User-agent: AmazonBot Disallow: / Antique 1904 Kaffir Belle Stewart & Schaefer Cape of Good Hope POSTCARD | British & Far East Traders Lifestyle
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Last Updated on: 27th March 2024, 08:57 pm

Antique 1904 Kaffir Belle Stewart & Schaefer Cape of Good Hope POSTCARD

Measurements: 3 1/2 inches x 5 1/2 inches
Maker’s/ Manufacturer’s marks: Stewart & Schaefer, Cape Town Box No. 1205
Texts: Kaffir Belle
Stamped & Postmarked: One penny. Middleburgh, Cape Town, 2:30, 7 March 1904
Addressee: Miss G. Bliss, Post Office, Bull Close Road, Norwich, England
The 1904 “Kaffir Belle” postcard, emanating from the Cape of Good Hope and crafted by Stewart & Schaefer, Cape Town, holds a poignant place in the study of South African historical and cultural dynamics. This artifact, measuring 3 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches, serves not just as a piece of ephemeral art but as a lens through which we can explore the representation of ethnic minorities and the socio-cultural perceptions of the early 20th century.

The postcard features an image of an ethnic South African girl adorned in native jewellery, standing before the familial hut—a scene that, while capturing the simplicity and authenticity of her lifestyle, also reflects the external gaze upon South African ethnic groups during the colonial era. Her portrayal, respectful yet revealing, navigates the fine line between ethnographic interest and the era’s tendency towards exoticisation.

For social historians, researchers, and connoisseurs of South African collectables, this postcard offers a multifaceted insight. It is a testament to the everyday life and heritage of South Africa’s ethnic minorities, captured through the colonial lens. The detailed craftsmanship, including the jewellery and the hut, provides invaluable information on the cultural practices and living conditions of the time.

Moreover, the postcard’s journey, marked by a one-penny stamp and a postmark from Middleburgh, Cape Town, dated 7 March 1904, addressed to Miss G. Bliss in Norwich, England, encapsulates the global connections of the colonial period. It showcases the role of postal services in bridging vast geographical divides, serving as a conduit for cultural exchange and curiosity.

This piece, therefore, stands as a critical artifact for those dedicated to unraveling the nuanced narratives of South Africa’s past. It invites a deeper examination of how ethnic minorities were visualised and understood within the broader contexts of colonialism and cultural diversity. The “Kaffir Belle” postcard is not merely a collector’s item but a chapter in the ongoing discourse on representation, identity, and history within the South African context and beyond.
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