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Author:Van Riet Lowe, Clarence; Malan, BD & Commission for the Preservation of Natural and Historical Monuments, Relics and Antiques
Title:The monuments of South Africa : Second, Revised and Enlarged Edition
Publisher:Government Printer

The enlarged second edition, published in 1949 and edited by van Riet Lowe and B D Malan (illustrated, 179 pages , with dust wrapper). was a more elaborate and more substantial work , covering the same ground as the first edition but updated with the work of the 1940s . The book was designed by the State Information office and printed by the government printer. The end paper is a montage of monuments and historical buildings. There is a useful historical introduction, this is a record of the work of the commission over a 15 year period . It lacks a map of South Africa, but includes pictorial maps of each of the four provinces. The usefulness of this volume lies in the division of monuments into historical monuments and natural cum scientific monuments , so again the range is wide and thinking about what constituted a site that needed proclamation and preservation far sighted and inclusive. It is interesting too that the Commission used indigenous languages for making the graves of certain tribal chiefs and honoured kings. There are even more black and white photographs. it is interesting that the the Cape was far better represented in its monuments recognition than the other three provinces , but heritage work was still in its pioneering phase. By 1940 the Commission instituted a medal as gold silver and bronze medals to be awarded for work for the cause of preserving monuments,relics and antiques, and the awards made by 1949 are recorded. I can only salute our predecessors for their selfless labours.

Whilst the Commission erected plaques or badges with inscriptions on 33 of the proclaimed sites covered in the book, the texts of the bronze inscriptions on unproclaimed sites covering a further 48 sites. The plaques and badges of the Commission were a worthy forerunner of the heritage blue plaques of today.

5 stars ***** for sustained effort and as essential works of reference.

Price Guide R 200 - R300 , less rare and likely to find on a book auction site.

(Kathy Munro, May 2015)

See also the First Edition

Monuments in the Cape of Good Hope

Monuments in the Free State

Monuments in the Transvaal pg 122

Monuments in Natal pg 92

Link to WorldCat - find this book in a library near you

Buildings linked to this book

Road Bridge over the Lourens River, 1845, Somerset West, Western Cape. pp 72-73
Van Riebeeck's Hedge, 1660, Bishops Court, Kirstenbosch, Cape Town, Western Cape. pp 19-21
Voortrekker Museum (Previously Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk - Voortrekker Kerk / Geloftekerk - Church of the Vow), 1841 : 1861 : 1916, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal. pp 99-102