Bell Heritage Trust

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Housed in the University of Cape Town’s Special Collections are the paintings of Charles Davidson Bell (1813 – 1882). This collection is the property of The John and Charles Bell Heritage Trust, which was established in 1975 by Professor Charles Manning, a grandson of Charles Davidson Bell by his second wife, Helena Krynauw.


Bushman - Another Method
Depicts two Bushman disguised as ostriches creeping up on unwary game. Title taken from original painting.
Bushman attacking a Rhinoseros
Rhinoceros in centre tossing one hunter while being attacked by four other hunters. Title taken from original painting.
Bushmans method of catching in Pitfall
Two Bushman hunters, one on either side of a rhinoceros which has fallen with its front legs into a pitfall. Three Bushman women are depicted dancing (?) on high ground on the right. Title taken from original painting.
Cameleopard blown or flaauw.
Depicts a man on horseback pointing a gun at a giraffe (or "cameleopard"), with two giraffe running in the background. Title taken from original painting.
Carbonatji Tents - Market square
Depicts a group of Malays' partaking of refreshments under a large umbrella-like shelter. Location possibly Greenmarket Square, Cape Town. Title taken from original painting.
Common travelling horse waggons
Waggon, with passengers seated within under a canopy, drawn by twelve horses across a plain with mountains in the background. Title taken from original painting.
Coolies - Market Squares
Group of three men resting on the steps of a building, (possibly in Greenmarket Square). An ox-waggon is depicted in the background. Title taken from original painting.
Country Hottentots, Travelling
Depicts a Khoikhoi family travelling: a man, a woman with a baby on her back and a small child walking behind, and two dogs running ahead of the party. Title taken from original painting.
Fruiterers
Cape Town street scene showing two women seated on the side of the street, left foreground, and two Malay fruit sellers with baskets suspended from poles held across their shoulders. Title taken from original painting.
Gnu Charging
Hunter on horseback centrally placed, shooting at a charging gnu. Title taken from original painting.
Hottentot
Depicts a man in tattered clothing, wearing a hat with a feather in his hat carrying a bottle in his hand. Title taken from original painting.
Hottentot Hutt - on tree, Nest of Republican Birds
Country scene showing a woman with a baby on her back, sitting on an ox which is being led by a man towards a woman with an umbrella, and a hut set beside some trees. There are two figures and a dog outside the hut, and a bird's nest in the tree with several birds (probably sociable weavers) flying around it. Title taken from original painting.
Hottentot Woman
Depicts a Khoikhoi woman smoking a pipe, wearing a reddish skirt with matching head scarf and fawn shawl. Title taken from original painting.
Hottentots - Country Scene
Depicts three men and three women drinking and fighting. One woman has a baby on her back. Title taken from original painting.
Hottentots - Street Scene
Cape Town street scene showing one man with a bottle in his hand, who appears to be under the influence of alcohol, with two women, one of whom is smoking a pipe, watching the man, with a third woman asleep at the edge of the road beneath a wall on which appear various notices, one of which is about a meeting of the Temperance Society. Title taken from original painting.
Malay Family
Group depicting a man, a woman and a small child, with Cape mountains in the background. Title taken from original painting.
Malay Fishermen
Seated Malay woman in left foreground with standing figure of Malay fisherman centre foreground and two fishermen in background. Sea and Mountain in background. Title taken from original painting.
Malay Fishermen
Seated Malay woman in left foreground with standing figure of Malay fisherman, centre foreground, two fishermen in background. Sea and mountain in background.
Malay and Malay Priests - Cape flats - Table Mountain in the distance
Malay woman and man centrally placed in the Cape Flats landscape with two Malay priests in right foreground, with Table Mountain in the distance. Title taken from original painting.
Method of creeping on Game
Shows Bushman camouflaged with branches of leaves creeping towards a group of antelope. Two ostriches are shown on the far left background. Title taken from original painting.
Packing up the Flesh
Group of four men engaged in cutting up a carcass and packing up the flesh onto an ox, on a plain with hills in the background. Title taken from original painting.
Quagga and Gnu Hunting
Hunter on horseback centrally placed, shooting at a charging gnu. Title taken from original painting.
Rhinoceros Shooting
Scene depicts a rhinoceros charging, one man running, a man taking aim from behind a bush and a man approaching on horseback. There is a tree on the left and a hill in the background. Title taken from original painting.
Rhinoceros at Bay - Mountain Scenery. Matselikats country
Depicts a rhinoceros crossing a river, right of centre, being harried by dogs. The animal is surrounded by six hunters, all at a distance, in hilly terrain. Title taken from original painting.
Rhinoseros - the death
Three huntsmen, two seated, one on either side of the rhinoceros and one leaning against the carcass all with guns, while two tribesmen examine the carcass. In the distance are 5 figures against a background of mountains. Title taken from original painting.
Rhinoseros at Bay
Depicts a rhinoceros being harried by three dogs and stalked by three huntsmen, in hilly country near a pond or river. Title taken from original painting.
Scraps from the Sketch Books of a Wanderer in Southern Africa
The title page to a compilation of sketches Charles Bell put together after the Andrew Smith expedition. Depicts four tribesmen and a woman with a baby on her back and a small child hanging on to her cloak, showing surprise at a drawing of a warrior being held up for them to see by a man (possibly Charles Bell?) whose face is obscured by the drawing. Title taken from original painting.
Stellenbosch Wine Waggon - Table Mountain in the Distance
Ox-drawn waggon carrying barrels crossing a plain with mountains in the background. Title taken from original painting.
Table Bay and Cape Town, from the foot of Table Mountain
Shows Cape Town and Table Bay beyond, from a vantage point on Table Mountain. There is shipping in Table Bay and Bloubergstrand can be seen in the distance. Title taken from original painting.
Table Mountain and Devils Hill, from the Camp ground, or edge of the Cape flats
Shows Table Mountain and Devil's Peak in the background, an ox-waggon crossing the Camp Ground and three small figures in the foreground. Title taken from original painting.
Table Mountain etc. from the Beach of Table Bay
Shows Cape Town at the foot of Table Mountain, with Devil's Peak on the left, Lion's Head just right of centre and Signal Hill on the right, with several ships in the Bay and figures in the foreground. Title taken from original painting.
Tom Tom dance - Mozambiques and Mixed race
Extreme left, two musicians, a woman playing a small drum and a man playing a stringed instrument, left of centre and centre two figures dancing, right of centre is a seated figure next to a fire with a cooking pot on it, and right are two seated women. In the background is a typical "kapstylhuis". Title taken from original painting.
Travelling Bullock Waggon
Shows covered waggon with two Malay men sitting up front and six oxen drawing the vehicle. Title taken from original painting.
Travelling in South Africa
Depicts an ox-waggon in rough mountainous country approaching a river, in centre foreground. A man in a blue shirt with a long-handled whip is urging the oxen onwards, while at the back of the waggon two men appear to be hanging onto restraining ropes to prevent the waggon from turning over. Title taken from original painting.

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