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Historic Welsh Eisteddfod Awards from the 19th Century for Sale at Bonhams Chester
The horn is inscribed “ Presented by the Cymmrodorion in Gwynedd, to Richard Phillips Jones M.D. for his unwearied exertions in promoting the Royal Eisteddfod, held at Denbigh, 1828”. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- Three items in Bonhams Chester sale on July 5th recall Welsh Eisteddfod triumphs from almost two centuries ago. Lot 354 is a George IV presentation silver mounted Hirlas Horn made by Emes & Barnard, London 1828. The polished Longhorn carries an applied band of oak leaves and acorns, acorn terminal, floral cartouche with a Welsh dragon crest, and a hinged cover with chased leaves, silver liner. It comes with its original travelling case and is estimated to sell for £1,200 - 1,800.

The horn is inscribed “ Presented by the Cymmrodorion in Gwynedd, to Richard Phillips Jones M.D. for his unwearied exertions in promoting the Royal Eisteddfod, held at Denbigh, 1828”. This Eisteddfod was the first “Royal Eisteddfod” due to the Duke of Sussex, brother of King George IV visiting the festival.

At a General Meeting of the Committee, held on the 7th of October 1828, the chair, J.Heaton announced “That the sum of twentyfive pounds be appropriated towards the purchase of a piece of plate, to be presented to Dr.Phillips Jones, for his zealous and patriotic services in promoting the objects of the Eisteddfod.”Mr Ellis of Oxford Street, London, medalist to the Royal Cambrian Institution was commissioned to produce a drinking vessel of ancient form and chose the Hirlas Horn for his inspiration.

The Hirlas Horn is associated with Owain ap Gruffydd(c.1130–97), was a prince of the southern part of Powys and a poet. He is usually known as Owain Cyfeiliog and afterbattles would drink with his comrades from the Long Blue Horn, his poem Hirlas Horn is commonly rated as one of the finest Welsh poems of this period. Since the late 19th century, the Hirlas Horn has been has played an important role in the ceremonies related to the Eidsteddfod.

Dr.Richard Phillips Jones M.D., was Honary Secretary to the Committee of Management of the 1828 Festival, he was heavily involved in the Cholera outbreak in North Wales in 1832 and was the Mayor of Chester during 1846/47.

Lot 352, is a Victorian presentation medal for the Abergavenny Eisteddfod. Engraved with a triple harp and inscribed”Aurheg W.Morgan Ysw. o Dy=Mawr Llanwenarth yn nghyda Gwobr o Gini”, the reverse “TELYNOR ary Delyn dair=rhes” with a ribbon above “CYMREIGYDDION Y FENNI” and below “HYDREF 1837”, diameter 4.5cm,weight 1/2oz. Estimated to sell for £100 – 150.

William Morgan was a well respected triple harpist, the National Instrument of Wales. The medal was presented by Lady Llandover (1802-1896), from 1834-1853 she was the inspirational force behind the Eisteddfodau held in Abergavenny by the Cymreigyddion Society. From 1826, when Lady Llanover first attended an eisteddfod at Brecon and met Carnhuanawc (the Revd. Thomas Price), she both sponsored and entered competitions.

Lot 353, estimated to sell for £300 to £400 is a Victorian presentation medal for The Liverpool Eisteddfod, June,1840. With an engraving of Welsh Princes surrounded by “The Liverpool Eisteddfod, June 1840”, cast laurel wreath border, the reverse engraved “Parch. Thomas Price, Carnhaunawc, Am yr Hanes goreu, o’r Tywysogion Cymreig, Acs gwr ni charc y wlad ai maco”, diameter 7.5cm, weight 3oz.

The lot includes a white silk rosette with a Prince of Wales motif and the original case. Thomas Price (Carnhuanawc; 1787-1848), was a notable historian and antiquarian clergyman. He was largely responsible for making the Welsh and Bretons aware of their ancient kinship; he wrote “A history of Wales to the death of Llwelyn ap Gruffydd” between 1836 and 1842, widely regarded as one of the greatest histories of Wales.

He was an ardent advocate of the Welsh language and culture, he only ever wore clothes of home produced materials. Price won five Eisteddfod medals for literary works including this one for “The History of the Welsh Princes”

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