Howick home renovation yields antique find

2017-07-16 06:05
Tiles measuring 20cm2 each and possibly made in the mid-1800s found on a kitchen wall. They are in remarkably good condition

Tiles measuring 20cm2 each and possibly made in the mid-1800s found on a kitchen wall. They are in remarkably good condition

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It is the kind of thing we all hope will happen to us – a woman recently found a set of valuable original Spanish Delft Maiolica tiles in her house in Howick in KwaZulu-Natal during a renovation project.

Dee Sneedon found the original tiles on the kitchen walls in her old Victorian house.

They were left there by the previous owner, an ardent art collector who bought them in the 1980s from Granada in Spain.

Sneedon did some research and found that the clay, glaze and firing technique used suggest that the tiles date back to the 1850s.

The Maiolica style refers to tin-glazed pottery that was popular during the Renaissance period and was usually owned by well-to-do Italians.

Sneedon’s tiles depict everyday scenes of men and women engaged in different crafts and trades.

“They are a unique, colourful look at the occupations of the day – a definite must-have for any antique collector,” she says.

Sneedon has put them up for sale on online classifieds site Gumtree, at an asking price of R2 680 per tile, or R37 520 for the full set.

Estelle Nagel of Gumtree SA says staff do a weekly check of listings on the site and try to boost interesting, unique pieces.

“We currently have the first telescope that was on top of Table Mountain listed on the site,” she says.

The listing offers a Carl Zeiss telescope circa 1918 for R50 000.

The owner of the telescope says: “It was removed from the mountain – I haven’t been able to find out exactly when – and was about to be sold for scrap when I saved it.”

Nagel says the site also advertised a listing for an extremely rare coin that had a double-strike error on it.

The seller wanted R70m. She doesn’t know if it was sold.

There is another coin on the site for R29.2m, also with a double-strike error.

“Spectacular error coin stuns the numismatic world,” says this listing.

“South Africa’s rarest gold proof coin found, struck by the SA Mint.

You really need to be a multimillionaire before tackling the ‘AU Four 9s Double Strike Gold Proof Piece’. Only serious collectors need to apply.”

Go to if you’re interested in these objects.

Read more on:    durban

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