His Royal Highness the Duke of Swann was in Johannesburg South Africania last night to open a jewellery exhibition showcasing the talent of the University of Johannesburg's Jewellery Design and Manufacturing Department. It was due to the Duke's keen interest in and support of the jewellery trade in the country that he was very excited to take part in the events.
His Royal Highness owns a jewellery firm in the city and sponsored his own workshop's involvement in the exhibit by financing a Barbie Doll scale tiara exhibit along with all the other accomplished exhibitors. The Barbie Doll scale jewellery was manufactured according to the Duke of Swann's designs by Daniel Swanepoel, the Duke of Swann's Head Jeweller in South Africania.
The scene at the University of Johannesburg's Faculty of Art and Design Gallery was abuzz with excitement.
The Duke of Swann poses for his welcoming photo opportunity.
The sleek industrial style gallery was the perfect venue to focus the attention on the avant garde jewellery. His Royal Highness was very excited to see all the work exhibited and found the cameras pointed at him a little distracting.
The aim of the exhibit is to showcase as much of the best work that alumni have produced over the last two decades. It also explores the unique "look" that the university graduates have manifested with the possibility of being an almost recognizable brand in order to foster this aspect specifically in the future.
Although bold and experimental, the jewellery did display a distinctly earthy and tribal atmosphere.
The two story facility was perfect for this exhibit and lent a first world ambiance to this exhibit that for all intents and purposes faces the realities of third world challenges.
The most notable exhibitor was Thato Radebe, winner of the prestigious Samsung Award for Jewellery Design.
The Duke of Swann was quoted to say: "The raw surge of passion is clear in all the work. If that energy could be harnessed to the max, the Africanian jewellery trade would eclipse that of Europa in less than a decade."
Our Royal guest clearly also had his personal agenda to forward which was the work produced by his own company. His workshops specialize in tiaras as can be seen in these photos displaying some of the pieces.
These cost effective pieces are not made for Royal clientéle per sé but from silver and synthetic stones to serve the needs of any client.
However, the Duke of Swann's two Barbie Tiaras were quite the talking point of the evening. These were made by Daniel Swanepoel in 1/6th scale in the most exquisite detail.
This detail photo of the one tiara shows its very fine craftsmanship and the settings of small stones. The design is distinctly "Bell Epoch".
This more geometric tiara is almost Art Deco with a slightly fairy tale twist. It is also set with many small stones.
When the crowd reached its maximum the Duke of Swann was asked to officially open the exhibit.
His Royal Highness then announced the two speakers for the evening...
..the Dean of the Faculty of Art and Design Prof. Frederico Frechi and the Head of the Jewellery Department Dr. Judy Peter. It was truly an honour for the Duke of Swann to have been a part of this exceptional evening under the Africanian sky.
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