Amgueddfa Blog: Cyffredinol

A wonderful new book has been created by  Picture to Share.  This dementia-friendly book is the first of this type that has been produced bilingually in both Welsh and English. 


Pictures to Share teamed up with Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, The National Library of Wales, Alzheimers Society, and the Welsh Poet Laureate to produce Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, a beautifully illustrated book to help carers communicate with people living with dementia.  Pictures to Share have produced many books on this theme but this is the first to focus upon the Welsh language, in order to help people living with dementia whose first language is Welsh.

This was an opportunity to highlight the importance of the work we do to help people living with dementia as well as highlight our collections and showcase our commercial Picture Library.  The images used within the book, Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, portray many things which people in Wales can relate to, prompting discussion.

Dementia is a subject which many of our staff are passionate about, with many of the staff undertaking training to become a Dementia Friend in order to help enhance the visitor experience of people living with dementia.

After communicating with the editor Michelle Forster, we supplied the images and license to use them in order to comply with copyrights laws.  We have to issue a license to anyone who wishes to use our images. Pictures to Share invited us to Cardiff Library for their book launch in November 2016 to see the completed book, which was attended by staff from our Image Licensing, Photography and Translation departments.  We were all very impressed with the end product which is now available at our shop at National Museum Cardiff and our on-line shop.

If you would like to use our images within a publication, please contact us at Image Licensing.
You can also purchase images for your home from our on-line shop.


Thank you to Cardiff Council for permission to use images from the book launch.

Last week saw the 50th anniversary and the 18th conference of ICOM-CC (Committee on Conservation), the largest of the committees of ICOM (International Council of Museums). ICOM-CC has almost 3,000 members worldwide from every branch of the museum and conservation profession. In addition to their day job of preserving the world's history and culture, these members also promote the conservation of cultural and historic works. I was able to attend thanks to generous support by the Anna Plowden Trust.

The conference was held in Copenhagen, Denmark, and was enormous: more than one thousand conservators headed the call to report and debate. While Copenhagen is an amazing city there was not much time to explore it, what with 5 parallel sessions and hundreds of talks to listen to during a packed conference programme. I would like to pick out and share just a few of my personal highlights.

The data generated during collections monitoring in museums can be explored sometimes beyond their original intention. Cristina Daron and Matija Strlic from University College London explained how unexpected patterns can be discovered by analysis of existing data sets. For example, they discovered a clear link between damage to archival objects and use of these objects in a reading room. This sort of data mining produces results that cannot be captured by experimental studies, but which can be used to improve decision making.

On the theme of data, I co-presented a talk with my colleague Jane Henderson from Cardiff University on new ways of presenting conservation data; you can find a copy of the paper here. Our suggestion is to present results not simply in the all too ubiquitous bar charts and line graphs, but to use more meaningful visualisations that are easier to interpret and send the correct message to the receiver. This will help make quicker and better decisions and ultimately improve the care of collections.

Conservation of cultural heritage involves a lot of risk assessments – there is so much to do that we try to figure out as objectively as possible where the most urgent need for resources is. Alice Cannon from Museum Victoria, Australia, explained how the deterioration of an object does not always mean a loss. Hence, when attempting to judge value loss, judgments must be made by experts from different fields. The potential value loss of an object needs to be considered when undertaking a risk assessment that might want to predict the estimated deterioration of that object in, say, 100 years.

Every museum has a store (or several), hence storage is a subject close to the heart for most people in the sector. Lise Raeder Knudsen from Conservation Centre Vejle, Denmark, summarised almost 30 years of experience of building low energy collection stores in Denmark. The main principle of such stores is high thermal and hydric inertia. The Danish cultural sector has proven that such stores can have both lower construction and running costs, while at the same time producing a stable environment suitable for the long-term storage of cultural collections. One issue currently still undergoing research is the potential problem of indoor pollutants which may accumulate if there is insufficient fresh air supply.

Likewise, training is an issue that keeps resurfacing in conservation as in other disciplines. Alice Boccia Paterakis introduced the Interdisciplinary Training of Archaeologists and Archaeological Conservators Initiative (ITAACI) programme from the USA, where archaeologists and conservators are being brought together to work jointly and raise awareness of each other’s needs. The training theme also carried through to the poster sessions, where Monika Harter from London informed us how the British Museum, with some clever planning, had used succession planning to train two conservators for the price of one. This included the passing on of hard-to-come-by expert knowledge from one generation to the next.

My final highlight is Jonathan Ashley-Smith’s analogy of coffee shops to explain why, in his opinion, conservation needs a new approach to ethics. He explained that a new, bespoke, code of ethics would use a variety of ingredients to design something that suits each of the various and diverse disciplines that make up cultural heritage conservation. The internet would provide the ideal tool to publish a bespoke code of ethics, as well as conservation intentions, proposals and records all in one place and, ideally, in Wikis. Jonathan’s talk created more debate and Twitter traffic than any other talk and I suspect his idea will keep being discussed.

The conference programme was rounded off by various specialist working group meetings, technical visits, opportunities to see Copenhagen’s museums and social events. A packed week with countless inspiring conversations with colleagues from all over the world. Not always without controversy of course – some ideas out there are interesting but perhaps require further scrutiny. Perhaps a topic for a future blog or paper.

Find out more about Care of Collections at Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales here and follow us on Twitter.

Fel arfer Mis Hanes LGBT ym mis Chwefror yn frith o erthyglau a digwyddiadau yn ymwneud â chyfeiriadedd rhywiol, hunaniaeth, a’u hanes. Ond ddylai hanes byth gael ei gyfyngu i un mis, felly ar achlysur Pride Cymru yng Nghaerdydd, dyma gyfle da i ystyried hanes LGBT.

Stori ar Blât

Ystyriwch, er enghraifft, y plât yn nghasgliad Amgueddfa Cymru ag arno olygfa o ddwy fenyw yn marchogaeth. Mae’n un o filoedd o eitemau crochenwaith printio troslun glas a gwyn fu mor boblogaidd ers y 19eg ganrif. Ond mae’r llun hwn yn fwy nag addurn.

Plât, Crochendy Morgannwg, oddeutu 1813-1839

“Menywod Llangollen” yw teitl y gwaith, a ysbrydolwyd gan hanes dwy fenyw – y Fonesig Eleanor Butler a Miss Sarah Ponsonby.

Taniwyd fflam rhwng Eleanor a Sarah gartref yn Iwerddon, a chan ofni’r atyniad hwn rhwng dwy ferch, ceisiodd y ddau deulu eu gwahardd rhag gweld ei gilydd. Yn benderfynol o fod gyda’i gilydd, dihangodd y ddwy liw nos, ond cawsant eu dal ymhen fawr o dro. Brwydrodd Eleanor a Sarah yn ddiflino am yr hawl i fod gyda’i gilydd tan i’w teuluoedd ildio, a gadel iddynt fynd.

Teithiodd y ddwy i Gymru ac ymgartrefu ger Llangollen, gan fyw yno am dros 50 mlynedd.

Enwogrwydd 'Menywod Llangollen'

Lledodd yr hanes amdanynt yn gyflym, a byddent yn llythyra gydag enwogion megis Shelley, Byron, Syr Walter Scott, Dug Wellington, Josiah Wedgewood a Caroline Lamb, gyda nifer yn ymweld â’r ddwy yn Llangollen. Parhaodd y diddordeb yn y cwpl wedi eu marw ym 1829 a 1831 ac erbyn heddiw maent yn adnabyddus fel un o’r cyplau lesbiaidd enwocaf erioed.

Roedd y ddwy yn bendant yn ystod eu bywydau nad oedden nhw am gael llun neu bortread wedi’i dynnu.

Ond pan ymwelodd y Fonesig Parker ym 1829, perswadiodd ei mam i ddwyn sylw Eleanor a Sarah tra’i bod hithau’n creu brasluniau cyflym o dan y bwrdd. Erbyn hynny roedd Eleanor yn hollol ddall, felly llwyddodd y Fonesig Parker i fraslunio’i hwyneb yn llawn, tra bod Sarah mewn proffil. Wedi i’r cwpwl farw, datblygodd y brasluniau yn ddarlun llawn o’r ddwy yn eu llyfrgell a gwerthu copïau i godi arian at elusennau.

Portread o'r Foneddiges Eleanor Butler a Sarah Ponsonby, wedi'i ddarlunio ar sail sgets cyfrin a wnaethpwyd yn eu cartref yn Llangollen (c) Norena Shopland
Portread o'r Foneddiges Eleanor Butler a Sarah Ponsonby, wedi'i ddarlunio ar sail sgets cyfrin a wnaethpwyd yn eu cartref yn Llangollen

Dwyn Portread 

Oddeutu 1830 copïwyd y darlun heb ganiatâd gan James Henry Lynch ac ef gynhyrchodd y darlun mwyaf adnabyddus o Eleanor a Sarah. Masgynhyrchwyd y darlun a’i ddefnyddio ar amryw o nwyddau megis cofroddion twristiaid, cardiau post a chloriau nifer o lyfrau.

Portread 'Lynch' o'r Foneddiges Eleanor Butler a Sarah Ponsoby, wedi'i gopïo yn helaeth o'r portread 'Llyfrgell'. Fe werthwyd nifer sylweddol o'r print hwn. (c) Norena Shopland
Portread 'Lynch' o'r Foneddiges Eleanor Butler a Sarah Ponsoby, wedi'i gopïo yn helaeth o'r portread 'Llyfrgell'. Fe werthwyd nifer sylweddol o'r print hwn.

Mae darlun Lynch yn eu dangos yn sefyll yn yr awyr agored ac yn gwisgo’r clogynnau marchogaeth oedd yn gymaint o ffefryn gan y dwy. Ymddangosodd y gwaith tua diwedd y cyfnod o ddiddordeb cyhoeddus ym mywyd Eleanor a Sarah; erbyn troad y 19eg ganrif roedd hanes y menywod wedi lledu a nifer yn cyhoeddi eu stori.

Ysgrifennodd William Wordsworth gerdd ym 1824 ar ôl ymweld â’r ddwy. Ymddangosodd y crochenwaith felly mewn cyfnod pan oedd diddordeb mawr yn eu hanes.

Crochenwaith Morgannwg a Hanes 'Plât Llangollen'

Mae’r plât cyntaf yn dangos y ddwy ar eu ceffylau yn siarad â gwr yn cario pladur dros ei ysgwydd. Yn y cefndir mae gyrr o wartheg, tref Llangollen, afon Dyfrdwy a fersiwn hynod ramantus o gastell Dinas Brân.

Gwyddom ddyddiad cynhyrchu cynharaf y plât o stamp y gwneuthurwr ar y gwaelod – ‘BB&I’, sef Baker, Bevin and Irwin o Grochendy Morgannwg ac a ddefnyddiwyd oddeutu 1815-25. Daeth yn un o blatiau enwocaf y crochendy hwnnw. Er bod Eleanor a Sarah yn frwd dros gadw dyddiaduron, ac i’r gwaith gael ei gynhyrchu yn ystod bywydau’r ddwy, nid oes sôn amdano yn eu hysgrifau. Wyddon ni ddim os oeddent yn gwybod am fodolaeth y platiau neu wedi cytuno i gael eu portreadu yn y fath fodd.

Ym 1838 daeth Crochendy Morgannwg dan reolaeth y gwr busnes o Abertawe Lewis Llewelyn Dillwyn ac fe barhaodd i gynhyrchu’r platiau dan stampiau Morgannwg, Abertawe a Cambrian tan oddeutu 1840. Mae’n debygol ei fod yn defnyddio’r un dyluniad yng Nghrochendy Cambrian ym 1925; roedd cystadleuaeth gref rhwng y ddau grochendy a byddent yn aml yn copïo gwaith ei gilydd.[1]

Y cyswllt rhyfeddol yma yw taw un o aelodau enwocaf teulu Lewis oedd Amy Dillwyn. Menyw fusnes oedd Amy, ac yn ogystal a bod yn nofelydd blaenllaw, hi gymerodd yr awenau yng ngweithfeydd sinc ei thad wedi iddo farw.

Roedd Amy hefyd mewn perthynas hoyw. Braf yw breuddwydio bod Amy, wedi gweld plât Crochendy Morgannwg, wedi dwyn perswâd ar ei brawd i’w gynhyrchu yng Nghrochendy Cambrian, ond nid oes unrhyw dystiolaeth o hyn.

Manylun o blât glas yn dangos darlun o Sarah Ponsonby ac Eleanor Butler © Norena Shopland
Manylun o blât glas yn dangos darlun o Sarah Ponsonby ac Eleanor Butler © Norena Shopland

Manylun o blât glas yn dangos darlun o Sarah Ponsonby ac Eleanor Butler © Norena Shopland
Manylun o blât glas yn dangos darlun o Sarah Ponsonby ac Eleanor Butler © Norena Shopland

Mae’n anodd dweud os taw plât Crochendy Morgannwg oedd y cyntaf i gael ei gynhyrchu, neu plât gan  William Adams o Stoke. Ladies of Llangollen yw enw’r dyluniad hwn hefyd, gyda dwy fenyw mewn clogynnau marchogaeth yn sefyll dros ŵr sydd yn dangos pysgodyn mawr i’r ddwy. Yn y cefndir mae’r ceffylau, ac yn y pellter mae dau ŵr mewn cwch ar afon gyda phont drosti a bwthyn gwerinol ar y lan. Ar y gorwel mae mynydd Cadair Bedwyr.

Cynhyrchodd Adams gyfres grochenwaith dan y teitl ‘Native’ yn y 1820au, ac roedd y plât hwn yn rhan o’r gyfres honno. Yn fuan caffaelwyd y dyluniad gan F. ac R. Pratt o Fenton, Swydd Stafford gan ailenwi’r gyfers yn ‘Pratt’s Native Scenery’ a’i hatgynhyrchu rhwng 1880 a 1920. Prynwyd y busnes gan Cauldon yn y 1920au a cynhyrchwyd yr un dyluniad tan y 1930au.

Mae diddordeb mawr o hyd ym mywydau Eleanor a Sarah, yn enwedig wrth i ni drafod y diffiniad o berthynas lesbiaid yn y gorffennol. Er gwaetha’r diddordeb, prin yw’r sylw a roddir i’r crochenwaith glas a gwyn yma, a peth da yw cofio bod y gweithiau yma yn rhan o gasgliad LGBT Amgueddfa Cymru.

 

NORENA SHOPLAND

Awdur Forbidden Lives: LGBT stories from Wales a gyhoeddir gan wasg Seren, 17eg o Hydref, 2017

Gwefan: http://www.rainbowdragon.org

 

[1] Diolch i Andrew Renton, Ceidwad Celf Amgueddfa Cymru am gadarnhau

Artist 'dwi, ac ar hyn o bryd dwi'n astudio gradd MA mewn dylunio a chrefft cyfoes. Fe ymwelais i â’r casgliad Molysga ar ôl darllen blog am strwythr mewnol cregyn ar wefan yr amgueddfa. Mi wnes gysylltiad rhwng strwythurau mewnol cregyn a sut y mae printwyr 3D yn gweithio ac yn creu siapiau. Ar y blog roedd rhif cyswllt ar gyfer Curadur Molysga, felly mi gysylltais â Harriet Wood, heb wybod beth i’w ddisgwyl.

Ffotograff o groestoriad o argraffiad 3D, sy'n dangod y strwythr mewnol
Strwythr mewnol argraffiad 3D © Matthew Day 2017

Pan esboniais fy ngwaith yn gyda prosthetau wrth Harriet, a’r cysylltiadau rhwng strwythr cregyn ac argraffu 3D, mi wahoddodd fi i ymweld â’r casgliadau, ac i fy nghyflwyno i’r person sy’n gyfrifol am sganio ac argraffu 3D yn yr amgueddfa.

Mynd 'tu ôl i'r llen'

Fuaswn i fyth wedi gallu dychmygu ymweliad gystal. Fe gwrddais â Harriet wrth ddesg wybodaeth yr amgueddfa ac yna mynd ‘tu ôl i’r llen’, ble cedwir y casgliad. Roedd cerdded trwy’r amgueddfa i gyrraedd yr ardal ‘cefn tŷ’ yn braf a modern. Roedd yn f’atgoffa o bapur academaidd y darllenais cyn ymweld, o The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum: ‘How Digital Artist Engagement Can Function as and Open Innovation Model to Facilitate Audience Encounters with Museum Collections’ gan Sarah Younan a Haitham Eid. 

ffotograff yn dangos cwpwrdd mawr llawn droriau sbesimen
Rhai o'r archifau yn Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd © Matthew Day 2017

Mae gan ‘cefn tŷ’ yr amgueddfa naws arbennig – dyw’r cyhoedd ddim yn cael mentro yma heb drefnu o flaen llaw. Roedd yn fraint cael cerdded trwy stafelloedd yn llawn cregyn ‘mae pobl wedi eu casglu, ac wedi’u gwerthfawrogi am eu harddwch, dros y blynyddoedd. Beth oedd yn fwya diddorol imi oedd pa mor berffaith oedd y toriadau yn y cregyn. Roedd yn cregyn wedi’u torri yn edrych fel taw dyma oedd eu ffurf naturiol – roedd pob toriad yn gain iawn ac yn gweddu i siâp y gragen. Dyma beth oeddwn i eisiau ei weld.

Ffotograff du a gwyn yn dangos amrywiaeth o dafelli cregyn
Tafellau o gregyn yn Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd © Matthew Day 2017

Doedd gen i ddim geiriau i fynegi fy hun pan welais i’r casgliad yma o gregyn – yn enwedig gweld y darn o’r gragen na fyddwn ni’n cael ei weld fel arfer. Rodd yn gyffrous gweld y strwythr mewnol, am ei fod yn ychwanegu gwerth asthetig i’r cregyn. Roedden nhw’n fy atgoffa o waith cerflunio Barbara Hepworth, artist dwi’n ei hedmygu yn fawr.

Ffotograff du a gwyn yn dangos cragen siâp côn wedi'i dorri i ddangos strwythr troellog y gragen
© Matthew Day 2017

Rydym ni’n gweld cregyn ar y traeth drwy’r amser, a mae’n nhw’n fy nghyfareddu – yn enwedig cregyn wedi torri ble gellir gweld y tu fewn i’r gragen. Mae hwnnw fel arfer yn doriad amherffaith, yn wahanol iawn i’r toriadau bwriadol yn y casgliad, sydd wedi’u gwneud yn bwrpasol i ddangos ini beth sydd ar y tu fewn. Caf fy atynnu at ffurfiau naturiol sydd wedi eu siapio gan berson.  

Sganio 3D: Celf a Gwyddoniaeth

Cyn archwilio’r cregyn fy hyn, cynigiodd Harriet i fynd â fi i lawr i weld Jim Turner, a dyna ble buom ni’n trafod am rhan helaeth fy ymweliad, am fod ei waith mor ddiddorol.

Mae Jim yn gweithio mewn labordy sy’n defnyddio proses ffotograffig o’r enw ‘Stacio-z’ (neu EDF, ‘extended depth of field’), sy’n cael ei ddefnyddio yn aml mewn ffotograffeg facro a ffoto-microscopeg.

Ar hyn o bryd, mae'n creu archif o wrthrychau wedi’u sganio mewn 3D ar gyfer gwefan yr amgueddfa, ble all bobol ryngweithio gyda’r sganiau yn defnyddio cyfarpar VR – gan greu profiad hollol newydd i’r amgueddfa.

Gallais ddeall yn syth beth oedd Jim yn ei wneud o fy mhrofiad i. Esboniodd y broses a roedd nifer o elfennau technegol tebyg. Roedd yn bleser cael siarad gyda rhywun sy’n defnyddio sganio 3D mewn ffordd wahanol imi. Mae Jim yn defnyddio sganio 3D mewn ffordd dwi wedi ei weld mewn papurau academaidd. Er nad yw’n gwneud gwaith creadigol gyda’r cregyn, mae e dal yn rhoi gwrthrychau mewn cyd-destun newydd, ble all pobl ryngweithio â nhw yn defnyddio technoleg ddigidol fel cyfarpar VR neu ar y we trwy sketchfab.

'Fel bod ar y traeth...'

Pan ddes i ‘nôl at y casgliad molysga, mi ges i amser i ymchwilio’r casgliad ar fy liwt fy hun a doedd dim pwysau arna i i frysio – felly ces gyfle i edrych yn graff ac archwilio’r cregyn. Roedd fel bod ar draeth a chael oriau i archwilio’r holl wrthrychau naturiol.

Ffotograff du a gwyn yn dangos cragen siâp côn wedi'i dorri i ddangos strwythr troellog y gragen
© Matthew Day 2017

Cafodd yr ymweliad effaith wych ar fy mhrosiect MA – a mawr yw’r diolch i Harriet a Jim am eu hamser. Trwy’r ymweliad, fe fagais hyder i gysylltu ag amgueddfeydd eraill, fel Amgueddfa Feddygol Worcester, ‘ble bues i’n gweithio gyda soced prosthetig o’u casgliad. Mi sganiais y soced, ac wedi fy ysbrydoli gan gasgliad molysga Harriet, mi greais gyfres o socedi prosthetic cerfluniol, wedi’u hysbrydoli gan strwythurau mewnol cregyn, oedd yn darlunio croestoriadau rhai o’r cregyn mwya atyniadol yn y casgliad.

'Cerflun ynddo'i hun': fy nghasgliad o gerflunwaith brosthetig

Ffotograffau cyfochrog yn dangos hosan brosthetic a thafell gragen. Mae'r hosan brosthetig wedi'i chynllunio i gynrychioli siâp mewnol y gragen
Prototeip cysyniadol o hosan brosthetig wedi'i ysbrydoli gan y casgliadau molysga yn Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd © Matthew Day 2017

ffotograff yn dangos hosan brosthetig gerfluniadol ddu gydag addurn melyn
Prototeip o hosan brosthetig gerfluniadol wedi'i ysbrydoli gan gasgliad Molysga Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd © Matthew Day 2017
ffotograff yn dangos hosan brosthetig gerfluniadol lwyd gydag addurn melyn
Hosan brosthetig wedi'i hargraffu mewn 3D a'i llifo, wedi'i ysbrydoli gan y casgliadau Molysga yn Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd © Matthew Day 2017

ffotograff yn dangos hosan brosthetig gerfluniadol gydag addurn mawr siâp cragen gron
Hosan brosthetic wedi'i hargraffu mewn 3D a'i lifo, wedi'i ysbrydoli gan gasgliad Molysga Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd © Matthew Day 2017

 

Be’ Nesa?

Mae fy ngwrs MA nawr ar ei anterth, a dwi’n edrych ymlaen at ddechrau’r prif fodiwl dros yr haf.

Ar gyfer y rhan olaf o’r cwrs, hoffwn i gymryd yr hyn dw i wedi ei archwilio a’i ymchwilio hyd yn hyn, a’i ddefnyddio i greu darn prosthetig a allai fod yn rywbeth all rhywun ei wisgo, ond sydd yn gerflun ynddo'i hun – a mae’r gwaith yn mynd yn dda.

darlun 3D o gynllun ar gyfer cynllun coes brosthetig, gydag addurniadau wedi'u hysbrydoli gan strwythr mewnol cregyn
Darlun cysyniadol o goes brosthetig gerfluniadol, wedi'i ysbrydoli gan gasgliad Molysga Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd © Matthew Day 2017

Hoffwn i greu rhywbeth wirioneddol syfrdanol yn defnyddio argraffu 3D, gan ymgorffori asthetig wedi’i ysbrydoli gan y casgliad cregyn a’i uno gyda’r cerflunwaith prosthetig a welwch yma ar y blog.

Gallwch weld mwy o fy ngwaith ar fy ngwefan: Matthew Day Sculpture

Last week I wrote about some of the rare books in the Museum Library for the Day of Archaeology blog. One of those books was Mona Antiqua Restaurata: an Archaeological Discourse on the Antiquities, Natural and Historical, of the Isle of Anglesey, the Antient Seat of the British Druids.

 

Because the Eisteddfod begins in Anglesey this weekend, it seems fitting to take a closer look at the book. The author of Mona Antiqua Restaurata was the Reverend Henry Rowlands (1655–1723) of Llanidan on Anglesey. Rowlands never travelled far from home, but instead spent his time investigating the stone circles, cromlechs, and other prehistoric remains on Anglesey, leading him to conclude that Anglesey (or Mona) was the ancient centre of Druidic worship.

 

His work opens with a geographical account of the island, before giving an account of the history of the place, and its people. His findings were much stronger in terms of his field observations, than in his conclusions, many of which now, we know to be factual incorrect. However, his book did much to popularise interest in Druid culture, and may travellers followed in his footsteps to explore the artefacts of Anglesey for themselves, and his accurate drawings of the various ancient monuments still hold merit.

 

We have three copies of Mona Antiqua Restaurata in the Library at National Museum Cardiff. Two of the copies are versions of the first edition, published posthumously in Dublin in 1723, while the third copy is of the second, revised edition, issued in London in 1766. That version was edited by Dr Henry Owen (1716 - 1795).

 

Dr Owen, originally from Dolgellau and a member of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, had a special interest in Welsh antiquities, and made a number of revisions to the book, one of which was the slight changes in appearance of the Druid. He removed the sandals, making the Druid barefoot, and he also added a book to the hand that was holding the oak leaves.

 

A similar illustration was produced in Stonehenge, a temple restor’d to the British Druids by William Stukeley (1687 - 1765), which was first published in 1740, just 17 years later than Mona Antiqua Restaurata. Although the Library doesn’t hold a copy of the first edition, we do have a copy that was produced in 1838, which depicts his Druid in a very similar manner, although instead of holding oak leaves, he is standing under an oak tree, and he has the addition of a small axe at his belt.

 

Perhaps both authors based their images on an even earlier depiction, that of Aylett Sammes (c.1636 - 1679), whose Britannia Antiqua illustrata: or, the antiquities of ancient Britain was published in 1676. From the copy we hold in the Library, we can see that his Druid has the flowing beard and hooded robes of both Rowlands and Stukeley’s versions, and his stance and the way he is holding his staff are also similar. However, there doesn’t seem to be any references to the significance of oaks in the illustration by Sammes.