Erich Frey and associates: a bold contribution to South African silver- and goldsmith design
German born goldsmith Erich Frey (1917-2004) spent 25 years of his career (1952-1977) in South Africa. During this time he brought innovation to the design approach of local manufacturing goldsmiths. This article focuses on the career of Erich Frey whilst in South Africa, along with the refl ections and careers of associates Maia Holm, Stephen Colegate, Ronald Hacquebord and Maurice Pitol who worked with him. He incorporated materials other than precious stones (such as wood and ivory) in his designs and explored these materials’ natural form, texture and colour in composing their precious metal settings. By making use of semi-precious stones he helped stimulate the development of a gemmological industry in the country. Frey also contributed to the development of formal tertiary training in precious metal design in South Africa.
Key words: Erich Frey, gemmology, goldsmith, jewellery design, Maia Holm, maker’s mark, manufacturing jeweller, Maurice Pitol, precious metal artist, precious metal design, Ronald Hacquebord, silversmith, Stephen Colegate