28 Hydref 2014,
Buom yn ffodus iawn ym mis Hydref o dderbyn yn rhodd y bag powdwr gwn diddorol hwn a ddefnyddiwyd yn ffatri Curtis's and Harvey Ltd. yng Nglyn-nedd. Mae eu monogram i’w weld ar flaen y bag. Cafodd ei ddefnyddio gan Elizabeth Thomas, hen famgu y rhoddwr. Dyma hi’n gadael yr ysgol yn 14 oed i weithio ar fferm, cyn mynd i weithio yn y ffatri powdwr gwn yn ystod y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf. Mae’r rhodd amser yn berffaith ar gyfer arddangosfa Gwaith a Buddugoliaeth: Diwydiant Cymru a’r Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf yn Amgueddfa Genedlaethol y Glannau, Abertawe sydd ar agor tan 15 Mawrth 2015.
Yn ystod y mis prynwyd tair tystysgrif ar gyfer ein casgliad pwysig o dystysgrifau cyfranddaliadau Cymreig.
Mae’r cyntaf am bum cyfran gwerth £100 yng nghwmni Abercwmeiddaw Slate Quarry Company Limited ac yn dyddio o 1898. Cofrestrwyd y cwmni yn Lerpwl ym 1876 i gaffael chwarel llechi o’r un enw yng Nghorris a agorwyd yn y 1840au. Roedd y cwmni canolig ei faint yn cyflogi 188 o ddynion ym 1882 ac yn cynhyrchu 4,000 tunnell o lechi, ond cafodd ei ddirwyn i ben ym 1905 gyda’r lleihad yn y galw am gynnyrch Cymru. Sefydlwyd cwmni ag enw tebyg ym 1911 wrth ailagor y chwarel ar raddfa lai, cyn i hwnnw ddod i ben ym 1938.
Mae’r ail yn dystysgrif am gyfran gwerth £50 yn y Pen-y-Bryn Slate Company Limited, yn dyddio o 1882. Cofrestrwyd y cwmni ym 1881 i gaffael chwareli llechi yn Nantlle a agorwyd gyntaf yn y ddeunawfed ganrif a’u rhedeg ar raddfa fawr ers y 1830au. Cwmni canolig cyffredin oedd hwn yn rhedeg pedwar chwarel dan law Blondins mewn dull oedd yn nodweddiadol o Ddyffryn Nantlle. Ym 1883 roedd yn cyflogi 240 o ddynion ac yn cynhyrchu 5,000 tunnell o lechi. Aeth y cwmni i’r wal ym 1887 a caewyd y chwarel tan 1895 pan gafodd ei ailagor ar raddfa lai a’i weithio tan y 1940au.
Mae’r dystysgrif olaf wedi’i hargraffu ar femrwn – cyfran gwerth £50 yn y Blaenavon Iron & Coal Company, wedi’i dyddio ar 8 Medi 1836. Sefydlwyd y cwmni cyfranddaliadau cyfun cynnar hwn (gyda chyfalaf anferth o £40,000) i gaffael gweithfeydd haearn a glofeydd y teulu Hill a’u partneriaid. Dyma’r cwmni newydd yn ehangu’n sylweddol ar y gwaith gan agor gwaith newydd Ger yr Efail, adeiladu nifer o dai a chyflwyno trenau stêm. Tyfodd y gweithfeydd yn un o brif gynhyrchwyr dur Prydain a daeth yn gwmni atebol cyfyngedig ym 1864.
Ar 26 Awst 1892 lladdwyd 112 o ddynion a bechgyn mewn ffrwydrad yng Nglofa Slip. Mae’r caffaeliad newydd hwn yn un o ddau lyfryn o lythyrau ar gyfer Cronfa Gymorth Ffrwydrad Tondu (Caerdydd) fyddai wedi cael eu dosbarthu i godi arian. Cawsant eu dyddio yn Neuadd y Ddinas Caerdydd ar 3 Medi 1892.
Mae gennym gasgliad bychan o wrthrychau a ffotograffau yn ymwneud â’r digwyddiad gan gynnwys mwg coffa
Cynhyrchwyd y fricsen hon yn un o lofeydd y brodyr Hedley, mwy na thebyg yn ardal Bryncoch. Cafodd ei achub o’r adeilad a elwir yn Ysgoldy Sant Pedr ar Ffordd Aberhonddu, Abertawe. Amgueddfa Cymru yw ceidwad casgliad briciau cenedlaethol Cymru, ac mae hwn yn atodiad gwerthfawr.
Llathen fesur swyddogol (neu Ffon y Dirprwy) yw’r gwrthrych olaf y mis hwn. Cai ei defnyddio gan Reolwr Bwrdd Glo Cenedlaethol olaf Big Pit cyn i’r pwll gau ym 1979. Byddai swyddogion yn cario llathen fesur ac yn ei ddefnyddio i brofi am nwy. Cyn y 1960au byddai’r Dirprwy yn gallu hongian ei lamp drwy’r twll yn un pen a’i chodi i’r nenfwd i brofi am nwy. Yn ddiweddarach byddai falf samplo arbennig yn cael ei ffitio i fferel ar ben arall y llathen, a byddai hwn yn cael ei ddefnyddio i roi sampl nwy o fwlb samplo mewn lamp ddiogelwch Garforth.
Curadur: Diwydiant a Thrafnidiaeth
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27 Hydref 2014,
What is an aria? That was the question posed by Music Theatre Wales Director, Michael McCarthy to kick-off this very exciting collaborative project. The Make an Aria scheme is a partnership between Music Theatre Wales (MTW) and the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (RWCMD) giving young composers an opportunity to have-a-go at opera. This time, they are using St Fagans Castle and the Museum’s collections as their inspiration. A group of composers from RWCMD teamed with creative writers will ‘make an aria’ from scratch.
So where do you start? A speed-dating session was a good way to establish the best creative match for composer and writer. When everyone was paired-up, curator Elen Phillips gave an introduction to the material for the arias – the story of St Fagans Castle during the Great War.
The Windsor-Clive family of St Fagans Castle were at the centre of events during these turbulent years; Lord Windsor as chairman of the Welsh Army Corps and Lady Windsor as President of the Red Cross Society in Glamorgan. Grief-stricken by the loss of their youngest son, Archer, who was killed in action, they opened the Castle grounds to set-up a hospital run by volunteer nurses or VADs.
The stories were brought alive by looking at objects from the Museum’s collections; a nurses’ uniform from the hospital, a delicate necklace made by one of the wounded soldiers and a field-communion set used on the battlefield. At this point we were joined by members of the Armed Forces community, the 203 Welsh Field Hospital Medics who gave us a completely new take on some of these objects and stories. It just proves that working collaboratively can bring some unexpected and rewarding results. We will continue to work with the Armed Forces in co-curating some of the exhibits in the new galleries at St Fagans but that’s another blog for another day.
We then led the composers and writers on a tour of the Castle and grounds; the old site of the WW1 hospital, the Italian garden where the soldiers recuperated and the greenhouses where the land girls may have worked. Any of these locations could be the setting to perform the arias in the summer of 2015. I think that everyone left with their heads bubbling with ideas. All we can do now is wait.
23 Hydref 2014,
Last month we were given a fascinating insight into the life of Fanny Eaton, one of the models for John Everett Millais’ Jephthah (1867), which is currently on display in our Art in Victorian Britain gallery. Fanny is the figure at the far right of the painting, standing just before a curtain and wearing a yellow hood.
We were delighted to hear from Brian Eaton, Fanny’s great-grandson, who came with his wife Mary to see the painting. They first became interested in Fanny while researching their family tree, and since then have done a considerable amount of research into her personal history.
At the same time curators and art historians have become increasingly fascinated by Fanny, particularly following the exhibition Black Victorians: Black People in British Art 1800-1900 at Manchester and Birmingham Art Galleries in 2005-6, and the accompanying catalogue written by the show’s curator Jan Marsh.
Fanny was born in Jamaica in 1835 but by 1851 was working as a servant in London where she lived with her mother Matilda Foster. Within a few years had begun to model for several Pre-Raphaelite and Aesthetic artists including Frederick Sandys, Albert Moore and Rebecca Solomon, probably to earn extra income. Her striking features made her a popular choice with 19th century artists. Dante Gabriel Rossetti compared her to the Pre-Raphaelite ‘stunner’ Jane Morris.
The earliest studies of Fanny that we know of are pencil studies drawn in 1859 by Simeon Solomon. These were used as studies for his Mother of Moses, now in the collection of Delaware Art Museum, US. When this painting was displayed in the Royal Academy in 1860, a reviewer for the Athenaeum thought her features represented 'an exagerated Jewish type’.1
This is one of the interesting things about Fanny. As Jan Marsh has pointed out in Black Victorians, although originally from Jamaica, she was described in her day as being of ‘mixed race’ and artists of the time used her distinctive features to represent a variety of different ethnicities or ‘types’. This is perhaps what attracted Millais to use her in Jephthah.
Jephthah seems to be the last painting to feature Fanny, although there may be more that are not yet identified. Brian and Mary Eaton are continuing with their research, and are particularly interested in finding out about Fanny’s early childhood in Jamaica and the circumstances that led to her moving to London with her mother.
We are grateful to Brian and Mary for sharing their findings, and hope that much more information about Fanny will come to light!
1. 19 May 1860, pages 688-90. Source: Simeon Solomon Research Archive
29 Medi 2014,
Amongst the new collections we have received in September is this unusual miniature miner’s dial. This is a compass-like instrument used underground for the surveying of passages and seams. The engraved plate on the lid of the box of this example shows that it was presented to Mr. W. Meredith by the workmen of Tylecoch Colliery on Sept. 12th 1881. The manufacturer is unknown.
We have been donated two twist boxes this month. These twist boxes were used by miners to carry their chewing tobacco. They were not allowed to smoke underground due to the risk of explosions. The one on the left even contains some original tobacco! Both examples belonged to ancestors of the donor and were both used in south Wales collieries. Twist boxes are fairly common mining related objects. An excellent display can be seen in our galleries in the old pit head baths at Big Pit: National Mining Museum.
This photograph was donated along with the two twist boxes and is a souvenir of the stay in strike at Parc Colliery. The donor’s grandfather is one of the men in the photograph.
Finally the certificate below was issued by the Monmouthshire Education Authority to Abraham Evans in 1945.
Curator: Industry & Transport
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3 Medi 2014,
Amongst the new collections we have received in August was a collection of two ship models and six watercolours. The models and paintings are all by Mr Tony Jackson who was apprenticed to Sir William Reardon Smith & Sons in 1951. The two models are of the BP tanker British Sovereign, and a Liberty Ship. The six watercolours show the Orient City, Homer City, Devon City, Fresno City, Graig and Graigfelen. The photograph below shows Tony Jackson in his uniform aged 15. The next two show the ship model of the British Sovereign ship model and a painting of the Graig.
This photograph is one of three we received showing the basilica and copper mines at El Cobre, Cuba, taken in February this year. These mines were important as a source of ore to Welsh smelting works. We recently acquired a share certificate relating to the Royal Copper Mines of Cobre which you can see in my March blog.
We have been donated a history of the Ely Brewery called ‘Beer and the Brewery’. This has been compiled by an ex-employee of the brewery who was an apprentice fitter and then fitter there from 1949 - 1962. This month we have also received 35 copies of the Ely Brewery house magazine ‘Mild and Bitter’. The image shows a front page from a 1956 edition.
We have purchased two interesting handbills for the collection. One is for the St. George’s SS Co. Ltd., and dates to 1910. The other is for a cruise along the Cardigan coast in 1968.
This Sharp 'Font Writer' Personal Word Processor (Model FW-710 UM) was purchased by the donor to be used during her university course. The word processor was manufactured by Sharp Electronics (UK) Ltd. at Wrexham in about 1995.
Curator: Industry & Transport
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