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ERICH [Ernst Karl] MAYER
Die Auasberge von süden gesehen
[The Auas mountains seen from the south]
A fine early watercolour by one of South Africa's greatest painters, which captures the essence of the landscape of German South West Africa just after the Boer war. The rutted dirt road leads through the scrub of the veldt and the pass toward Windhoek near Aris post office, (which opened in Sept 1907) beyond which, rise the purple hills of the Auas Mountains. At the left is a marker or mile stone. In all a charming and well painted landscape.
On January 1st. of the year that this was painted the European population numbered 9,410 civilians and 2,381 military forces. British and Boer immigration accounts for nearly the entire increase over the previous year. For 1909 was the year Diamond fever struck the colony. Nearly a hundred companies are busy searching for the stones. Their stocks reach record highs on the recently established Windhoek stock exchange and there is heavy speculation in them back in Germany. The jewels of Lüderitzbucht replace cattle breeding in Damara and Namaland as the chief topic of discussion in Deutsch-Südwestafrika. (D.S.W.Afr.). The latter being a colony of Germany from 1884 -1915 when it was taken over by South Africa as a colony of the British Empire and administered as South West Africa, finally becoming Namibia in 1990.