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Antique cherubs stolen from gallery

Crime & Courts

Pietermaritzburg - The Tatham Art Gallery has fallen victim to brazen thieves who stole four “priceless” dancing cherubs from atop the antique ormolu clock.

The theft was discovered on Monday afternoon when staff went to clean exhibits in the ceramics room on the second floor. It is believed that the theft took place some time between late December and Monday.

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Picture Shan Pillay Angels go missing from a priceless clock at Tatham Art Gallery last seen on Monday......contact Brian @ Gallery. Ex Sherlissa: The cherubs that adorned a priceless clock in the Tatham Art Gallery have been stolen. The cherubs were last seen on the clock on Monday afternoon. The matter has been reported to the police. Anyone with information is asked to please contact Supt Alan Bennett on 0333922910. NOTE: The director of the gallery is on leave and the ONLY other person who can speak to me left the gallery at noon today with a family emergency. Other staff members refused to speak to the media. I am trying to get more information on the clock and the cherubs for a more holistic deep caption. Will hopefully file by later tonight or early tomorrow morning. Have left messages for the woman to call me back.

According to Tatham’s assistant director, Bryony Clarke, the rare clock is one of the gallery’s biggest drawcards. Ormolu is an old, and dangerous, process using mercury to gild brass.

The clock was donated to the then Municipal Art Gallery (before it became known as Tatham) by William Harper, a former city councillor in 1926.

The clock was originally made for an Indian rajah as a gift by Messrs A & H Rowley of London, about 150 years ago.

The missing angels were cast from bronze and then gilded.

Each angel is about 25cm tall, stands on one leg on a fluted dome and held a globe on each of the four corners of the clock’s ebony case. The angels arms extend upwards with open wings spread behind it. Msunduzi municipal manager, Mxolisi Nkosi, confirmed that the municipality’s internal security team would also be conducting an investigation into the theft.

Then, subject to budget considerations, the council would look at improving the existing security at the gallery.

There are two guards stationed at the gallery’s foyer. There are no security cameras in the gallery.

Daily News

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