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Stephan Welz

(b Strelitz, Prussia [now Germany], 1741; d Cape Town, Dec 29, 1811).

South African silversmith of German birth. In 1768 he arrived at Cape Town, where he worked as sword-cutler in the service of the Dutch East India Company until 1778. The following year he started his own business. He was the most accomplished of the Cape silversmiths and the first to introduce the Rococo style, although it was always used in a restrained Dutch manner. Towards the end of his career he also produced pieces in a Neo-classical style, probably inspired by silverware brought by English immigrants. His most exuberant designs are silver furniture mounts with a cast floral motif. He was one of the first Cape silversmiths to make such large domestic pieces as tea- and coffee-pots and covered sugar bowls, usually with cast floral finials and supports. The only recorded pair of Cape candlesticks (Cape Town, S. Afr. Cult. Hist. Mus.) is by Schmidt.

S. Welz: Cape Silver and Silversmiths...