellery, an individual piece must also be crafted for the wearer as a unique expression of some quality within that person. And so the goldsmith is many in one: (s)he is sculptor, designer and visionary. (S)he must do the setting, engraving and enamelling, and master good knowledge of the many precious and semi-precious stones as well as the numerous techniques for shaping and forming of silver and gold. And (s)he must know people to sense their nature and personalities in order to serve them best.[34]

Austrian Ilse Meckel was born in 1941 and raised in Ravensburg, Germany. She studied and obtained a Masters Degree in Jewellery making in Schwaebisch Gmuend, where she also met Hartmut Jäger . After graduating, Meckel worked for leading workshops in Helgoland, Geneva and in London. With renowned London jeweller Andrew Grima, she created the famous Omega watch collection and also designed and made a brooch for the British Princess Ann. At the invitation of Hartmut Jäger, she immigrated to South Africa in 1970 to work with him in his jewellery studio. Here she designed and made a series of barely 2cm high miniature sculpture charms of animals and people in gold and silver, using the ancient 'lost-wax' moulding and casting process.

In 1972 Ilse and Hartmut got married. They have two children and in 1984 the family emigrated to Perth, Australia, where Hartmut Jäger embarked on a new career as a paintings artist and graphic computer designer.

Figures 5 & 6: A double sided pendant in 18carat gold with rubies and red coral by Hartmut Jäger and three charms in gold by Ilse Jäger.
(Photos: From Hartmut Jäger’s résumé.)

During their time in South Africa, the couple made significant contributions to the local renewal of jewellery content, design and the combination of different materials that marked the late 1960’s and the 1970’s. The couple did not make use of maker’s marks.[35]

Frenchie Gatticci (Pretoria, 1967 – 1999)

Of Italian extraction, Hector Francois (Frenchie) Gatticchi was born in 1934 in Nice, France and immigrated at the age of 13 with his parents who settled in Pretoria in 1947. In 1952 he started a three year internship in ‘mounting and precious metal working’ in the Metal Art workshop under Joe Calafato. However, the company split up in 1953 and Mr Gatticchi completed his internship with a splinter group called Pretoria Badge and Silver-Smiths Pty. Ltd in Hatfield.[36] This group consisted of a number of people previously employed by the South African Mint, namely Mssrs. Becklacke (previous Chairman of the Mint), Percy Cave (die sinker, well known for a number of maces he produced)[37], Myburgh and Hendriks (die sinker).This group do not seem to have made use of a maker’s mark. Gatticchi qualified with a wide range of jewellery making skills (such as the rolling, soldering and vitreous enameling of precious metals) and he went back to work for Joe Calafato for a while. In 1967, he and his wife opened their own studio under the name of Prestige Manufacturing Jewellers.[38]  From 1978 until 1980 he and Mr Charl Vorster (who also apprenticed with Joe Calafato) became partners in the business. After they dissolved the partnership, Gatticchi moved his studio and showroom to the Sanlam Arcade, Pretoria City Centre. He focused both on the jewellery making and retailing market. Amongst his clientele counted a number of government ministers and officials. He used a P as maker’s mark on his jewellery until he closed the business in 1999.[39]

Otto Poulsen (Durban, early 1960’s )

Otto Poulsen was born in Denmark and completed a five year apprenticeship in Copenhagen under Willy Krogmar (a Danish sculptor/goldsmith who became known for his early modernist designs). The high standard of Poulsen’s apprenticeship work was awarded with a gold medal by the Danish Guild for Art and Craft work. He worked for a while in the Georg Jensen workshop. During this time, his development as a designer was influenced by the designs of Sigvard Bernadotte. The Danish Guild of Goldsmiths, Silversmiths and Metal Art Workers bestowed a second award on Poulsen for a bracelet he submitted in an open competition. He also worked with Henning Koppel, a well known Danish jewellery designer.[40]                                    
Figure 7: A choker by Otto Poulsen consisting of 16 diamonds and 3 Sandawana emeralds[41] set in 18 and 22 carat gold.
(Photo: Optima, September 1970, p. 110)

He immigrated to South Africa in 1955. He worked for a while with Kurt Jobst in Johannesburg who introduced him to a range of different materials for use in jewellery design. In the early 1960’s he relocated to Durban where he worked under his own name. At a later stage his studio amalgamated with that of Robertson’s, a long established Durban jeweller (since 1910) to form Poulsen Robertson Jewellers.[42] He worked in gold, silver, precious and semi precious stones embedded in sculptural designs.[43] It is clear that this goldsmith was one of our foremost talents in jewellery making during his time – he worked with the best in the Western world. Hopefully in future more information about his work will come to light.

Dieter Steglich (Pretoria, 1968 – 2006)

Dieter Steglich was born in 1939 in Berlin. Initially he qualified as a precision mechanic and worked at Siemens from 1955 to 1958. He had a natural flair for jewellery making, and as a hobby (without any formal schooling) he made jewellery pieces for family and friends. Based on a portfolio of his work, he was accepted for training as goldsmith at the Staatliche Werkkunst Schule in Berlin, West Germany. After successfully completing his studies and apprenticeship, he was approached by Erich Frey to join him at Frey’s studio in Pretoria. The young Dieter grasped the opportunity with both hands and worked with Frey from 1966 to 1968.

In 1967, Neville Jones who worked as journeyman for Gilroy King (owner of King’s Jewels), decided to continue his journeymanship at the Frey studio.  Barely a year later, Jones and Steglich left to open their own studio on 01 April 1968 in Arcadia Galleries in Pretoria. Their partnership didn’t last and exactly another year later, in 1969, Jones left to join Heinrich Ocker who owned the Schultis Schwar & Co. jewellery and watch workshop on Church Square in Pretoria. [44]

For the next 20 years, Steglich continued working in the same premises under his own name D. Steglich Gold- and Silversmith. Perhaps sensing the increased vulnerability of jewellery shops to crime that would plague his colleagues in the decades to follow, he moved his workshop on 01 April 1988 to his home in Meyerspark, Pretoria.  Here he worked with contentment, stating that at last he has all his tools under one roof. He was a soft spoken, self contented person, who enjoyed the solitude of his studio. He avoided crowds but was adept at having individual discussions with his clients on all matters ranging from philosophy to mechanics. He displayed an interpersonal sensitivity enabling him to translate aspects of his clients’ personae (or radiance) in his designs. For this reason (and also because of his accomplished technical ability) he worked mostly on commission and had an extensive list of loyal clientele. After being bedridden for six months, he passed away from prostate cancer in October 2006.[45]  

His work gave good expression to the modernist designs of the 1970’s. Due to his initial training as precision mechanic, Steglich’s work always displayed technical finesse of the highest order, where spokes, circles, spirals and chains were interlinked with delicate balance.[46]  He won a first prize in the Chamber of Mines’ Gold Jewellery Competition in 1970 for the design of personal jewellery in gold and precious stones.[47] He also contributed two jewellery pieces to the gold award winning South African group entry at the Arts and Crafts Fair in Florence in 1974. A total of 46 countries were represented at the fair.[48]

Regarding his inspiration and design style, Steglich preferred abstract designs that may (or may not) emerge from organic or naturalist origins. He opined that concentrating extensively on detail often leads to a weakening of the design as a whole. He always designed his pieces on paper before translating it into the actual three dimensional form. He felt strongly that true artist jewelers should not advertise their work. The work that an artist jeweler creates should sell itself. Each piece he made, was individually crafted. In addition, he never made use of waxing methods when creating his jewellery pieces. He included both precious and semi-precious stones in his designs. He assigned equal status to stones and their settings, where the design of the setting results in punctuating the stone as the crown of the setting.[49] Prof D. van Zyl, a client and friend, reflected as follows on the inspiration and work of Dieter Steglich:
He had a high standard of beauty and harmonious composition… Every creation of his has this blend of outer harmony and inner care, technical precision and human sensitivity. He always searched for what he called a ‘better idea’, a more innovative way, which made him a true artist.
He explored and investigated beyond the boundaries of the everyday, and was open to the multi-layered mysteries of life in his own inimitable way, soft spoken and measured, he often shared thoughtful insights and profound understanding of spiritual matters. He was an artist with matter, and a philosopher in spirit. Above all, the many times he blended spirit into matter, he unified love with substance, ultimately made him a creator in the most profound sense of the word.[50]

Since opening is own studio on 1969, Steglich made use of the following maker’s marks. The letters ds were used when he worked in gold, an imprint of the sun was used when he worked in silver and a halfmoon was used when worked with other metals. The applicable caratage was also stamped on his work. [51]

Figures 8 & 9: Dieter Steglich’s award winning bracelet in the Chamber of Mines’ Gold Jewellery Competition in 1970. The bracelet featured five moonstones and 12 rubies in ‘lunar-surface-textured’ gold. On the right is Mr Steglich in his studio in Arcadia, Pretoria in the early 1970s.
 (Photo on the left: F van Staden, Pretoria, November 2013. The photo on the right is from the Steglich résumé.)

Peter Cullman (Johannesburg 1967-1977, Toronto 1979-2003)

Peter Cullman was born in Berlin in 1941 and completed his apprenticeship as goldsmith in Idar-Oberstein (1956 – 1960) followed by three years of training at the Kunst- und Werkschule in Pforzheim, Germany. In 1962 he attended a course in gemmology offered by Erich Frey[52] who encouraged Cullman to relocate to South Africa.  After spending a brief time in Israel, he immigrated to South Africa in 1963 where he worked in the atelier of Egon Wegrostek in Johannesburg. In 1966-1967 he travelled to the United States, Mexico and to Canada where he worked for Walter Schluep, a leading Canadian avant-garde jeweller. Upon his return in mid-1967 he opened his own workshop in Fanora House, Johannesburg. [53] Here he worked until 1977 when he immigrated to Canada where he operated his own studio in Toronto between 1979 and 2003.[54]

During the twelve years that Cullman worked in South Africa, his designs were locally lauded by winning awards at all the Intergold Jewellery Competitions that he entered, including the overall first prize in 1972 and 1974. In 1969, 1971 and 1974 he held successful solo exhibitions at Gallery 101 at Rand Central and Gallery 21 in Hyde Park Corner, Johannesburg. He continued to develop an international profile by exhibiting some of his creations in 1971 and 1972 at the Inhorgenta Exhibitions in München. [55]

His work was typified as flowing organic patterns that reflect elements of nature. In this regard he proclaimed that
My immediate surroundings are full of shapes and forms, all of which have an important bearing on my work. [56]
 He worked in silver and gold, with a distinct preference for gold. His creations were individually designed jewellery items and as is often found amongst goldsmiths he was attracted to contemporary sculpture. In many of his works he included stones such as onyx, opals, emeralds, diamonds along with wood and ivory. [57

Figure 10, 11 & 12: Examples of early work by Peter Cullman. From left to right: A turquoise matrix cabochon set in 18 carat yellow gold (1976), an 18 carat yellow gold choker with an ivory and diamond pendant (1972) and an 18 carat gold brooch set with diamonds and a pearl in the form of a sea urchin (1970).
(Photos: From Peter Cullman’s résumé as well as Optima, September 1970, p. 110.)

Cullman emigrated in March 1977 with his family and settled in Canada where he established his own studio in Yorkville, Toronto in 1978. He continued to work only in 18ct gold or platinum (as opposed to the Canadian preference for 10ct. or 14ct.). Here his designs explored an individualistic or idiosyncratic style that did not follow the design trends of the time. He retired in 2003.[58]

Since he arrived in South Africa in 1967 until 1973, his jewellery items carried a stamp that consisted of a capital C placed within a rectangular frame. Thereafter he made use of the outline of a stylized ‘ring with mounted stone’. Sometimes his surname CULLMAN was added to the ring mark or used on its own. In Canada he continued using the ring mark. [59]

Tessa Fleischer (Broederstroom, 1968 - current)

Tessa Fleischer (née Loubscher) was born in 1934. After an initial career as film actress she changed in 1968 to jewellery making under the guidance of husband Michael Fleischer, a Romanian immigrant metal sculptor. His design philosophy which he imparted to her, was captured in 1969 as follows
Art is the truth of the thinking and feeling of its creator – not more, not less than the plain truth. We do not make art abstract, but it becomes abstract when this is the way to say only the truth and nothing surrounding the truth which is not essential to it. The creator develops only the essence which is the truth and leaves out everything unimportant. The only success for the artist comes when he has achieved this truth in his work, whether the spectator experiences it or not.[60]

In 1968 Tessa Fleischer began exhibiting her jewellery work jointly with the sculptures of her husband in Johannesburg. [61]  In 1970 they again exhibited their work as a duo at the Pretoria Arts Association.[62] International exposure came early in her career when she was invited to participate in the 1974 International Arts and Crafts Fair in Florence, Italy.[63] During the late 1960’s and 1970’s she was also involved with the organisation of the annual Living Arts Biennale held in Johannesburg.[64]

Initially she worked in copper and silver, starting out with jewellery making but soon extended her repertoire to reliquaries such as chalices, altar candelabra and crosses. This affinity with spirituality is also expressed in her jewellery designs. Already in 1969 she stated that her jewellery should convey aspects of the owner’s inherent persona and should be regarded as
            … essay(s) in spiritual expression.[65]
The materials she chose to work with were selected for its inherent beauty rather than inherent value.   Apart from precious metals serving as the base for her work, she made use of tumbled semi-precious stones and indigenous woods. Her work is often described as spanning the range from chunky, bold or dramatic to delicate and refined – always conceived with a sensitive aesthetic. [66] Early inspiration for her designs was also gleaned from antique jewellery that she then reinterpreted into modern designs at the time.

An important commission came her way in 1985 when the Anglican congregation of St Mary’s in Johannesburg requested her to design and make the ceremonial staff and pectoral cross for the inauguration of Bishop Desmond Tutu. It consists of tambotie wood, sterling silver, amethysts, tourmalines and garnets.[67]  

Figures 13 & 14 : Left is Tessa Fleischer with Bishop Tutu’s inaugural rosier made from Tambotie wood and sterling silver. On the right is a copper, brass and onyx choker by Fleischer.
(Photos: The Star newspaper, 01 February 1985, p. 12, and SA Panorama, July 1974, p. 20.)

From her work it is clear that much attention has been paid to detail, to the extent of creating individually designed chains that extend and accentuate the inspiration expressed in her pendants, necklaces, bracelets or girdles.[68] Her husband’s African themed work shows a synergy with her work that was influenced by various trips in Africa. She is regarded as a creative and an imaginative jeweller with a career spanning over 40 years.[69]

Since 1974 Fleischer worked from her studio-gallery at home in Broederstroom that she shared with her husband until his passing in 1991. Her work in copper is marked with a flower pattern that is underscored by the name FLEISCHER in a half circle. She marked her work in silver with the words KUNSTGEWERBE FLEISCHER arranged in a circle around the outline of a bird. Underneath, the acronym HAN. ARB appears. Though some variation occurred over the years, all her work contained at least the imprint of her surname.[70]

Uwe Koetter Jewellers (Cape Town, 1968 - )

Uwe Koetter was born in 1937 in Hamburg, Germany where he studied and completed his apprenticeship as goldsmith in 1957. Part of his training also included classes in pottery, enameling, silk printing, engraving, copper work and drawing. Early recognition of his promise as goldsmith came in 1958 when he was awarded the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce prize for his examination piece at the age of 20. This led to an invitation to relocate to (the then) South-West Africa to work as goldsmith in Windhoek, which he did. But the market was small and a year later he immigrated to Cape Town. Here he further honed his jewellery making skills by working for other jewelers until 1968, when he opened his own workshop with the support of his South African wife, in the Colonial Mutual Building.[71]

Already in 1973 he was regarded as a notable creative goldsmith in the country.[72] He staged a number of solo exhibitions of his work in Cape Town. The exhibitions were extensive and each contained around 300 individual items of jewellery. The ability to create such extensive ranges of jewellery for his exhibitions is a strong testament to his prolific creativity.[73]

Koetter was commissioned by the de Beer’s Company to set the Eureka Diamond for presentation to the country’s inclusive democratic parliament at its first sitting in 1994. This was the diamond that set off the Kimberley Diamond rush in 1876, and the Oppenheimer family decided to present it to parliament.[74]

. He works mainly in 18 carat gold, finding it more refined and malleable to work with since it contain much less silver than 9 carat gold. His handcrafted designs were summarised as follows:
He exploits the versatility of gold in every possible way and combines it very successfully with tourmalines, garnets, rubies and emeralds.[75]

Figure 15: An 18 carat gold ring embellished with ruffled cubes, diamonds and emeralds by Uwe Koetter. Valued between R15 000 to R20 000 in 2010.
 (Photo: Strauss & Co, November 2010 auction catalogue, Cape Town, p. 37.)

Koetter was trained in a traditional design style that was rooted in a post World War II European ethos. Much attention was paid to detail and skilled craftsmanship that required intensive and diverse training. In the early 1970s he reflected that a new design style was emerging. Precision was exchanged for emphasis on texture, colour and contrast in abstracted forms. He stated that  
… the resulting trend in jewellery is casual, almost unfinished and there is no place for precision… it is a reflection of living conditions and, as such cannot be fought … this trend will continue until there is some form of social revolution[76]…. Designs are becoming more classical and tailored.[77]
Baroque foliage and tendrils have made place for combinations of lines and circles in deconstructred form. In the mid1970s Koetter also noted an increased preference by clients for jewellery designed around a collection of small diamonds (sometimes combined with other precious or semi-precious stones) as opposed to making use of a single prominent solitaire stone. This is likely to have resulted from a concerted and successful campaign by De Beers to extend it’s market to middle class homes due to an increasing haul of small flawless diamonds [78]

In 1980 his brother-in-law Johan Louw joined the workshop as co-designer. He had a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts, majoring in gemmology and geology. Louw contributed to the studio’s accumulation of design awards by winning prizes in the Intergold (2nd prize in 1982), De Beers Diamonds Today (2nd prize 1985, 1st prize in 1993), the Jewellery Council Creative awards (1st and 2nd prize 1993), the Shining Light Award competition for Excellence in Diamond Jewellery Design (two 1st prizes, 1997) and Riches of Africa (Overall winning entry, 2003) competitions. [79]  

In 1995 the workshop was commissioned by the Government to design and make a brooch as a gift for Queen Elizabeth during her tour of the country. Louw designed the piece in the form of a peacock–flare symbolizing the dawn of a new era. It consisted of an art-deco style channel set baguette diamonds with a triangular diamond in the centre, set in white gold. An 18 carat gold horizon reflects the image from an old one rand note. Behind this the South African sun rises with a flair, consisting of the colours of the South African flag as captured with South African diamonds, tourmalines, onyx and gold.[80]


Figures 16 & 17 : Designed by Johan Louw, this commemorative brooch was presented to Queen Elizabeth II by Nelson Mandela at Tuynhuis in 1995. Contemporary and classic lines were combined to express the dawn of a new era. Yellow and white gold encrusted with local gemstones were used. On the bottom, Queen Elizabeth II is wearing the gift in the presence of the then Deputy president Thabo Mbeki, his wife Zanele Mbeki and the Duke of Edinburgh during her state visit in 1995.
(Photo: From Johan Louw’s résumé, e-mail, 22 November 2013)

The workshop is presently employing a number of goldsmiths, gemologists and graders. They make all forms of jewellery in precious metals and stones, ranging from neck jewellery items to earrings to bracelets to rings. They make use of the letters U and K where the right leg of the U is merged with the vertical leg of the K.[81]

Kurt Donau (Johannesburg, 1969 – 2008; Chur, Switzerland, 2008 - )

Kurt Donau was born in 1935 in Switzerland where he received his training as goldsmith. He worked for various workshops in Chur, Geneve and in Zurich but his wanderlust drew his attention to Africa. Since the South African government at the time limited the number of goldsmiths who entered the country he applied for an initial working visa as ‘watch casing maker‘ and promptly settled in Johannesburg in 1957 with Egon Guenther’s workshop[82] as a qualified jeweller.[83] Here he gained valuable experience for three years. True to the European tradition of extending one’s skills base by working at a number of   establishments before settling down, he then worked for Jack Friedman for seven years where he was given a free hand to contribute to the design portfolio of the Friedman workshop. In 1969 he took over Egon Guenther’s business and established his own workshop named Kurt Donau Jewellery along with his maker’s mark consisting of the letters k and d (expressed in bold, lower case).[84]
From the start his work articulated an African flair in both design content and the materials he used. His designs were often inspired by the African animal world, from which he extracted an innate aesthetic in the composition of shape, line and form – a design process to which his classical training greatly contributes. He made liberal use of South African precious and semi-precious stones along with other mediums such as coral, sodalite, ivory, leather and woods such as stinkwood.[85] As opposed to the European preference at the time for jewellery designs in white gold, he enjoyed working with yellow gold, which is a traditional South African preference as well. His work is handmade and does not contain any machine made components. He views machine made jewellery as soulless.[86] In 1979, a critic described his work as
... most fascinating, especially in terms of flamboyance and sheer weight of gold.[87]
As part of his commitment to his new fatherland, Donau became involved in the local development of the profession and industry. He offered apprenticeships to aspiring goldsmiths, such as John Skotnes who set up the Jewellery Department at the Cape Peninsula Technikon. He also collaborated with a number of other South African fine artists such as Edoardo Villa, Hannes Harrs and Cecil Skotnes where he made jewellery items based on the artists designs. [88]

Figure 18: Gold and Platinum cufflinks, designed by Cecil Skotnes and made by Kurt Donau sold in 2012 at the Stephan Welz & Co. auction in Johannesburg for R9 500. [89]
 (Photo: Stephan Welz catalogue, April 2012, Johannesburg, p. 196)

In 1974 he was a founding member of the Goldsmiths Guild of South Africa – the first serious attempt to organise and develop the fraternity of local creative goldsmiths (this is also an indication of the fledgling nature of the profession during the early part of the twentieth century, even up to the mid 1970s it still only consisted of a loose grouping of individual gold- and silversmiths). [90]  As indication of his good standing amongst his contemporaries, Donau was regularly requested to serve as judge in a range of national jewellery competitions (1997 – 2005).

Figures 19, 20 & 21: Examples of 18 carat gold rings by Kurt Donau with Sandanawa emeralds, diamonds and ivory dyed in red.
(Photo: S. Donau, Chur,  Switzerland, 2011.)

After suffering a hi-jacking and a robbery[91], at the age of 73 Kurt Donau returned with his family to re-settle in Chur, Switzerland in 2008 where he continues to design and create precious metal jewellery and objets d’art.[92]

Michael Cope (Cape Town, 1972 - current )

Michael Cope was born in Cape Town in 1952, and in 1971 he started his apprenticeship as jewellery designer and goldsmith under the tutelage of Franz Huppertz. In 1973 he worked for E. Plaut as a jewellery designer, but soon his creative spirit found expression in his own studio, which he opened in 1974 in Cape Town. Since then he has taken part in numerous one-person and group exhibitions in Cape Town and Johannesburg, as well as exhibitions in his own studio. In 1979 at the opening of a solo exhibition in the Cape Gallery, Cecil Skotnes referred to Mike Cope as an innovator displaying great originality and technical skill.[93] In 1980, at an exhibition in Johannesburg, Cope’s work was described as mainly figurative with a ribbed or ripple texture that results from making use of cuttle fish bone when casting his work.[94]

In 1982 he designed and implemented a formal jewellery training programme at the Royal Crown Jewellers in Maseru, Lesotho.[95] In 2012 a retrospective exhibition of his work was curated by John Skotnes (goldsmith and son of Cecil Skotnes) at the Irma Stern Museum.[96]

Figure 22: A collection of early work by Mike Cope.
 (Photos: M. Cope, Cape Town.)

His initial work was influenced by the Scandinavian design tradition of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Cope himself typifies his work as
… sculptural, often narrative with references to the periods when sculptural metalwork was most prominent in jewellery – renaissance, baroque, Arts & Crafts – though there is a modernist thread as well.[97]
He works in gold and silver, often mixing the two metals in sculptured jewellery items. He makes use of a capital letter M encircled by a C that is joined to the right bottom leg of the M as maker’s mark on his designs. He is also an accomplished poet and novelist.

Ewald and Liz Kratz (Johannesburg, 1974 – 1986, Brisbane, 1997 - present )

Ewald Kratz was born in Pforzheim, a town in the Black Forest that has long been a centre of German jewellery design and training. He followed in the footsteps of a 300 year old family tradition and completed his apprenticeship as goldsmith at the Kunst und Werkschule in Pforzheim. Subsequently, in 1965, he relocated to South Africa. Shortly hereafter he married South African Elizabeth Bezuidenhout, who just completed her studies in jewellery design at the University of Stellenbosch. In the early 1970’s both husband and wife worked for Jack Friedman in Johannesburg before they opened their own studio called Studio K in 1974. In 1973 they already showed early signs of their creative design styles by winning the Chamber of Mines Gold Jewellery Competition with an18 carat gold a necklace-choker-bracelet-buckle combination piece set with diamonds and black onyx.[98]

They produced individual work but often also collaborated. As a design team they were well suited in the sense that Ewald’s romantic flowing lines served as counterpoint to Liz’ bold and expressive approach to design. This collaboration was internationally recognised when they won the prestigious Diamond International Award in 1977. This was only the second time that the award was won by South African based goldsmiths. [99] Their participation in a number of local competitions such as the Intergold Jewellery Design contests also yielded awards in their own individual rights as goldsmiths.[100] In addition, they took part in the innovative 1979 and 1983 Intergold exhibitions, where the creations of local goldsmiths and local couturiers were paired.[101] At the time, Ewald Kratz’ work was described as … (a) delicate line(s), refined, light and ethereal in places , whilst his wife’s work was depicted as having … a more everyday look about it, incorporating ivory and plastic – decidedly up to date and unusual.[102]

In 1981, a gold necklace by Ewald Kratz was crowned as overall winner of the Intergold jewellery design competition.[103] In 1982, Liz Kratz won the bracelet section of the Intergold competition with a broad bracelet (in red, yellow and white gold) depicting the Khoi-San creationist belief that a tree gave birth to all animals and humans who lived in harmony with each other until fire was discovered.[104]

In 1985, their work was selected by Intergold in collaboration with an international fashion research bureau as representative of international fashion styles at the time.[105] During the late 1970s to early 1980s they employed a number of other award winning goldsmiths such as David Tranter and Natalie Slominsky. [106]

In 1986, the Kratz family resettled in Pforzheim where Ewald Kratz finalised his training as a master goldsmith. Apart from graduating in Jewellery Design and Manufacture, Liz Kratz continued to study widely in related disciplines that include Metallurgy, Geology and Gemmology.

Years later, the family migrated to Brisbane Australia, where they opened a new studio under the name of Kratz Exclusive Jewellery in 1997. Their jewellery has featured internationally in all the main fashion centres of the world, including Milan, Paris, London, New York, Basle and Tokyo.[107]

Figure 23: The Diamond International award winning entry in 1977 by Liz and Ewald Kratz, consisting of 18 carat gold, diamonds and beads.
 (Photo: L. Kratz, Brisbane, Australia)

During the time of running their studio in South Africa between 1974 and 1986 they used a maker’s stamp consisting of the name of the business studio K. During these years they also used a mark consisting of the letters E and K superimposed on each other. A third mark that is still in use today consists of two overlapping 90degree triangles giving the impression of a bow tie.

The years that Ewald and Liz Kratz spent in South Africa provided them with an initial platform of recognition for their work that was to be continued and celebrated elsewhere in the world.[108]

Daniel Jacobs (Stellenbosch, 1980 - current)

Born in Namibia, Daniel Jacobs was raised on a farm. He trained as jeweller at the University of Stellenbosch, and following his award winning entry in the 1978 ‘Diamonds Tomorrow’ competition, he was offered a position as designer goldsmith with Frowein Jewellers in Stellenbosch. Within months though, he was drafted for a two year period of military service. Upon his return in 1980, Frowein Jewellers sold their workshop operating as Stellenbosch Manufacturing Jewellers (Pty) Ltd. to Jacobs as a running concern. In 1983, he changed the name of the workshop to Goldart. In this same year, Jacobs designed and patented a multi purpose pearl clasp allowing the ‘mix and match’ combination of different strings of pearls, beads or necklaces.[109] In 1990 he received from amongst 2000 participants, three of the seven possible awards for his exhibits at the Jewellery and Watch Trade Fair in Hong Kong. He was the first entrant ever to receive more than one award.

Fellow designer Gerhardt Nel joined him in 1989 at his Goldart studio in Pleinstreet, Stellenbosch. In 1993 they formed a joint venture with the French company LabarteParis SA, and became the first South African goldsmith studio to contribute to the design and making of ranges for international jewellery houses such as Cartier. [110]

However, their collaboration didn’t last and in 1994 the partners broke up and Jacobs opened his new  studio under the name Daniel Jacobs Jewellery Design in Paradyskloof. He won the 2006 PlatAfrica competition sponsored by Anglo Platinum to stimulate and grow the demand for platinum jewellery. Other entries of his, were also selected as finalist submissions in 2006 and 2007.

Jacobs describes his designs as nature inspired with a simplicity of line that affords a modernist quality to his work. At times though he also gain his inspiration from the materials (be it stone or metal) that he is working with.[111] In terms of jewellery design, he often makes use of the golden ratio or golden proportion into his designs as aesthetic guideline. In this way, he believes that pleasing harmonious lines and dimensions can be achieved in jewellery design.[112] Like his contemporaries, his early work reflects an extension of the use of line, relief and texture that came to the fore in the early 1970s.

Figures 24, 25 & 26: From left  to right: Makers marks used by Daniël Jacobs. A diamond and 18 carat gold ring that won the 1977 overall award at the Diamonds International competition. An 18 carat gold and sterling silver landscape design bracelet.
(Images from the Jacobs résumé.)

From 1980 until the formation of Goldart in 1983 Jacobs used the stamp SMJ (Stellenbosch Manufacturing Jewellers). Since then, he used an abstracted form of the letters G and A where the larger right leaning G is fused to a smaller left leaning A. Jacobs also used the stamp DAJ on some individual jewellery items. From 1994 he introduced as maker’s mark a stylized butterfly with four segmented wings have been used (originally to symbolize the freedom of having embarked on a studio on his own). The butterfly wing mark is used on a signature line consisting of individualized pieces. [113]

Brief references to other gold- and silversmiths of the time

A number of other goldsmiths whose names and work are mentioned in the literature, deserve mentioning. Though little more than brief citations exist, it appears that each in their own way contributed to a South African legacy of precious metal artistry:    

Jochen Kessel was born and trained in Pforzheim, Germany and relocated to South Africa in 1969. He distinguished himself as one of the country’s top designers by winning 12 Intergold jewellery awards between 1971 and 1976, along with four international awards and a gold medal at the Inhorgenta exhibition in Munich.[114] He already became a noted goldsmith in South Africa early on in his career.[115] He took part in the 1979 and 1983 Intergold exhibitions, where the creations of local goldsmiths and couturiers were paired.[116] In 1985, his work was presented by Intergold as illustrative of current international fashion expressions.[117] His work is described as analytical rather than intuitive, making use of refined geometric shapes.[118] In 1979 his work was described as using forms in an imaginative and unconventional way with a strong emphasis on colour.[119] He is thought to have  immigrated in the late 1980s to Brighton, England.[120]

Guy Traest was born and trained in Belgium, where he obtained diplomas in carpet- and jewellery design. He arrived in South Africa from the Congo in 1967 and opened his own studio in 1974. Initially, he expressed a preference for using ivory as base medium in his work. He regarded ivory as a versatile material that blends well with other stones, metals and organic materials. He has twinned ivory with diamonds, coral, emeralds, gold, lapis lazuli and even buffalo horn. In the mid 1970s some of his work was exported to the United States, Paris and Amsterdam. [121] He won a number of Intergold awards. He took part in the 1979 Intergold exhibition, where the creations of local goldsmiths and couturiers were paired.[122] In 1985, his work was also selected by Intergold in collaboration with an international fashion research bureau as representative of contemporary international fashion expressions at the time.[123] His style is refined, expressing an elegant touch with a penchant for combining white, red and yellow gold.[124] In 1979 his work was typified as keeping to a straight forward line.[125] He made use of the maker’s marks guyRS as well as two stylistic capital letter Gs where the second G is turned around to become the mirror image of the first G.[126]

Figure 27: A Choker, necklace and ring in sterling silver combined with ivory and stones from Madagascar by Guy Traest.
(Photo: S. Botha, 2013)

Michael Fleming was born in 1947 in the then South West Africa. The abundance of semi-precious stones found in this country stimulated his interest in creating settings that would extend the beauty or captivating qualities of the stones. After a two year art school course in silversmithing and more than two years of practical work under a qualified goldsmith, he left for Germany and perfected his craft by training for ten years as goldsmith in Pforzheim. During this period, he spent much time studying ancient techniques in jewellery making, and became an admirer of Italian Renaissance artist Benvenuto Cellini. In 1959 he moved to South Africa where he opened a small workshop in Pretoria. Here his sister Gabi Hagg did an apprenticeship under him.[127] His designs were well construed and executed. He made use of gold, silver, gemstones and varied other materials such as ivory and wood. He also enjoyed making use of colourful glowing enameling in his designs. His work also included enamelling. In 1975 Flemming proclaimed that his ambition was to create a design style  … with definite shape and lots of movement.[128]

South African born goldsmith Gordon Watson did an internship under Flemming during the early 1970s.[129] In 1974 both Watson and Fleming submitted work to the gold award winning South African exhibition at the 38th Art and Crafts Fair in Florence, Italy.[130]

Dieter Dill studied with Franz Huppertz at the Kunst und Werkschule, Pforzheim Höhere Fachschule in West Germany during the early 1950’s. He became a lecturer in jewellery design at the University of Stellenbosch during the late 1970s and 1980s. In 1975 his work was described as a reinterpretaion of brutal 20th century icons such as the traffic light, zebra road crossings, the vacuum cleaner and electrical pumps. Dill explored anti-classical elements in his designs such as large monumental looking pendants with simple lines or brooches expressing non-symmetric compositions. Notwithstanding the boldness of his work, the subtle use of texture and colour also gave it a graphic elegance that extended beyond the  traditional boundaries of artist jewellery of the time.[131] He repeatedly won a number of prizes in jewellery competitions, that included first prizes in the Chamber of Mines Intergold Jewellery Competition in 1973,[132] 1976,[133] 1981[134] and 1982.[135] He also partook in the 1983 Intergold exhibition at the Chamber of Mines Pavilion at the Rand Show where couture dresses were matched with his gold jewellery.[136] He was recognized as a noted goldsmith in South Africa.[137]

Gunther Knauer was situated in Durban and sponsored Neville Clipson and Michael Sand who won first and second prizes in the Diamonds Tomorrow Student Design Competition in 1982.[138]

German born Marianne Vossgütter (née Fisscher) completed in 1968 a degree in precious metal design at the University of Stellenbosch. For two years she worked for another goldsmith in Cape Town to gain experience before she opened her first studio under her nickname Lali, also in Cape Town. Late in 1970 she relocated to Johannesburg where she re-opened her studio in Rosebank. In 1971 she won the Chamber of Mines First Prize in jewellery design (with a pair of golden earrings set with moonstones). This served as a promising indicator of her aesthetic perceptiveness and excellent craftsmanship. In 1971 she stated that although I find it tremendous fun to make the popular and incidental jewellery, I prefer to create carefully thought out, highly individual pieces.[139]

Whereas her early work was done in gold and silver, she concentrated exclusively on silver jewellery since 1974, finding the medium more ‘free’ to work with.[140] She incorporated pearls and semi-precious gemstones in her work, and designed her own hand beaten chains and bracelets. She maintains that her work is not commercially motivated and that this is reflected by her individually crafted pieces. One critic described her work as bold and singular.[141]

Polish born Henrietta and Ziegmunt Glogier immigrated to South Africa in 1967. They set up a workshop in Randburg, Johannesburg. They specialised in hand made silver jewellery, making use of semi-precious stones or pearls as accentuating nodes in their designs. Their work was described as strikingly simple, combining contemporary design with an antique look.[142]

Goldsmith maker’s marks that appear regularly on local antique and collectors markets include the stamps WWL and PJ on well made sterling mounting silver settings for Southern African semi-precious gemstones. Their simple art deco designs seem to stem from the 1970’s. The mark BJL also occurs on cultural icons such as brooches consisting of a baroque writing of the Afrikaans word Moeder.  Two other marks that appear at times on the local antique markets are Zeeta and Oblo. Only two photo references for these marks could be obtained. Mr. W. Z. Ungar was photographed showing a range of Zeeta marked chains at the Trade Fair in 1979,[143] and Mr. M. Oboler was photographed in front of his studio in Cape Town that bore the name Oblo Jewellers.[144]

Figure 28, 29 & 30:  On top is an onyx, sterling silver and marcasite bracelet carrying the Oblo maker’s mark. Notable is the use of marcasite that was rarely used by South African creative jewelers in the 20th the middle is a Zeeta marked 9 carat gold and garnet brooch. Below is a sterling silver bracelet with semi-precious stones bearing the mark WLL.
(Photos: F van Staden, Pretoria, 23 November 2013.)

 Concluding comments

The 1960s and 1970s was a time of renewal and change that was not only reflected in painting and sculpture. Synergistically, it was also expressed in jewellery design. In a new design trend, small diamonds became more liberally used in. In another transformation, creative goldsmiths began to incorporate semi-precious stones in their work and experimented with metals other than silver, gold or platinum. Organic material such as ivory and wood were incorporated in some designs.

During this era, the palette for jewellery making expanded enormously. It was a time of discovery and the congruent presentation of new combinations of impressions, along with the simplification of line. More than ever before, the middle class could afford good quality individually forged jewellery items.[145]

[1] Hierdie artikel volg op ‘n oorsig van die werk van plaaslike goud- en silversmede tydens die eerste helfte van die twintigste eeu in Suid-Afrika. Dit is vervat in Legacies of immigrant gold- and silversmiths during early and mid-twentieth century South Africa, South African Journal of Cultural History, pp 139-164, Junie 2013. Ook, An overview of noted gold- and silversmiths in South Africa in the 1950s, South African Journal of Cultural History, in druk, Junie 2014.
[2] This article follows on a review of  the work of local gold- and silversmiths during the first half of the century. See Legacies of immigrant gold- and silversmiths during early and mid-twentieth century South Africa, South African Journal of Cultural History, pp 139-164, June 2013. Also,  An overview of noted gold- and silversmiths in South Africa in the 1950’s, South African Journal of Cultural History, in print, June 2014.
[3] Author unknown, Kunsprestasie, Suid-Afrikaanse Panorama, Julie, 1974, p.20.
[4] Author unknown, Design Index 1968, South African Panorama, May 1968, pp. 4-5.
[5] Author unknown, High standards at gold jewellery competition, The S.A. Jeweller and the Diamond News, April 1973, p. 31. Also, author unknown, All that glitters here really is gold, South African Digest, 06 April 1973, clipping from the art archives, University of Pretoria.
[6] Because of space limitations, it was decided to limit the review to the period 1960 to 1980 only. Also, the period from 1980 to 2000 covers a phase of significant socio-organisational change that will require a review in its own right.
[7] Reviewers were Messrs. Vic Thomson and Charles Kgosana (engravers, Pretoria), D Schilofsky (jeweller, gemologist, Pretoria) and F. Haenggi (art dealer, Basel, Switzerland).
[8] F.van Staden, Erich Frey and Associates: A bold contribution to South African silver- and goldsmith design, South African Journal of Cultural History, June 2011, vol. 25(1), pp. 148-179.
[9] Abe Pass – home page,, 2009-09-25. Also, author unknown, Goue Sierade, Panorama, June 1970, p. 25. Also, author unknown, Kaapse goudsmede presteer, Die Burger, 04 May 1976 (clipping from the art archives, University of Pretoria).
[10] E Mesman, Kuns in Kaapstad, Die Burger, 06 May 1977, clipping from the Art archives, University of Pretoria. The original Afrikaans quote is as follows: … van ‘n hoogstaande kwaliteit … toon ‘n verfyning en ‘n sterk estetiese sin.
[11] Interview: Mr A Pass, Goldsmith, Cape town, 2009-10-30.
[12] Interview: Mr. Sid Forman, Johannesburg, 2013-02-21.
[13] Other goldsmiths and workshops who made use of casting included Joe Calafato (1912-1991),  Metal  Art (1951-present), Simba (1954-late 1970’s), Mauro Pagliari (1957 – present) and Mari Lou (late 1950’s – early 1970’s). 
[14] Interview: Mr. Sid Forman, Johannesburg, 2013-02-21.
[15] Interview: Mr. Sid Forman, Johannesburg, 2013-02-21.
[16] Author unknown, High standards at gold jewellery competition, The S.A. Jeweller and the Diamond News, April 1973, pp. 30, 31 & 33.
[17] M. Neri, Creativity within wearability, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, July 1981, pp. 3, 14 & 16. Also see A.Weil, Intergold encourages innovation, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, September 1981, p. 15. Also, a photo clipping from Die Transvaler, 15 June 1981, p. 9 (clipping from the art archives, University of Pretoria).
[18] C. Hacker, Students present fresh ideas in De Beers jewellery contest, The S.A. Jeweller and the Diamond News, January 1983, p. 2.
[19] Huppertz studied in Pforzheim under professors Schollmeyer, Ullrich and Reiling. Source: Personal files from the Huppertz portfolio.
[20] Author unknown, Huppertz spreads his wings to décor, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, April 1985, p. 17.
[21] Personal documentation from the Huppertz portfolio that includes an undated newspaper clipping with the heading Invitation to Franz Huppertz champagne celebration.
[22] Telephonic interview: F.van Staden – M. Huppertz, goldsmith and daughter of F. Huppertz, Cape Town, 26 July 2012.
[23] Author unknown, Timeless gold keeps pace with the latest fashions, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, September 1981, pp. 25 & 27.
[24] Author unknown, Diamonds Today 1979, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, May 1979, pp 3 and 5, as well as author unknown, Diamonds Today 1979: Highly commended, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, June 1979, pp. 45 and 47. Also from Huppertz personal portfolio: Clip from the De Beer’s Dream of Diamonds Yearbook, 1988, p.8.
[25] Author unknown, Huppertz spreads his wings to décor, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, April 1985, p. 17. Also, a cutting from the De Beer’s Dream of Diamonds Yearbook, 1988, p.8 from Huppertz personal portfolio.
[26] Huppertz personal portfolio: Cutting from the De Beer’s Dream of Diamonds Yearbook, 1988, p.8.
[27] Telephonic interview: F.van Staden – M. Huppertz, goldsmith and daughter of F. Huppertz, Cape Town, 26 July 2012. Huppertz personal portfolio: Cutting from the De Beer’s Dream of Diamonds Yearbook, 1988, pp. 8-11.
[28] After an initial four year apprenticeship with a qualified master goldsmith, a period of working as a journeyman follows. Those who want to become master goldsmiths were then required to complete a second two year apprenticeship in the workshop of different master goldsmith before being accepted as a master goldsmith.   Telephonic interview: F.van Staden – M. Huppertz, goldsmith and daughter of F. Huppertz, Cape Town, 26 July 2012. Also, personal documentation from the Huppertz portfolio that includes an undated newspaper clipping with the heading Invitation to Franz Huppertz champagne celebration.
[29] M. Neri, Creativity within wearability, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, July 1981, pp. 3 & 16. Also see A.Weil, Intergold encourages innovation, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, September 1981, p. 15.
[30] E. Moolman, Dra Boesmans se legende aan jou arm, Beeld, 09 June 1982, p. 11.
[31] Personal files from the Huppertz portfolio. Also, telephonic interview: F.van Staden – M. Nienaber, goldsmith and daughter of F. Huppertz, Cape Town, 26 July 2012.
[32] Author unknown, Eg Suid-Afrikaanse sierade, Die Huisgenoot, 18 Junie 1976, p. 69.
[33] Author unknown, Gold Gleanings, 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.
[34] H. Jäger, Goldsmith:The Forgotten Artist, Eck World News, January 1976, p. 17.
[35] E-mail, H Jäger-F van Staden, Ilse, Hartmut and the SA Goldsmiths Guild, 13 December 2012. 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.
[36] Apprenticeship contract of H.F. Gatticchi , signed on 29 August 1953 and termination on 07 April 1955. From Mr Gattichi’s résumé.
[37] D. van Pletzen, Mace Maker: All in a day’s work, South African Panorama, February 1973, pp. 45-46.
[38] Author not stated, Prestige Jewellers: Streng eerlikheid en top gehalte werk, Pretoria, Caxton Ltd., Johannesburg, circa 1977, p. 307.
[39] Interview: Mr H.F. Gatticchi, Pretoria, 2009-09-12.
[40] J. Prangnell, Kuns en goud, Suid-Afrikaanse Panorama, April 1963, p. 40.
[41] Sandawana emeralds are of the rarest and most perfect emaeralds in the world and is mined in Matabele land in Zimbabwe.
[42] Poulsen Robertson,, 2011-12-04. Efforts to obtain more information on both the Otto Poulsen and Robertson legacy from the present owners were unsuccessful.
[43] G. Hughes, The renaissance of the artist-jeweller, Optima, September 1970, p. 110.
[44] G.  S. Geyer, Die goudsmid, sy kunswerk en plek in die samelewing, unpublished research report in Art History III, University of Pretoria Art Archives, undated (possibly the early 1970s).
[45] Interview with Gisela Steglich and Sonja, wife and daughter of Mr D Steglich, Meyerspark, Pretoria, 08 November 2013. Also see the Family eulogy, In honour of Dieter Steglich, 15 October 2006, from the Steglich family résumé. Steglich was a genius in solving mechanical problems and could fix any break down caused by mass manufacture or cheap engineering with innovative solutions. Like many creative goldsmiths, he detested mass manufactured goods. He had a great love for his 1959 Volkswagen Beetle that he fitted with a Porsche engine and maintained in spotless condition throughout his life.
[46] Personal photo albums from the Steglich Résumé, 08 November, Meyerspark, Pretoria, 08 November 2013.
[47] Author unknown, S.A. wins gold, ARTLOOK, May 1974, p.28. Also, author unknown, Goue Sierade, Panorama, June 1970, p. 24.
[48] Author unknown, Ons beste goud en silwer…, undated newspaper clipping, Art archives, University of Pretoria.
[49] G.  S. Geyer, Die goudsmid, sy kunswerk en plek in die samelewing, unpublished research report in Art History III, University of Pretoria Art Archives, undated (possibly early 1970s).
[50] D. van Zyl,  Eulogy, Meyerspark, Pretoria, 15 October 2006. From the Steglich family résumé.
[51] G.  S. Geyer, Die goudsmid, sy kunswerk en plek in die samelewing, unpublished research report in Art History III, University of Pretoria Art Archives, undated (possibly early 1970s).
[52] At the time Frey took a sabbatical and was teaching for a year before finally immigrating to South Africa in 1964.
[53] Author unknown, H Peter Cullman, Artlook, November 1968, p. 3.
[54] H Peter Cullman, http;, accessed 2012-06-12.
[55] J Ambrose-Brown, Jewellery in South African Art, Macdonald, Cape Town, 1978, p.50. Also, author unknown, Goue Sierade, Panorama, June 1970, pp. 24 & 25. Also, author unknown, Jeweller’s art, Sunday Express, 17 November 1974, clipping from the art archives, University of Pretoria.
[56] E. Frank, Peter Cullman, Artlook, September 1971, p. 33. Erich Frey, a contemporary of Cullman, was also emphatic in his conviction that designers are inevitably influenced by the surrounding worlds in which they live.
[57] G. Hughes, The renaissance of the artist-jeweller, Optima, September 1970, p. 110.
[58] E-mail correspondence: P. Cullman – F. van Staden, Goldsmiths Guild et al, 2012-07-12, as well as Re: Goldsmiths Guild, et al, 2012-07-14.
[59] E. Frank, Peter Cullman, Artlook, September 1971, pp. 32-33. H Peter Cullman, http;, accessed 2012-06-12. Also, e-mail correspondence: P. Cullman – F. van Staden, Goldsmiths Guild et al, 2012-07-12.
[60] M. Fleischer, Michael Fleischer, Artlook, October 1969, p. 33. Michael Fleischer came to South Africa in 1963 as sculptor on a large government commission. Another notable commission was his design for the opening of the Hugenote tunnel in the Cape in 1989. Additional references: Author unknown, Michael Fleischer – Metal Sculptor, ART LOOK, November 1968, p. 5; R. Cutler, Architectural sculpture, Style Magazine, June 1983, pp. 90-94; B. Davitz, Groot projekte op Michael se kerfstok, Die Transvaler, Januarie 03, 1989, p. 12.
[61] Author unknown, Juwele uit afvalstukke, Die Tranvaler, 04 December 1968 (clipping from the art archives, University of  Pretoria).
[62] Untitled clipping from the Pretoria News, dated 11 September 1970, from the art archives, University of Pretoria.
[63] Author unknown, Art on show, South African Panorama, July 1974, p.20.
[65] T. Curteis, Tessa Fleischer’s Jewellery, ART LOOK, April 1969, p.26.
[66] C.Rolfes, Mountains of Talent, Sunday Times Magazine, September 06, 1987, pp.56-58.
[67] K. O’Reilly, Local artist creates symbolic staff for Tutu’s inauguration, The Star, February 1, 1985, p.12.
[68] Author unknown, S.A. wins gold, ARTLOOK, May 1974, p.28. Also, see J. Kotze, Presents of mind and spirit at art gallery, Pretoria News, 21 October 1974. Clipping from the Art Archives, University of Pretoria.
[69] R. Cheales, Sculptures show a family affair, THE CITIZEN, March 28, 1987, p.19. Also, A. Cremer, The Artful farm, SA Country Life, January 1996, pp. 26 – 31.
[71] Author unknown, Personalities in the diamond trade, The Diamond News and S.A.Jeweller, April 1977, p.5. Also, U. Koetter, Curriculum Vitae, from the Koetter résumé. Also, author unknown, ‘n Meester met goud, Die Landbou Weekblad, 26 May 1970, pp. 71 and 88.
[72]L.Dellatola, Jewellery Council, South African Panorama,, December 1973, p. 1.
[73] Author unknown, Master ‘Midas’ , The Argus, 25 April 1972, p.27. Also, unnamed photograph with caption on a charity solo exhibition by Uwe Koetter, The Argus, 1972-04-29, p. 6. Also, M. Levitt, Koetter stages elegant display, The Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, December 1979, p.22, as well as M. Levitt, New jewels at Koetter display, The Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, November 1980, pp.3 & 49.  Also, G. Cooper, Gertrude Cooper’s People Page, Cape Times, 29 September 1979, from the Koetter résumé.
[74] U. Koetter, Curriculum Vitae, from the Koetter résumé.
[75] M. Levitt, New jewels at Koetter display, The Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, November 1980, p. 49.
[76] Undated (possibly early 1970s)  newspaper clippings, Juwele se musiek bekoor steeds, and Real craftsmanship not necessary but -, from the Koetter résumé.
[77] Newspaper clipping, Passport lifestyle, June 1977, from the Koetter résumé.
[78] Undated, Juwele se musiek bekoor steeds, and Real craftsmanship not necessary but -, from the Koetter résumé. Also, author unknown, ‘n Meester met goud, Die Landbouweekblad, 26 May 1970, pp. 71 and 88. Also, author unknown, Exciting combination of gemstones, The Jewish Herald, 24 July 1979, from the Koetter résumé. Also, E. du Toit, Ringe vir aldag en eendag, Die landbouweekblad, 3 November 1978, p.115.
[79] An undated newspaper clipping titled Win for Jeweller, from the Koetter résumé. Also, Uwe Koetter Flash, October 1997, from the Koetter résumé. Aziz Hartley, Designers show their golden touch, Cape Times, 25 July 2003, p. 7.
[80] E-mail: J. Louw – F. van Staden, Uwe Koetter history, 2009-01-10. Also, E. Moolman, Dra Boesmans se legende aan jou arm, Beeld, 09 June 1982, p. 11. P. Diamond, Johan Louw designs jewel for the queen, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, May 1995, p.13.
[81] Uwe Koetter- home page,,  2009-09-25.
[82] F.van Staden, An overview of noted gold- and silversmiths in South Africa in the 1950’s, South African Journal of Cultural History, June 2014, pp. 139-163.
[83] Eberhard Dechow, Arbeiten aus Südafrika, Goldschmiede Zeitung, 1970, vol.68(4), p. 417.
[84] Riches of Africa More than 100 enter Gold Jewellery Design Competition, AngloGold Ashanti,,  2009-09-27. Also, e-mail correspondence: K. Donau – F. van Staden, Kurt Donau, 2012-02-01. 
[85] J Ambrose-Brown, Jewellery in South African Art, Macdonald, Cape Town, 1978, p.50.
[86] D. Schöbi, Ein Rheintaler Goldschmiedt kreiert Schmuck für Königinnen, Unser Reintal, 31 October 2011, pp. 1-3.
[87] Author unknown, Linking gold, threads, The Star, 13 November 1979. Clipping from the Art Archives, University of Pretoria.
[88] J.A. Brown, Jewellery, South African Art, Macdonald South Africa, Cape Town, 1978. Also,, accessed 2012-01-05, as well as John Skotnes TED profile,, 2009-09-27.
[89] Author unknown, Catalogue one: session five, item 921, Stephan Welz and Co., Johannesburg, 24-26 April 2012, p. 196.
[90] L. Dellatola, Gold and fashion, South African Panorama, March 1980, p. 41.
[91] Since the dawn of democracy in the early 1990’s, increased attacks on jewellers and their workshops has played its role on increased security expenses as well as the emigration of qualified goldsmiths. Another outflow is reflected in the development of a culture where women do not easily display their jewellery publically anymore, for fear of being robbed.
[93] M. Levitt, Unusual exhibition, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, November 1979, p.47.
[94] Author unknown, Juwele uit die Kaap, Beeld, 22 Februry 1980, clipping from the art archives, University of Pretoria.
[95] Internet: About Michael Cope,, 2009-09-30.
[96] E-mail: M. Cope, Retrospective exhibition call for jewellery items, 2012-05-25.
[97] E-mail: Mike Cope, Re: Michael Cope, Designer and Goldsmith history, 2009-10-09.
[98] Author unknown, High standards at gold jewellery competition, The S.A. Jeweller and the Diamond News, April 1973, pp. 30, 31 & 33.
[99] Author unknown, Gold Gleanings, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, November 1979, pp. 13 and 42. Also, author
unknown, Timeless gold keeps pace with the latest fashions, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, September 1981, pp. 25 & 27.
[100] M. Neri, Creativity within wearability, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, July 1981, pp. 3, 13 & 14. Also see A.Weil, Intergold encourages innovation, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, September 1981, p. 15.
[101] A. Weil, Gold Gleanings, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, January 1980, pp. 10, 11 & 13. Also, author unknown, Gold in fashion, Diamond News and S.A.Jeweller, March 1983, pp. 29-31. Also, author unknown, Goud in die mode, Suid-Afrikaanse Panorama, Julie 1983, pp. 48-50.
[102] Author unknown, Linking gold, threads, The Star, 13 November 1979. Clipping from the Art Archives, University of Pretoria.
[103] A photo clipping from Die Transvaler, 15 June 1981, p. 9, (from the Art Archives, University of Pretoria).
[104] E. Moolman, Dra Boesmans se legende aan jou arm, Beeld, 09 June 1982, p. 11. The winning piece was designed by Liz Kratz and made by her husband Ewald Kratz along with colleague David Tranter.
[105] Author unknown, Capturing jewellery fashions for 1985, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, March 1984, pp. 23-25.
[106] Author unknown, Diamonds Today 1979, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, May 1979, p. 5. Author unknown, Diamonds Today – 1979 Highly Commended, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, June 1979, p. 45. A. Weil, Huppertz triumphs at Intergold Jewellery design competition, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, July 1982, p. 3.
[107] E-mail correspondence: P. Cullman – F. van Staden, Goldsmiths Guild et al, 2012-07-12. Also,, accessed on 2012-07-16.
[108] J Ambrose Brown, South African Art, Macdonald South Africa, Cape Town, 1978, p.50.
[109] E. Kruger, Talent wat skitter. Suid-Afrikaanse Panorama, November/December 1990, pp. 34-37.
[110] Author unknown, French partner for Goldart, Distrikspos, 10 December 1993.  E-mail, re Daniel Jacobs geskiedenis, 2013-12-01.
[111] P. Diamond, Prizes for Stellenbosch, Diamond news and S.A. Jeweller, January 1990, p. 13.
[112] D. Jacobs, Keynote address, Jewellex Exhibition, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, 02 September 2013. The golden ratio occurs when the ratio of two measurements is the same as the ratio of their sum is to the larger of the two measurements. The golden ratio is expressed in mathematics as the irrational or infinite number 1.618033…  and is denoted with the Greek letter phi. It is held by some artists and architects that aesthetically pleasing proportions are attained when their work incorporate approximations of the golden ratio.
[113] E-mail, Re: Daniel Jacobs Jewellery Design, 2009-10-20. Follow-up e-mail, re Daniel Jacobs geskiedenis, 2013-12-01.
[114] E. Phillips, They are creating beauty in metal, newspaper clipping (courtesy of Hartmut Jäger), 1975. Also, author unknown, Kunstenaars se juwele sal harte steel, Die Burger, 29 April 1980, clipping from the Art Archives, University of Pretoria.
[115] J Ambrose Brown, South African Art, Macdonald South Africa, Cape Town, 1978, p.50.
[116] A. Weil, Gold Gleanings, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, January 1980, pp. 10, 11 & 13. Also, author unknown, Gold in fashion, Diamond News and S.A.Jeweller, March 1983, pp. 29-31. Also, author unknown, Goud in die mode, Suid-Afrikaanse Panorama, Julie 1983, pp. 48-50.
[117] Author unknown, Capturing jewellery fashions for 1985, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, March 1984, pp. 23-25.
[118] Author unknown, Gold Gleanings, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, November 1979, pp. 13 and 42. See also A. Weil, Huppertz triumphs at Intergold Jewellery design competition, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, July 1982, p. 11, as well as unknown author, Timeless gold keeps pace with the latest fashions, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, September 1981, pp. 25 & 27.
[119] Author unknown, Linking gold, threads, The Star, 13 November 1979. Clipping from the Art Archives, University of Pretoria.
[120] E-mail, L. Kratz-F. van Staden, Re: Goldsmiths: E & L Kratz, 14 August, 2012.
[121] Author unknown, Hy toor met ivoor, Die Transvaler, in the Klaradyn/mode section, 2 November 1977. Clipping from the Art Archives, University of Pretoria.
[122] A. Weil, Gold Gleanings, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, January 1980, pp. 10, 11 & 13.
[123] Author unknown, Capturing jewellery fashions for 1985, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, March 1984, pp. 23-25.
[124] Author unknown, Gold Gleanings, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, November 1979, pp. 13 and 42.
[125] Author unknown, Linking gold, threads, The Star, 13 November 1979. Clipping from the Art Archives, University of Pretoria.
[126]  E-Mail, S. Botha , Guy Traest identifisering, 18 August 2013.
[127] Maisie Levitt, Cape duo team up, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, December 1986, p.28.
[128] Author unknown, Golden stylist, SA Digest, 21 February 1975. Clipping from the Art Archives, University of Pretoria.
[129] Author unknown, S.A. wins gold, ARTLOOK, May 1974, p.28.
[130] Author unknown, Ons beste goud en silwer…, unreferenced newspaper clipping, Art Archives, University of Pretoria, 1974.
[131] Author unknown, Juweliersware op Worcester, Kuns en Vermaak section,  Die Burger, 20 June 1975, p. 13.
[132] Author unknown, High standards at gold jewellery competition, The S.A. Jeweller and the Diamond News, April 1973, pp. 30, 31 & 33.
[133] Author unknown, Kaapse goudsmede presteer, Die Burger, 04 May 1976 (clipping from the art archives, University of Pretoria).
[134] M. Neri, Creativity within wearability, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, July 1981, pp. 3, 15 & 20. Also see A.Weil, Intergold encourages innovation, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, September 1981, p. 15.
[135] A. Weil, Huppertz triumphs at Intergold Jewellery design competition, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, July 1982, pp. 3,11 and 13. Also, E. Moolman, Dra Boesmans se legende aan jou arm, Beeld, 09 June 1982, p. 11.
[136] Author unknown, Gold in fashion,  Diamond News and S.A.Jeweller, March 1983, pp. 29-31. Also, author unknown, Goud in die mode, Suid-Afrikaanse Panorama, Julie 1983, pp. 48-50.
[137] J Ambrose Brown, South African Art, Macdonald South Africa, Cape Town, 1978, p.50.
[138] C. Hacker, Students present fresh ideas in De Beers jewellery contest, The S.A. Jeweller and the Diamond News, January 1983, p. 2.
[139] Author unknown, Lali works in silver and gold, The Star, 19 October 1971 (clipping from the Art Archives, University of Pretoria).
[140] Author unknown, Jewellery, ARTLOOK, April 1974, p. 24
[141] C. Hacker, Goldsmith turns to silver, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, February 1982, p. 37.
[142] B. Parker, Home & Art, ARTLOOK, December 1971, p. 32.
[143] Author unknown, Trade Fair 1979, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, August 1979, p. 38.
[144] Author unknown, Trade Fair 1979, Diamond News and S.A. Jeweller, August 1979, p. 39. Also, Mike Oboler was a ‘manufacturing jeweller’ from Cape Town, who contributed to the continuing hallmarking debate at the time and was quoted as being strongly in favour of a instituting a national hallmarking system: We need a system with a quick turn-around time, non-destructive testing, recognition of special conditions (for example small manufacturers) and with standards that are internationally acceptable. Also, see J Hobbs, SA hallmarking – one step nearer, Diamond News and S.A.Jeweller, December 1984, p. 32.
[145] Author unknown, Modern Jeweller, Artlook, No. 37, December 1969, pp. 21-22. Also, see author unknown, No time-lag in setting the watch fashion pace.., Rand Daily Mail, 10 May 1971, clipping from the Art Archives, University of Pretoria. Author unknown, Elegant en ‘n bietjie gewaag, die Transvaler, 06 July 1971, clipping from the Art Archives, University of Pretoria.