Charlotte Louisa Traherne (fl 1833-1856), the cousin of the photographer William Henry Fox Talbot, produced a number of albums of bright, fresh watercolours of landscapes in mid Wales and she included some informal portraits of women in bright striped and check Welsh costumes.
watercolour: ‘Dressing the Graves at Easter’ (NLW PZ178)
This shows four women in a cemetery, one of whom is cleaning a grave. Three of them have checked gowns.
(a) white, blue and red check short-sleeved bedgown; yellow neckerchief; red skirt, black and white apron, bare feet, carrying a pitcher. She is unusual in not wearing a hat.
(b) Broad-brimmed, low-crowned hat over a cap; red and blue-green check long bedgown; blue skirt; black and white apron cleaning a grave with a paint brush.
(c) peaked hat over a cap;, black and white striped long bedgown, red skirt, black and white check apron.
(d) woman who may be supervising the others, wearing a Welsh hat over a cap; a red and white neckerchief; a blue fringed shawl with another of red and white around its edge; black and white check apron over a red, white and black check skirt with a brown underskirt. The circular feature on her shoulder may be part of her blouse.
watercolour: ‘Narberth Road’ (Haverfordwest), NLW DV 24 (album), p. 21
Group of 12 people, some in Welsh costume, but others are either gentry or visitors. All but one or two are women. Four are wearing Welsh hats; others have various hats. Blue and brown hooded cloaks are shown and one woman is wearing a siol magu (whittle) with baby in it. The bags are presumably those of the visitors, possibly just those of the artist and her party: the women in Welsh costume don’t appear to have the conventional market bags but may be on their way to or from the nearest market.
The picture is dated 4.10.1848 but the station didn’t open until 1853
watercolour: ‘The end of the well-walk, Llanwrtyd’ NLW PZ177
Three women and child, all in bare feet.
(a) carrying a very large tin can on her bonnet; bright check long bedgown with the tail pinned back; a blue skirt with the peplum showing and a black and white check apron.
(b) very similar to (a) but showing a blue neckerchief.
(c) broad-brimmed hat with low crown; striped long bedgown with yellow shawl, green skirt and blue apron, putting on or taking off her shoes and stockings.
(d) child carrying a baby on her back wearing a check dress.