Treasures of the Africana Museum


The Africana Museum was once aptly described at the City of Johannesburg’s Treasure Chest. Today it has become the cultural treasure of the people of South Africa. In its sadly limited space within the walls of the Johannesburg Library it houses some of the historic relics of the people of all races who have helped to build the Republic.

This book is an attempt to draw attention to some of the priceless collector’s pieces that the museum holds, not all of which it can display. Who for example, has ever seen the fine collection¬† of coins and medals many of which were bequeathed to the Museum by A.S. Rogers? Who has seen the historical pictures, the Cape silver, the china, the antique furniture and the wonderful old train-cars in the transport museum. Who knows that the Zederburg coach displayed at the Wembley Empire Exhibition in 1924 was obtained by the City of Hull and eventually came back to South Africa?

The great problem of all such museums is space. The Africana Museum can display only a fraction of its treasures. The rest are stored and brought out and displayed only occasionally. This book by Anna Smith, who helped to make the museum what it is today, draws aside the curtain to reveal some of these treasures and to tell you how they were acquired.

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Authored by Anna H. Smith and published by Purnell of Cape Town in 1977. Hard cover bound, this First Edition copy is in Fine condition, covered in Archival plastic with a Fine dust jacket. The size of the book is 286x212x13mm, with 77 pages and a 3 page index. My bookplate on ffep. Clean and well bound. No inscriptions, annotations or marks. Illustrated throughout with photographs, colour and black and white. ISBN 0868430099.