A fine large silver Harp Prize Badge for the Royal Eisteddfod at Rhuddlan Castle in 1850.
The Royal Eisteddfod Rhuddlan Castle, 1850.
A fine and large silver prize Badge in the form of a Harp, by George Unite of Birmingham 1850, presented to Llewelyn Williams, the Harpist, 1822-1872. The badge is engraved with: ‘‘EISTEDDFOD FREINIOL RHUDDLAN 1850’; and on the reverse ‘‘PRESIDENT THE RIGHT HONOURABLE LORD MOSTYN’. On the outer curve of the sound box the badge is further engraved with oak sprays and acorns and is applied with the badge of the Prince of Wales at the apex.
The Eisteddfod took place in the ruined castle and attracted a huge attendance over four days, the 17th to 20th September. The event was extensively covered by newspapers, both national and local. The ‘North Wales Chronicle’ of May 21st announced: The Rhuddlan Eisteddfod.
The assembly called by this name has long been known in Wales, and is deemed valuable by the inhabitants of the Principality as a means of developing the ability of their countrymen. The ordinary method adopted at the meetings has been to combine literature and music, but in connexion with that to be held at Rhuddlan in the ensuing autumn it has been deemed advisable to add prizes for industrial skill.
This eisteddfod is called “royal” inasmuch as it is patronised by the Queen and Prince Albert; and the Prince of Wales, as in duty bound, heads the subscription list with twenty-five guines. Lord Mostyn is the president. The Earl of Powis and Lord Fielding are the vice-presidents, and the vice-patrons present an array of the best names in the Principality. The subscription list amounts already to about £500, and there can be no doubt that before the time the money is required a much larger sum will be placed at the disposal of the committee. The prize list, as at present arranged, contains sixty prizes, of the value of upwards of £300, under five divisions, viz. poetry, essays, music, education and arts and manufactures.’ …. ‘The musical prizes are to be awarded to the best performers on the harp, to the best singers, and to composers of music; and their prizes, in addition to money premiums, will include medals and harps, and for the ladies to be induced to compete, a gold harp brooch will be presented to the best female performer on the triple harp.’
The competition for the best performance on the triple harp, with a prize of £8 and this silver harp, valued at £7, was awarded to Llewelyn Williams for playing “Per Alaw”. Llewelyn was the son of Zephaniah Williams, 1795-1874, a Chartist leader who was sentenced to transporation for life to Tasmania.
Prize medals for the esteddfod were designed and produced by John Aronson, a Jewish Prussian immigrant, who had established a jewellers’ and silversmiths’ shop in Bank Place, Bangor and immersed himself in Welsh cultural history.
Very good with some distortion to the harp strings.
Height – 20.20 cm.; Width – 10.80 cm.; Weight – 239.40 gms.