Portrait of Harold Jeppe by Sir William Rothenstein, 1935
Sportsman, mining man, business man, financier, a writer, broadcaster, historian, art critic, art connoisseur,
gallery director and member of an illustrious Johannesburg family
Harold Painton Jeppe was born in Johannesburg on 24th January, 1899,
the third youngest of six children (3 sons, 3 daughters) of Sir Julius Jeppe, C.B.E.
and Grace Cowen (†1905) when Harold was just over five years old;
he and his siblings were brought up by governesses in their home “Friedenheim” in Belgravia, Johannesburg.
“Friedenheim” - illustrated in https://af.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Jeppe
Harold was a scholar at The Grange Preparatory School, Crowborough, U.K.,
The Grange Preparatory School, Crowborough, U.K.
then he attended St Andrews College, Grahamstown
and in 1917 was head boy and Victor Ludorum.
While studying at Trinity College, Oxford, Harold participated in athletics meetings such as
the Oxford and Princeton track team meeting at Queen’s Club, London, 1920.
In the same year, he represented South Africa at the Antwerp Olympic Games in 1920
as a 110 m hurdler, reaching the Quarterfinals.
Bevil Rudd and Harold Jeppe
In 1921, after his studies at Oxford University, Harold Jeppe straightaway entered the service of
The South African Townships, Mining & Finance Corporation, then under the Chairmanship of his father,
Sir Julius Jeppe, C.B.E.
Harold Jeppe married Cicely Marais on the 6th June, 1925.
They had 3 daughters – Pamela, Jacqueline and her twin Gillian.
He was then living at the “House Harold Jeppe” at 17 Molesey Road, Auckland Park, Johannesburg;
later they moved to 2, Escombe Ave., Parktown West, Johannesburg, the architect of “House Jeppe” was Gordon Leith.
Harold Jeppe holding his daughter Jacqueline, Pamela at left
In 1934, the architects Hanson, Tomkin and Finkelstein designed the
Spanish-style house “Fontenay” at Melrose Estate.
In 1934, Harold Jeppe was appointed Managing Director of
The South African Townships, Mining & Finance Corporation.
Harold Jeppe was a keen polo player, a founder member of the Inanda Club
(formed out of the Johannesburg Polo Club and the Rand Hunt Club in 1934).
Harold Painton Jeppe in 1938, illustrated in “The Gold Mining Record”, London, Vol. 7, No 65,
February, 1938, p.39 (see pdf for details)
At the end of his working career in the Mining and Finance world,
Harold Jeppe could finally pursue his love of the arts and begin to write his
reference book – “South African Artists 1900-1962” –
eventually published by Afrikaanse Pers Bpk., Johannesburg, in 1963
The introduction to his book makes for interesting reading.
Harold Jeppe in “ARTLOOK” 9 – August, 1967
Between March, 1973 and February, 1974, Harold placed some of his personal collection of Spanish art
through Gallery 21, Johannesburg. He joined the Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg in 1973
(bringing along some of the top SA and International artists he had shown at Lidchi), and remained with them until 1974.
Harold Jeppe – a man of wide ranging interests - passed away on 4th March, 1975 of heart failure,
leaving his third wife Veronica and his three daughters. At that time he had been living at 9 Wells Ave., Parkwood.
Harold Jeppe watching a pavement art happening outside the Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, in March, 1972
The help of the Harold Jeppe family in making data from their archives available is greatly appreciated.
Updated on 24th November, 2019