South African and Rhodesian Silversmiths

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Re: Early South African Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:54 pm

J.M. STRATH

59, Hout Street, Cape Town.

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J M Strath - Cape Town - 1846

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Re: Early South African Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:24 am

W.W. WATLING

178, Church Street, Maritzburg.

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WW Watling - Maritzburg - 1898

Advertisement states that this firm was established in 1854.

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Re: Early South African Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:57 am

D. DI TRANI

Watchmaker, Jeweller and Optician. Ladybrand, Orange River Colony

There is no establishment in Ladybrand which has a more handsome and metropolitan appearance than the one in which Mr. D. Di Trani exemplifies the watchmaking and jewellery trade. This splendid emporium is, without question, the finest of the kind in the Colony outside Bloemfontein, and its large plate-glass windows, exhibiting an artistic display of glittering and precious articles, afford a very marked contrast to the sombre exterior of most of the other stores. To attempt a description of the beauty and character of the stock would be idle, not to say Quixotic, within the limits of a necessarily brief commercial review. We can only say that, from the nature of its rich and varied contents, the splendid character of its internal appointments, and the system that obtains in the arrangement of the goods, the establishment is equal to any of its contemporaries in the Capital. That such a statement is not an exaggerated compliment can be readily verified by any of our readers who visit the town and can devote a few minutes to a personal inspection of the shop. In it may be found practically all the goods that come within the scope of the watchmaker, jeweller, goldsmith and silversmith. Every article supplied, whether it be in watches or clocks, in gems, in the precious metals made up in various forms, or in electro-plated ware fashioned with equal cunning and skill, is fully guaranteed as to quality. Thus it will be seen that Mr. Di Trani does not pretend to compete in the matter of prices with houses operating in goods of an inferior character: but is fully prepared to enter the lists with any firm in the Colony dealing in precisely the same class of articles : and is in a position to offer to his patrons advantages which they will find impossible to improve within the area mentioned.

In his operative departments Mr. Di Trani manifests ability of the highest order; and the way in which he repairs watches and clocks in the last stages of dissolution is an object lesson in ingenuity and resource.

Mr. Di Trani learned his trade in Naples; and a sojourn of five years in the United States of America still further augmented his knowledge and experience of its various departments. He started business in Ladybrand in 1902 in a small shop contiguous to his present premises, which were erected about a year ago.

Source: The Orange River Colony: An illustrated, Historical, Descriptive and Commercial Review - Macmillan & Ferguson - 1905

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Re: Early South African Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:32 pm

A. FISCHER & Co.

Diamond Merchants, Watchmakers and Jewellers, Maitland Street, Bloemfontein, Orange River Colony


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This important business dates its history back to the year 1862 when the parent establishment was founded in Port Elizabeth. The Head depot is still in Port Elizabeth, with a branch establishment at Graaff-Reinet, Mr. L. Lippstreu is the sole proprietor.

The Bloemfontein branch was established in September 1904, and the premises externally are very handsome and commodious. Internally, the establishment is appointed and equipped in a remarkably elegant and costly manner, and the handsome fittings of the show rooms serve to enhance the beauty and attractiveness of the stock they contain. The large plate glass windows also give advantages in the matter of outward display, and exhibit a very interesting and tasteful assortment of high class goods. It would be impossible within the limits at our disposal here to give a full enumeration of the many notable articles comprised in Messrs A. Fischer & Co's large valuable and thoroughly comprehensive stock; but among the numerous specialities which call for mention we note gold and silver watches, clocks and timepieces in a great many new and artistic designs, and fine gold and gem jewellery displaying the perfection of pattern and workmanship. The display of diamonds is one of the richest'and most magnificent we have seen in the Colony, the "Queen of gems" being here represented in every conceivable form of ornamental jewellery for both sexes. The firm also keep a full stock of other precious and semi-precious stones, and gems of the first order of beauty and value may always be obtained at this establishment. An expert in precious stones—Mr. C. J. Manning—is retained on the premises.

It is also noteworthy that this firm are working jewellers, manufacturers and practical watchmakers, having all industrial facilities on their premises, and employing a staff of the most skilful and experienced workmen. Special attention is devoted to all kinds of repairing, and orders in this connection are executed with the greatest care and promptitude. The Bloemfontein branch of this large and well developed business is under the management of Mr. A. Fedisch, who is an old resident and has been in business in Bloemfontein for the past fifteen years. The establishment is well worthy of a visit, and a glance at the large and superb stock it contains will at once convince the visitor that it is not necessary to journey further than Messrs Fischer's emporium in order to procure jewellery and other kindred goods of the newest design, best quality and most artistic character. Messrs A. Fischer & Co, do not profess to deal in what are commonly styled "cheap goods'' but it is none the less true that their wares taking quality and workmanship duly into account are sold at very moderate and thoroughly reasonable prices.

The Post Office Box number is 302 and the telegraphic address "Brilliant.'


Source: The Orange River Colony: An illustrated, Historical, Descriptive and Commercial Review - Macmillan & Ferguson - 1905


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A. Fischer & Co. - Bloemfontein - 1904

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Re: Early South African Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:08 pm

FREEDMAN & HARRIS

Clerkenwell House, 13, Maitland Street, Bloemfontein

Among the branches of industrial art in Bloemfontein considerable activity prevails in those connected with the jewellers trade, which is so adequately represented by Messrs. Freedman and Harris. The firm's establishment at No. 13, Maitland Street is by no means a palatial emporium; but the lack of this is amply made up for in the large and choice assortment of jewellery of every description held by the firm. Messrs. Freedman and Harris have had a life long experience in their avocation, and devote special attention to the manufacture of jewellery: and the high standard of excellence displayed in their novel and chaste designs substantiate the reputation which they have won therefor.

The stock of clocks is most interesting, and the assortment of ladies' and gent's gold and silver watches is so comprehensive that the wants of the most exacting purchaser cannot fail to be fulfilled. Engraving and repairs of all kinds ate executed with the utmost care and promptitude under the personal direction of Mr. H. Harris, who is a skilled watchmaker and jeweller. The firm are sole agents in the Orange River Colony for the world renowned firm of J. W. Benson, Ltd, of Ludgate Hill, London.

Messrs. Freedman & Harris established their business about nine months ago; and their enterprise and ability is meeting with well deserved success.


Source: The Orange River Colony: An illustrated, Historical, Descriptive and Commercial Review - Macmillan & Ferguson - 1905

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Re: Early South African Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Sun Sep 25, 2011 3:31 pm

A. J. PLATNAUER & Co.

38, St George's Street, Cape Town.

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A J Platnauer & Co. - Cape Town - 1886

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Re: Early South African Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Sat Oct 01, 2011 3:34 pm

W.H. BATTEN

33, Burg Street, Cape Town.

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W H Batten - Cape Town - 1846

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Re: Early South African Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:10 pm

W. GLOVER.

Watchmaker & Jeweller, Harrismith, Orange River Colony.

The liking for personal ornamentation with costly materials is one of the strongest traits of human character; so that there is no establishment that appeals more to the average man or woman than a jeweller's. The inhabitants of Harrismith are well catered for in this direction by Mr. W. Glover, whose handsome emporium is one of the most attractive business places in the town. It is divided into two sections. The stock in the one on the left hand is a glittering profusion of gold, silver, and precious stones, manufactured into every conceivable article of jewellery, and represents a wealth of novelty and design that would be difficult to find excelled by any metropolitan contemporary. Here may be obtained brooches ranging from the popular silver varieties costing a few shillings to very valuable specimens encrusted with diamonds, and which would be an acquisition to Royalty itself. As for rings and bracelets the display is so varied and illustrates the highest phases of taste and skill that customers must often experience a great difficulty in the matter of choice. The assortments of watches and clocks testify to the care and discrimination with which Mr. Glover makes his selections from the best sources of supply, and provides an object lesson in the numerous varieties now in use. The departments of skilled work associated with the trade, such as gilding, electro-plating, repairs, etc., are conducted in a most admirable manner, and nothing is left undone to enhance process and result.

The other section of the establishment is given over to the sale of all kinds of fancy goods, stationery, musical instruments, pictures, and books. The collection of the latter is particularly noteworthy, and embraces works by all the most popular authors past and present.

Mr. Glover is the oldest established watchmaker and jeweller in Harrismith, having started business in the town eighteen years ago. He comes from the ancient English city of Coventry—once the chief seat of the watch-making industry—where he gained the exceptional ability that now marks him as one of the best exponents of his avocation in the Orange River Colony.


Source: The Orange River Colony: An illustrated, Historical, Descriptive and Commercial Review - Macmillan & Ferguson - 1905

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Re: Early South African Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:19 am

H.C. BIDDLE

108, Main Street, Port Elizabeth.

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H C Biddle - Port Elizabeth - 1896

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Re: Early South African Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:51 am

HENRY DUCOMMUN

Potchefstroom

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Henry Ducommun - Potchefstroom - 1877

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Henry Ducommun - Potchefstroom - 1878

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Re: Early South African Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:28 pm

H.W. BROUWER

Pretorius Straat, Pretoria

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H W Brouwer - Pretoria - 1877

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H W Brouwer - Pretoria - 1878

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Re: Early South African Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:30 pm

A. E. ODELL & Co.

Practical Watchmakers and Jewellers, Stuart Street, Harrismith.

Specializations is the trend of every industry, art and science. It is illustrated in the productions of the manufacturer, and in the creations of the painter and sculptor: and the time is bound to come when each individual will be employed solely in that particular department of activity for which his capabilities, natural or acquired, best qualify him. The commercial and industrial aspect of Harrismith, at present, certainly does not exemplify specialization. On the contrary, most of its firms devote themselves to a conglomeration of trades, and their respective establishments are stocked with bewildering assortments of the commodities of the world's markets. There are, however, one or two individuals who, confining their entire attention to well defined avocations, are affording to the public all the advantages which specialization therein creates. Among these is the firm of Messrs. A. E. Odell & Co., whose remarkable skill in the many delicate operations associated with the watchmaking and jewellery trade must be duly recognised by us in our review of the town.

In their attractive establishment in Stuart Street no goods outside the sphere of the avocation are to be seen. There is nothing in that methodically arranged and well kept shop but those precious materials which have been the object of human desire throughout untold ages, and which will continue so until gold, silver and precious stones cease to be the embodiment of wealth and power. The young man desirous of obtaining "something out of the common " in an engagement ring, or the happy individual whose sentiment seeks expression in the purchase of that plain little circlet of gold which religious and secular laws and customs render imperative, are frequent visitors to the establishment, in which the large selection displayed is well calculated to meet the requirements of the most fastidious mortal who ever sought to captivate and retain a lady's heart. And should he be of a poetic or romantic turn of mind, the firm will engrave at his request a pretty and appropriate motto of any kmd on his purchase—the ring, not the heart—with the utmost expedition and proficiency. Brooches, bracelets, and watches of the most novel and artistic designs are also displayed in such abundant variety that his nuances must indeed be in a state inconsistent with the approaching momentous event, who does not succumb to their attractions and leave the establishment with more extensive purchases than were intended on first entering. The shop is also a popular resort of every lady on the outlook for the most acceptable present for beau or relative, and the collection of articles of jewellery which "the lord of creation" most appreciates, such as scarf pins, watch chains, studs, links, cigar, cigarette and card cases, match boxes, etc., would be difficult to find surpassed in the Colony. Magnificent presentation plate of all kinds is also on view; while the firm's assortment of clocks indicates the great efforts which are being put forth by the manufacturers towards the attainment of the highest standard in the ornamentation and utility of their productions.

The firm are noted for the expert way in which they execute gilding, engraving, electroplating, and repairs of every description.

The premises have been devoted to the watchmaking and jewellery trade since 1892, in which year the business was started by Messrs Myers Bros., who carried it on until 1896, when it was taken over by Mr. A. G. Robbins. In 1901, Mr. A. E. Odell, who had been employed in the concern since 1896, bought the business; and since then, under his able direction, it has developed in a very praiseworthy manner.


Source: The Orange River Colony: An Illustrated, Historical, Descriptive and Commercial Review - Macmillan & Ferguson - 1905

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Re: Early South African Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:42 am

HARRY CARTER GALPIN

Graham's Town

Henry (Harry) Carter Galpin was born at Dorset in England in 1820. He arrived at the Cape in 1848 following a bout of ill health in England and decided to make it his home. A trained architect and civil engineer, he had also trained in the art of watch and chronometer making and as a jeweller, and it was in this trade that he saw his future in the Colony.

He married the daughter of a wealthy Cape Town heiress, Georgina Maria Luck at Stellenbosch and this union was to go on to produce seven sons, one of whom was the famed amateur botanist, Ernest Edward Galpin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Edward_Galpin" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)

Harry Galpin founded his business in Graham's Town and constructed a four story premises that was also to be used for his hobby of astronomy. The roof being constructed as an observatory containing a huge telescope and the only camera obscura in the Southern Hemisphere.

Galpin's business flourished and his firm were noted as exhibitors at the South African Exhibition held at Port Elizabeth in 1885. A publication reporting the event wrote:
Mr. H. C. Galpin, Graham's Town, exhibited diamond rings and diamond pendants of colonial stones, gold rings, brooches, bangles, &c. Some colonial beetles, mounted as brooch and ear-rings, and other articles of novelty, appeared to great advantage and displayed very creditable effort.

Alas, by this time Harry Galpin's health was failing and he was to die the following year, 1886. The business was carried on by Galpin's sons, and stayed in the family until it was disposed of in 1939.


Notice of Removal
H.C. GALPIN
Watchmaker
Begs to announce that he removes at the end of the present month to the Opposite Side of the Square Next door to the establishment of Mr. B.M. SHEPPERSON, Draper &c, where he hopes to meet with the same patronage which has hitherto been so liberally bestowed upon him, and which he takes this opportunity of thankfully acknowledging. He has just added to his stock of watches and jewellery a supply of gold bracelets, which are of London manufacture, only just received and of the newest designs.


Source: Grahamstown Journal - 12th March 1853


ROBBERY – Important Discovery –
Mr. GALPIN, a Jeweller of Graham’s Town, had a case containing Jewelery, to the amount of £690 [unclear] sent to him from England per “Dispatch”, every precaution having been adopted in England to ensure the property from damp, the case being lined with tin throughout. This case was landed, and despatched to town, where it arrived on the 5th January. The case was observed to be a little broken, but this excited no suspicion at the moment. However, in unpacking the following day, it was discovered that one of the bottom planks of the case had been forced, a large hole fresh cut in the tin, and £150 worth of the Jewellery abstracted. Information was immediately lodged at the Clerk of the Peace’s Office, who instituted an enquiry. The carrier had in the mean time returned to the country. Depositions were sent by following days post to Sidbury, where the carrier resided, for the Justice of the Peace there, to carry on the investigation, and also to the Magistrate of the Bay; this information excited some little curiosity a the latter place, the Captain, it is said, declaring it must have been done at the London Docks. A portion of the property has however, been discovered and five men are now in custody at the Bay, it having been proved that the theft was committed whilst conveying the case from the “Dispatch” to the shore. It is understood the Boating Company are liable for this loss.


Source: Eastern Province Herald - 17th January 1854




H.C. Galpin was recorded as a Watchmaker of Bathurst Street, Graham's Town in 1877.

Source: The Port Elizabeth Directory and Guide to the Eastern Province of the Cape of Good Hope for 1877



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Re: Early South African Silversmiths

Postby rat-tail » Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:12 pm

Hi Trev - Many thanks for this fascinating info - it's been a great and informative read.

I have seen a boxed set of spoons - Birmingham late vic marks - for Fergusson and Co, but don't know where the Corner was must have got lost in the development of the city. I think the address on this set was for one of the fancy arcades that used link West and Smith Streets (Today Dr Pixley kaSeme and Anton Lembede Streets). Then West street was the main retail street and Smith the main commercial with all the banks and courts and things. The other big Edwardian jewellers in Durban - and again you still see boxed sets of Birmingham spoons with their insignia were Randalls Bros.

The other interesting thing is the number of ads that use the Geographic term South Africa long before South Africa actually came into existence - in 1910

And then there are the jewellers trading in what even today would be considered hicksville. Newcastle really is a surprise, but then it was a mining town, Ladybrand was basically a trading post for Lesotho and Harrismith a watering hole after you've got the wagons up the steep Van Reenen's pass - basically half way between Joburg and Durban it's still a watering hole today - basically one long strip mall of roadside one-stops.

But great to know there was a lively jewellery trade in Sa and that even before the discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand.

I will be in Cape Town in January and hope to visit the slave museum which houses a good collection of cape silver - will post an update. - Regards frank
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Re: Early South African Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:01 am

Hi Frank,

Enjoy your trip. Perhaps you would be kind enough to to write a review about your visit to the Isiko Slave Lodge and post your thoughts here:

viewtopic.php?f=43&t=15183&p=34019#p34019

Regards Trev.
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Re: Early South African Silversmiths

Postby rat-tail » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:27 pm

Hi Trev - only a pleasure
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Re: Early South African Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:44 pm

GALPIN BROTHERS

Grahamstown

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Galpin Brothers - Grahamstown - 1898

Following the death of Henry Carter Galpin in 1886, the business appears to have been carried on as a partnership by two of his sons. Alfred Carter Galpin and Walter Henry Galpin, and the firm was re-styled as 'Galpin Brothers'. Alfred was noted as being the senior partner in the new firm.

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Galpin Brothers - Grahamstown - 1906

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Re: Early South African Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:49 pm

L. HAINARD (late L. Rossley)

Bethlehem, Orange River Colony

In everything pertaining to watchmaking and jewellery the residents of Bethlehem are well catered for by Mr. L. Hainard, whose establishment contains a glittering assortment of all the goods associated with the trade. His stock of watches illustrates the ingenuity and skill that are concentrated in their manufacture. A watch, although so common an object, is one of the most wonderful productions of modern times. The stock which Mr. Hainard holds is well calculated to satisfy the requirements of rich and poor alike; and some of them are sold at such low prices that it is surprising how a profit can be made out of them. The same remark applies to his assortment of clocks, which range from tiny samples to massive productions fit for any room in the country. Mr. Hainard's display of rings, brooches, pins, bracelets, etc., is extremely interesting, and their chaste and novel designs manifest the knowledge he possesses of this branch of his avocation.

In his operative departments he exerts the highest skill; and the manner in which he repairs all kinds of time pieces is a subject of much favourable comment in the town. Mr. Hainard comes from Switzerland—one of the world's chief centres of the watch-making industry—and has been in Bethlehem for eight years. He purchased his business after the war from its original owner, Mr. L. Rossley, with whom he used to work, and is making very satisfactory progress.


Source: The Orange River Colony: An Illustrated, Historical, Descriptive and Commercial Review - Macmillan & Ferguson - 1905

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Re: Early South African Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:48 pm

A. WEBER

Winburg, Orange River Colony

The watchmaking and jewellery avocation has a very able representative in Winburg in Mr. A. Weber, in whose establishment may be seen the innumerable articles of ornament and utility that have come to be associated with the trade. His stock of watches illustrates the great variety on the market and the striking reduction in their prices as compared with those of former years. His assortment of clocks comprises some very artistic and utilitarian specimens, and should be seen by everyone in the district in need of a first-class timekeeper. He holds also a splendid range in brooches, bracelets, chains, rings, pins, etc., and their novel and pretty patterns show how thoroughly he understands his business. In the operative departments of the trade Mr. Weber manifests a skill that is the outcome of a life devoted to the study and practice of the best methods of process and result. Watches are sometimes brought to him in the most hopeless condition —so hopeless that the average individual would consider them of no further use. But after being operated on by Mr. Weber they become in many instances stronger and more reliable than they were originally. Mr. Weber has been established in Winburg since 1891, and his business is the only one of its kind in the town.

Source: The Orange River Colony: An Illustrated, Historical, Descriptive and Commercial Review - Macmillan & Ferguson - 1905

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Re: Early South African Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:56 am

PHILLIP GAUGAIN

30, Strand Street, Cape Town

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P. Gaugain - Cape Town - 1827

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