There were numerous reasons for compiling a Welsh-themed issue this month. Firstly, Wales is heaving with long traditions, which will always ensure a good read in an antiques magazine! We also covered Welsh love spoons in our October 2010 issue (a tradition that stems from a time when the people of Wales used wooden utensils to eat), which sparked a great deal of interest from our readers.
Also, in case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a Royal Wedding coming up in April! The Queen Mother started the tradition of using Welsh gold for royal wedding rings in 1923 and since then, the Queen, Princess Margaret, the Princess Royal, Diana Princess of Wales, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall all had their rings made from pure Welsh gold.
The forthcoming wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton will also feature a Welsh gold ring. This renewed interest and the fact that the last Welsh gold mine closed in 1999 will result in the remaining stock becoming even more sought after and prices will reach record highs! Incidentally, you can see an ingot of gold that was presented to Her Majesty the Queen on her 60th birthday on display in the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea. Look out for an article about this precious metal, ‘fit for a princess’, in a future issue.
2011 will also see Oriel Ynys Môn celebrate its 20th birthday with special events planned throughout the year. This wonderful museum and arts centre, located in Llangefni, Anglesey, houses permanent displays that include the world’s largest collection of works by local artists Sir Kyffin Williams and Charles Tunnicliffe, both quite rightly featured within this issue.
Next, we look at the history of Nantgarw porcelain – considered by many to be the most valuable artefacts ever produced in Wales –and welcome the recent re-opening of the the Nantgarw China Works Museum in Cardiff – the last remaining archaeological site of porcelain production in the UK.
We asked Welsh quilt expert, Jen Jones, how she started her collection of over 300 quilts, and how best to use these wonderful items of craft art in our homes today. Read about Jen’s 40-year passion for this visual heritage of Wales on page 13.
Finally, everyone loves a dresser! We asked Christopher Proudlove to explain what makes a dresser a ‘Welsh’ dresser, and what to look out for when investing in such a romantic piece of furniture.To see more of these articles visit: www.antiquexplorer.com