Read's Gallery, specialising in fine antique jewellery and silver, is one of Johannesburgs's "grand old dames" and is celebrating its centenary this year. This historical hallmark's journey through time is a fascinating story to be told.
In 1912, ambitious artist Albert Everard established Read's Gallery at 43 Plein Street, Johannesburg - and an enduring treasure trove was born. The gallery initially sold art out of what was literally a corrugated iron shop. The young and unmarried Albert then sought in World War 1 and was badly wounded in South West Africa (now Namibia) knowing his recovery was fraught and uncertain, Albert contacted his brother - Frederick who lived in Bulawayo, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) to take over the business in Johannesburg.
Albert succumbed to his war wounds and died in 1919 but Read's was left in good hands; Fred ran the business successfully until he died in 1944.
Fred's children - Mercia, Marion and Everard - held art and beautiful things as an integral part of life and intrinsically knew that historical treasures must be loved and prized for future generations. The children and their families continued honouring Read's rich artistic heritage, holding dear that art and beauty is the thread of the family fabric.
Fred's Daughter Marion, took over the reins from her father. She was also a founding member of the South African Antique Dealers Association; Everard founded the Pieter Wenning Gallery which ultimatly became know as the famous Everard Read Gallery.
Today Read's specialises in timeless jewellery pieces - antiques, silver and contemporary; as well as antique and modern silver, Pam Thomson, who married Marion's son Deon, worked with Marion for 8 years and has run Read's for the past 37 years. Together with the dedication and help of Paulette Maingard, they continue the Read's legacy.