Showcasing the work of mostly local artists and designers, the Karoo Collection boasts the creative work of newcomers and established artists.

Characterising the essence of the inspiring Karoo landscape in colour and texture, wares include boldly printed fabrics and cushions, hats and accessories, graphic art, posters, bead work and retro furniture.

 

TRADITIONAL BASOTHO BLANKETS

A BASOTHO BACKGROUND

The story of the Basotho Heritage Blanket can be traced to European traders and missionaries who came to Southern Africa as far back as the 1800’s. It began with the father of The Lesotho Kingdom, King Moshoeshoe I. In 1860, King Moshoeshoe I was presented a woollen blanket as a gift. He was so taken with it, that he abandoned the traditional leopard skin kaross in favour of the blanket. The Basotho people soon followed their leader and to this day, the blanket is an integral part of their daily lives. It is also an essential feature of all important life events, from childbirth and marriage to initiation and the coronation of Kings. In 1865, when Queen Victoria gave her protection to Moshoeshoe’s kingdom at his request, he spoke of her as “spreading her blanket” over his country.
 
In 1897 Queen Victoria visited the then Basutoland during her Jubilee year. She gave King Lerotholi Letsie a blanket as a gift. The blanket was named the Victoria England. The Basotho people had a great love and respect for Queen Victoria and the Victoria England blanket has become a sought after status symbol. The Victoria England is the oldest of the Basotho blanket brands and includes many famous designs; for example the Badges of the Brave which was designed by Mr R.D. Shrubsole. He was inspired by the Basotho regiments who fought alongside the allies during World War II. The design features the various badges belonging to these regiments. However, through the years the Basotho have come to refer to this design as NZ, meaning Nazareth. This is more inclined towards their religious and Christian beliefs.
 
What makes the Basotho blankets unique is the layout of the design, the various symbols used, the bold colour combinations and the characteristic pin-stripe. This stripe was originally a weaving fault which has become a unique part of the design and dictates how the blanket is worn. When worn in the traditional manner, the pin-stripe runs vertically symbolising growth. Traditionally Basotho blankets are manufactured from wool which offers protection from the wind and rain and provides warmth in the high altitude of The Mountain Kingdom.

The most popular Victoria England blanket is the Spitfire – this blanket was introduced after the Basotho people had collected enough money to pay for 25 Spitfire planes that flew for the Royal Air Force during World War II. Lesotho gave Britain the Spitfire’s fighter aircraft as a token of appreciation for the many years of British protection. This generous contribution by the small country equipped two complete RAF squadrons. This Squadron, known as “No 72 Basutoland”, is one of the few World War II RAF Squadrons still in existence today.

The corncob is the most widely used motif throughout the range of the Basotho heritage blankets. In Basotho culture maize is the staple food and therefore the corncob is a symbol of fertility and wealth. The more prestigious Seanamarena design features more corncobs than the everyday wearing blankets, the Sefate and Morena.

The ‘Victoria England’ blanket with ‘Badges of the Brave’ design features in a photograph ‘taken on the instruction of the then Princess Elizabeth (now Queen of England) on the Royal visit to Lesotho in 1947’. ‘Badges of the Brave’ design, in red and gold with four vertical ‘pin stripes’ in black. Design includes various insignia of the British and Commonwealth armed forces.

Blankets measure 155 x 165cm

 

DECORATIVE FLOOR, DESK LAMPS & CHANDELIERS

Each piece is testament  to his technical perfection and flawless execution.  He learnt his skill at an early age working alongside his father, later honing his expertise in Australia to become a master metal worker.  On his return to SA he settled in the Western Cape where for the last 20 years he has enhanced the homes of discerning clients both locally and abroad. Finding beauty in his surroundings his stylized organic pieces mirror nature. His wife hands on co-owner brings a delightful mix of the whimsical and quirky. Together they create what she terms ‘functional art.’  A graduate of the Johannesburg College of Art she majored in sculpture which won her several  awards.Together they seamlessly create a fusion between art and decor transforming  the mundane and elevating  it into something beautiful and unique.

These  work can be found all over the world: London USA Germany Australia Bahamas Italy Exotic islands and many exclusive lodges in Africa

Smolten Life style lighting & decorThis active workshop has on offer an extensive  range of unique lighting and furnishings. Perfect decor  for the home, game lodges and  high end  installations.These original products and custom designs are cast and hand finished at  their workshop. This  creative and busy space is constantly developing  new designs and ranges.

 

DECOR

 

BOOKS

 

ARTWORK (SOUTH AFRICAN)

POSTERS

CONTINENT AFRICA CLOTHING

Whilst designers seek new horizons and new ideas, forever pushing the boundaries – and rightfully so – Continent Africa’s much-loved Africa tees continue to provide the counterbalance, a reminder that simplicity, quality and restraint remain the energy force of good design.
 
The bright white Africa map on the perfect fitting, designer t-shirt has become an instantly recognizable icon, a brand in itself, that has a loyal following amongst africaphiles here and abroad, and in particular the south African diaspora worldwide.
 
Produced entirely in South Africa from the finest 100% local luxury cotton in a wide range of fashion colours and perfect fitting styles.