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Amgueddfa Cymru

"Our Cats" by Harrison Weir [1889]

Jennifer Evans, 15 Awst 2014

We recently participated in #MuseumCats Day on Twitter and this involved a quick search through our holdings for some interesting pictures of cats to Tweet and what a gem we have found! Please enjoy this selection of wonderful and [in some cases] bizarre illustrations of cats from the book "Our Cats and all about them" written and illustrated by Harrison Weir in 1889. 

My personal favourites are the surreal disembodied heads [see above], "Sylvie" [she of the magnificent moustaches] and the Russian cat who [in my opinion] has a most unsettling human expression.


Weir was a very interesting character; he was born in 1824 on May 5th [d.1906], and is known as "The Father of the Cat Fancy”. He organizied the first ever cat show in England, at The Crystal Palace, London in July 1871 where he and his brother served as judges. In 1887 he founded the National Cat Club and was its first President and Show Manager until his resignation in 1890. Our Cats was the first published pedigree cat book.

Weir was employed, for many years, as a draughtsman and engraver for the Illustrated London News as well as many other publications and in his lifetime he both wrote and illustrated other books such as The Poetry of Nature (1867), Every Day in the Country (1883) and Animal Studies, Old and New (1885). In 1845 he exhibited his first painting at the British Institution and during his career he was an occasional exhibitor at the Royal Academy.

He was a keen animal fancier, an experienced breeder of cats, carrier pigeons, and poultry and for thirty years often acted as a judge at the principal pigeon and poultry shows. In 1903 he wrote and illustrated the exhaustive book Our Poultry and All About Them.

More information on Harrison Weir via the following links: 

http://www.harrisonweir.com/ 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrison_Weir 

http://www.nationalcatclub.co.uk/History.htm

This book was bequeathed to the Library back in May 1916 along with around 500 other books by the Welsh artist, champion of Wales’ cultural heritage and one of the founding fathers of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, Thomas Henry Thomas.

Along with the books, Thomas also bequeathed his entire catalogue of prints, drawings and watercolours to the Museum.

More information on Thomas Henry Thomas here:

http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/rhagor/article/2035/

The illustration above appeares in the Chapter "Performing cats". Other chapters include, "Cats as tormentors", "Dead cats", "Fishing cats" and "Lovers of cats" [would you believe... Cardinal Richelieu?].

This book is available to view electronically via the following Project Gutenberg link:

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/35450/35450-h/35450-h.htm#Page_37

Biographical information on Harrison Weir taken from Wikipedia.

All photographs in this post taken by the author.

 

Well now, here’s  a pretty thing…

A souvenir booklet celebrating the fifty year reign of Queen Victoria. It was published in 1887 by Eyre & Spottiswoode, who were the official printers to Her Majesty at that time.

Our volunteer [Alison] has been working her way through old pamphlet boxes and all manner of forgotten things and very kindly passes to me items that are interesting, unusual or just lovely to see, and this one falls into that last category.

It measures 11 x 13.5 cm, has 16 pages and, our accessions register states that it was donated to us in May 1935 by a Mr Charles Barnwell Esq.

The book also contains a poem written by Lord Tennyson especially for the occasion. Tennyson had been Poet Laureate since 1850 [after William Wordsworth's death] and held the position until his own death in 1892.

Interestingly, Eyre & Spottiswoode [established in 1845], went on to merge with Methuen Publishing in the 1970s.

All photographs in this post taken by the author.

Golwg ar y Casgliadau Diwydiant

Mark Etheridge, 29 Gorffennaf 2014

Croesawyd amrywiaeth o gaffaeliadau newydd i’r casgliadau Diwydiant a Thrafnidiaeth ym mis Gorffennaf eleni eto. Ymhlith yr eitemau newydd mae -  

Offer mesur danheddog a ddefnyddiwyd yn chwarel Dinorwig i farcio/mesur llechi to cyn eu torri. Safonwyd enwau a maint llechi to ym 1738 pan ddyfeisiodd y Cadfridog Hugh Warburton (cydberchennog Ystâd y Penrhyn ar y pryd) system enwi llechi o wahanol faint. Gan eu mesur mewn modfeddi, rhoddwyd enwau ‘menywod bonheddig’ i’r llechi fel Empresses, Duchesses Mawr, Viscountesses, a Ladis Llydan. Buan y daeth y rhain yn dermau safonol y diwydiant, er bod y meintiau yn amrywio o dro i dro ac o ardal i ardal. Mae cyfanswm o ddau ddeg tri ‘dant’ ar y ffon fesur sy’n 26 modfedd o hyd. Ar y pen mae tri ‘dant’ ddwy fodfedd ar wahân (yn y pen agosaf at yr hoelen) tra bod y dau ddeg saith ‘dant’ arall un fodfedd ar wahân.

Ffon fesur hir allai gael ei defnyddio i farcio a mesur llechi mawr maint ‘Queens’. Y llechen leiaf allai gael ei marcio gan y ffon hon yw'r ‘Narrow Ladies’ (16 modfedd o hyd neu fyw). 

 

 

 Ar y fforch dostio hon mae llun o löwr ac arysgrif 'BIG PIT BLAENAVON'. Byddai’r fforch yn cael ei gwerthu yn siop Amgueddfa Big Pit yn niwedd y 1980au/dechrau’r 1990au. Bellach mae Big Pit yn un o wyth amgueddfa genedlaethol Amgueddfa Cymru. 

 

 Potel wag o chwisgi un brag ‘Madeira’ Penderyn yn ei bapur gwreiddiol. Lansiwyd y cwmni yn 2000 fel y Welsh Whisky Company, cyn newid yr enw’n ddiweddarach i Penderyn Distillery gan fod y cwmni wedi’i leoli ym mhentref Penderyn, y tu fewn i ffin ddeheuol Parc Cenedlaethol Bannau Brycheiniog. Lansiwyd chwisgi un brag Penderyn gan Dywysog Cymru ar 1 Mawrth 2004 yn Neuadd Dewi Sant Caerdydd. Caiff ei aeddfedu i ddechrau mewn casgenni bourbon cyn ei aeddfedu ymhellach mewn barriques Madeira arbennig.

 

Cwmni rheilffordd Neath and Brecon a gynhyrchodd y dystysgrif cyfranddaliad hon gwerth £10. Awdurdodwyd y rheilffordd gan Ddeddf Seneddol ym 1862 a dechreuwyd cludo glo i Gastell Nedd dan yr enw Dulais Valley Mineral Railway. Gwnaed y gwaith hyrwyddo ac adeiladu gan y contractiwr John Dickson ac ef dderbyniodd y dystysgrif hon. Wedi cael caniatâd i ymestyn y rheilffordd i Aberhonddu newidiwyd yr enw i’r Neath and Brecon Railway.  

 

Dau DVD yw’r eitem olaf. Ffilm am drychineb Glofa Albion ym 1894 wedi’i chreu gan staff a disgybl yn Ysgol Uwchradd Pontypridd yw’r cyntaf. Teitl yr ail yw ‘Memories of Old Clydach’ ac mae’n gasgliad o ffotograffau, dogfennau ac atgofion gan drigolion yr ardal yn y 1940au a’r 1950au. Mae un adran yn trafod Glofa Clydach Merthyr a gweithfeydd tunplat Players. 

 

Mark Etheridge

Curadur: Diwydiant a Thrafnidiaeth

Dilynwch ni ar twitter - @IndustryACNMW

For this year’s Art Carbootique at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, 'Made in Roath' were lucky enough to be able to work with Annette and Jules, the natural science conservators at the Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales in Cathays Park.

The National Museum of Wales has a vast collection of approximately 2000 taxidermy specimens most of which are not on display, and some of which present interesting curatorial challenges because of their history and the stories they tell. Having long been fascinated by the stuffed animal collection on display in the Natural History gallery at the museum, we felt really privileged to be invited behind the scenes and view the specimens in storage.

This was an amazing experience; the conservator’s stores are wonderful -  heartbreaking and fascinating in equal measure. We decided that our mission would be to make a ‘museum’ in our caravan of a selection of these unseen animals, allowing them to temporarily escape the museum archive and be seen by the public. In this context, the specimen is not just being viewed as a singular object but as part of a wider culture, referencing human practices such as hunting, shipping and collecting happening in the Victorian period, but which are still practiced today. Furthermore, a consideration of the specimen’s history within the museum itself, with its changing site,  politics and attitudes, exposes how wider socio-political forces have shaped the specimen’s display, reception and curation at the local level of the museum. Jules and Annette were really helpful and accommodating when we told them what we wanted to do, they went up to Nantgarw to the stores there and selected some more specimens to add to the collection, many of which had not been displayed for many years.

We installed the work, with a lot of help from Jules, and drove over to Chapter – there is something very surreal about towing a caravan full of stuffed animals through central Cardiff on a rainy Sunday Morning, but it was worth it. The response from the public was great, both adults and children have such a fascination for taxidermy, the exhibition was a big success, we’d also photographed the animals and made masks to give to visitors, so the animals had another opportunity to ‘escape’. Although the emphasis was on fun, we had expected to get some criticism with people possibly disapproving of the museums stuffed animals, but apart from some healthy and thought provoking discussion about the way human beings treat animals, it was a hugely enjoyable day. Thanks to AC-NMW, especially Annette and Jules, for making it happen.

The 'Made in Roath' Team!

Find out more about the work of 'Made in Roath' at http://madeinroath.com/ 

Golwg ar y Casgliadau Diwydiant

Mark Etheridge, 1 Gorffennaf 2014

Ymhlith caffaeliadau newydd mis Mehefin oedd teledu lliw a theletestun Sony ‘Trinitron’ 14” gyda theclyn rholi o bell. Cynhyrchwyd y set gan Sony ym 1995 ym Mhencoed, Pen-y-bont. Edrychwch ar flog mis Rhagfyr i weld teledu arall a gyrhaeddodd yn ddiweddar.

 

Daw’r sampl hon o lechen o chwarel Maenofferen, Blaenau Ffestiniog. Byddai’r sampl yn cael ei hanfon i gwsmeriaid posibl i ddangos lliw a safon y garreg a gloddiwyd yn y chwarel. Mae sawl gwythïen lechi yng nghyffiniau Blaenau Ffestiniog a phob un ag enw unigryw; Llygad Newydd, Hen Lygad, Llygad Cefn, a Llygad Mochyn. Daw’r sampl hon o Lygad Cefn Chwarel Maenofferen.

 

Rydyn ni wedi derbyn casgliad hyfryd o 91 ffotograff yn rhodd, â’r mwyafrif yn dangos gwaith ailddatblygu’r Bwrdd Glo Cenedlaethol yng Nglofa Glyncorrwg yn y 1950au. Mae tair golygfa i’w gweld yma. Tynnwyd y ffotograff cyntaf ar 11 Medi 1951 cyn i’r gwaith ddechrau gan edrych ar hyd y dyffryn i’r gogledd.

 

Mae’r ddau lun nesaf yn dangos y gwaith ailadeiladu. Yn y cyntaf gwelwn nenbont gylch ar 1 Tachwedd 1955 ac yn yr ail mae gwaith yn mynd rhagddo ar offer pen y pwll ar 6 Chwefror 1957.

 

 

 

Ar 17 Mai 1965 achosodd llosgnwy ffrwydrad yng Nglofa Cambrian, Cwmclydach gan ladd 31 o lowyr. Roedd y pwll wrthi’n cael ei gau a llawer o’r gweithlu wedi’u symud, felly gallai llawer mwy fod wedi marw. Dyma glawr blaen rhaglen y gwasanaeth coffa a gynhaliwyd ar 17 Mai 2014, ac arno gwelwn yr offer pen pwll mewn gardd goffa.

 

 

Mark Etheridge

Curadur: Diwydiant a Thrafnidiaeth

Dilynwch ni ar twitter - @IndustryACNMW