THE National Library of Wales has ensured that a number of valuable items from a prestigious auction of the former Lord Harlech’s estate will remain in Wales.
In a historic auction at Bonhams Auctioneers in London on 29 March, the contents of Glyn Cywarch, the property of the Fifth Baron Harlech, who was a British diplomat and Conservative politician formerly known as David Ormsby-Gore, the Aberystwyth-based National Library purchased a number of valuable manuscripts and pictures.
The sale earned the rare accolade of ‘white glove’ status, meaning every one of the 531 lots was sold, and at the end of a marathon 10-hour auction, the sale total was almost £2.6m — more than two-and-a-half times the pre-sale estimate.
It was reported in the Cambrian News in February that an exciting discovery had been made at the Gwynedd estate, in Talsarnau, in the form of a poignant letter sent from JFK’s widow Jacqueline ‘Jackie’ Kennedy to Lord Harlech shortly after her husband’s death.
Lord Harlech served as British Ambassador to the United States during the Cuban missile crisis and was lifelong friends with JFK.
The National Library’s new collection includes Ormbsby Gore’s journal for 1854, three game books, two catalogues of the contents of the historic library at Brogyntyn (Porkington), and three watercolours by Moses Griffith.
Three pictures of Harlech, Beddgelert and Llanelltyd, by the artist Moses Griffith (1747-1819), were also purchased from the sale.
Lona Mason, head of graphic and audio visual material at the National Library, said: “Although the pictures were in a bad condition we are pleased that they have come to the library where we will be able to start restoration work on them, and add them to our collection of Welsh landscapes.”
See this week’s north editions for the full story and more pictures, in shops and online now