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Commemorative Sterling Silver Key - UNISA OR Tambo Administrative Building, September 1980, Owen Horwood - Erich Frey, Stephen Colegate     Order Form     Request more information
Reference: S11211
Period: Elizabeth II
Year: 1980
Silversmith: Erich Frey, Stephen Colegate
Place: Johannesburg
Price: $ 740.00
Weight: 92 grams
Dimensions: 12 cm length
Condition: Excellent, perfectly preserved in original box.

Description: A unique sterling silver inaugural key, made to commemorate the opening of the UNISA (University of South Africa) OR Tambo administrative building on the Muckleneuk Campus, Pretoria, in 1980, and presented to South African Minister of Finance Owen Horwood. A series of parallel bars replicate the shape of this iconic building with it's triangular top, this sits on top of a circular hand hammered disc, which represents the rising moon. The key portion is pierced "UNISA September 1980". The key is fabulous quality, and clearly made by hand. The back of the circular moon disc is engraved "To the Hon OPF Horwood in commemoration of the official opening of the Administration building". The key is clearly hallmarked "E Frey Silver 925". The key is perfectly preserved in it's original box, which itself is fabulous quality, a brown grained hardwood with red velvet interior, the base with felt and original "Erich Frey Pretoria" sticker, the empty box is just under 500 grammes, hinges and clasp in full working order. This particular key has been described in detail in an article entitled "Unlocking Memories of Landmark Moments", Unisawise Summer 2010, Pages 53-56, based on research by Professor Fred van Staden, who is the author of the South African Goldsmiths Reserach Project (www.sagoldsmiths.blogspot.com, a site we highly recommend, where the article can be found). The article describes how Unisa started commissioning unique, once off works of art to commemorate special occasions, using leading South African goldsmiths Erich Frey and Stephen Colegate, in 1972 with an inaugural key for the opening of the Theo van Wijk building. This was followed by the Horwood OR Tambo key in 1980, and again for the UNISA library in 1988 and Durban regional office in 1989, each a unique design (Van Staden has pictures of the other keys but not this Horwood key). He describes this key as "a horizontal impression of the building, with a round moonlike disc mounted behind the shortened crossbars representing the top floors of the building, giving the impression of a moving ship in front of an ascending moon". He also notes it was manufactured by Stephen Colegate. Erich Frey was a German-born goldsmith who lived in South Africa from 1952 until 1977. He spent these 25 years as a jeweller, and had a workshop in Pretoria. His innovative and striking designs in silver and gold incorporated precious and semi-precious stones, as well as other materials such as wood and ivory, and he was much respected and admired by his peers. His work was unique, and he proved to be an influential jeweller in his time. There have been numerous articles published about him and his work, and his pieces continue to set auction records. Stephen Colegate joined Frey as an apprentice in 1965, he became a co-Director of the studio when Frey returned to Germany in 1977 and continued to run the Frey business until 1988 when he established his own studio under his own name. He still works today, based in Knysna, see his website www.metalcraftgallery.com. The Erich Frey studio still operates, see www.erichfrey.co.za. Owen Horwood was a South African economist, politician, leader of the National Party in the province of Natal and Finance Minister of South Africa between 1975 and 1984. Prior to his political career he was Vice Chancellor of the University of Natal, after his political retirement in 1984 he became executive Chairman of Nedbank until 1993, he died in 1998. Note - This key was also featured in a 1980 article in Homes and Gardens magazine (issue 58), where it is photographed alongside other items made by Erich Frey, including some beautiful jewellery and a thimble with case.
Commemorative Sterling Silver Key - UNISA OR Tambo Administrative Building, September 1980, Owen Horwood - Erich Frey, Stephen Colegate
Commemorative Sterling Silver Key - UNISA OR Tambo Administrative Building, September 1980, Owen Horwood - Erich Frey, Stephen Colegate

Commemorative Sterling Silver Key - UNISA OR Tambo Administrative Building, September 1980, Owen Horwood - Erich Frey, Stephen Colegate
UNISA OR Tambo Administrative Building, September 1980, Owen Horwood - Erich Frey, Stephen Colegate

Commemorative Sterling Silver Key - UNISA OR Tambo Administrative Building, September 1980, Owen Horwood - Erich Frey, Stephen Colegate
Owen Horwood South African Finance Minister Unisa key, Erich Frey

Commemorative Sterling Silver Key - UNISA OR Tambo Administrative Building, September 1980, Owen Horwood - Erich Frey, Stephen Colegate
Erich Fret silver key, owen Horwood

Commemorative Sterling Silver Key - UNISA OR Tambo Administrative Building, September 1980, Owen Horwood - Erich Frey, Stephen Colegate
Erich Frey silversmith hardwood box

Commemorative Sterling Silver Key - UNISA OR Tambo Administrative Building, September 1980, Owen Horwood - Erich Frey, Stephen Colegate
E Frey Silver 925 silver hallmark, Unisa key

Commemorative Sterling Silver Key - UNISA OR Tambo Administrative Building, September 1980, Owen Horwood - Erich Frey, Stephen Colegate
Commemorative Sterling Silver Key - UNISA OR Tambo Administrative Building, September 1980, Owen Horwood - Erich Frey, scale

Commemorative Sterling Silver Key - UNISA OR Tambo Administrative Building, September 1980, Owen Horwood - Erich Frey, Stephen Colegate
Erich Frey Pretoria original sticker felt base

Commemorative Sterling Silver Key - UNISA OR Tambo Administrative Building, September 1980, Owen Horwood - Erich Frey, Stephen Colegate
Erich Frey Home & Garden Magazine 1980

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