early morning light
Gift shop closed month of April 2013, now back to Legacy Estate Agency
FOR THE HISTORY BOFFS: CHINA BLUES Collectable Blue and white china has a fascinating link with South Africa’s early history. These wall tiles are an endearing example of their work, “potters” in delft – Holland.
Hand-painted tiles of table mountain and the bay in classic dutch style, blue and white, in the courtyard of what is now the Antique Dutch Manor Hotel in Buitengracht St. Bo-Kaap Cape Town South Africa
Asian Origins: The original porcelain (some stunning designs) has it’s origins in the Ming Dynasty, China and Japan; and the Spanish, Portuguese too; were avid collectors. Infact the Dutch raided and captured two Portuguese caraks enroute from the far east to Spain. The Dutch called it Kraak porcelain and it caused quite a stir… Especially with The VOC Monogram to be quite specific, Designs that are somewhat blurred due to a thick bubble glaze. The Veerenigde OostindischeKompagnie, having established a presence in the Cape with The Dutch East india Company between 1660 and 1680 brought designs from Japan (Porcelain) and embellished them with VOC monograms. (Highly sought after you may well imagine)… See Castle street. This is a vast section of history, to indepth to discuss here. For the moment we’ll just take a look at quaint and colloquial. These monograms are to be found in brick paving walk-ways in brass too, signifying the property ownership. thus we have Delft, an enamelled pottery at best, delft a region in Holland, not having the best of potters clay, Nevertheless exquisite.
Buried Treasure off SA Shores Many believe that there are wrecks around the coast that contain valuable treasure troves of porcelain that would be snapped up by collectors were they to be salvaged.
The captions are in portuguese, celebrating the arrival of vasco da gama and bartholemew diaz at the cape in 1480 and the early 1500′s respectively, under the mandate of Ferdinand and the Portuguese monarchy. They sailed in carvalhos; wooden ships with white sails and a red cross; under the disciples banner, being sea-faring christians; the same style of boats which were used by christopher columbus, under the spanish monarchy, when he discovered the bahamas and the americas where he discovered the native inhabitants, namely, the awaki tribe. Here in south africa they discovered the peninsula populated by only a few strandlopers, the khoisan then being further up the coast near namibia, botswana and the west coast, although there were some diminutive clans more strandloper in nature, living on Slangkop. With an abundance of shellfish, fishing, small game, and fresh water running of the mountains, many rivers and rivulets, the silvermine river and an abundance of streams from Redhill, life must have been rather good. One can just imagine what it must have been like, sailing into Table Bay on a Fairest Cape day, no buildings or city in site, perhaps just an expansive Pine Forest gracing the slopes of Table Mountain, with a gently undulating Fynbos kaleidoscope of indigenous cape flowers and reeds. Perhaps some twig and grass huts of the san and a variety of animals, the elegant eland, some gemsbok, many springbokkies, dassies and birds. Inclusive of perhaps spotting a cape white lion and some baboons. After the Dutch arrived in 1652. Simonstown was named after Simon van der Stel, who was born enroute on a boat from Mauritius to the Cape from a Dutch father and indian mother. He was appointed by Jan van Riebeeck to be the first governor of the area. Later in 1752, a certain new arrival, Baron von Imhoff carved up the peninsula from Simonstown to Noordhoek, to form a bay for the ships in winter out of the harsh gales in Table Bay. This being original khoisan territory, fishing, grazing and hunting ground, they were termed de swart duiwel because of their tenacity and fearlessness and their live-stock bartering must have been termed raiding too. With the start of this harbour in Simonstown; later, the British Navy Simonstown developed and is known as the oldest Victorian town in South Africa, then having a cosmopolitan population of malay, indian, british, dutch, german, khoisan and west indies people etc. Many of the south african cities are still called by their portuguese names, for example Saldanha Bay on the west coast and port elizabeth used to be called della goa bay. Saints from the malay muslims amongst others are buried on the mountains. These burial sites are known as ”kramats”. Many of the muslims who arrived on the Cape Shores in the 1600′s from Batavia, Java and the Indonesian archipelago were highly skilled craftsmen, employed by the Princes of Tidore, and were incontract to their contingency over and above the slaves the Dutch held in lieu of labour and service. Furthermore some fleets sailed further up north to Mozambique, in particular the portuguese convoys. On the other hand, the original khoisan and strandloper inhabitants, very much a minority group, are a very part of the nature of the cape itself. This is evident in the cultural inheritance, interwoven and for the majority, geo-centrified. One can spot them around the peninsula with their dogs, a real minority group, they self-subsist off the land. The romanticism of a culture dies with the disintegration that comes of hard living, and lack of progress amidst urban technology. When survival replaces primitivity wildness and beauty are lost.