Maggs Bros Ltd

Gems from the Diamond Land.



Available to view at our Curzon Street shop.

Souvenirs of the Diggers' Life. 18 photographs (2 panoramic), 17 mounted on card, titled in manuscript. Image size: 205 by 140mm. Loosely inserted into a plum cloth album, spine missing, some occasional foxing to backing card, small tear with minor loss (15 by 20mm) to image 15. Some images faded & scratched. Kimberley,

Eighteen rare and interesting shots of diamond mining in South Africa.

Although the first diamond miners were active in Pniel and Klipdrift as early as 1867, the rush really began with the discovery of the Star of Africa, a diamond weighing over eighty carats in 1869. Shortly afterwards, diamonds were discovered at Kimberley, then known as Colsberg Koppie. By the end of 1871, over 30,000 men were mining (and panning) the area including the Vaal, Modder and Orange Rivers.

These shots document the early days of diamond mining in Klipdrift, Pniel, Du Toits and Kimberely before the De Beers consolidation. They include a variety of images depicting the daily life of the miners, the steady expansion of works and the concomitant development of infrastructure as the years progressed. The images are as follows:

1. Klipdrift Scene of the first Diamond Diggings. 2. Pniel Diggings. Klipdrift in the Distance. 3. Old De Beers Diggings. 4. Du Toits Pan. The first of the Dry Diggings from the Pan. 5. New Rush Kopje While being prospected in July 1871 (After painting). 6. New Rush a roadway in ... 1871. 7. New Rush. the erection of staging. Aug 1872. 8. The Mine Kimberley. 1872 (Folding. Unmounted with pencil title to rear.) 9. New Rush. A General View of Roads in Aug. 1872. 10. The Circular Road. New Rush. 11. New Rush. Interior of Mine. With so. reef staying. Jan 1873. 12. New Rush. The last of the red stuff - Surface soil. July 1873. 13. New Rush. Panorama of Mine from the South Corner. March 1874. (Folding).  14. New Rush. The North Reef with water in the mine. April 1874. 15. New Rush. General view of the interior from South. May 1874. 16. New Rush Camp. From ... (3 sections, folding). 17. Our Labourers. 18. Homeward Bound. The Passenger Wagon. 


Stock Code: 198745