eisteddfod prizes for Welsh hats

Only a few references to competitions for Welsh hats at Eisteddfodau have been found; all but one were at Abergavenny Eisteddfodau and all except possibly those which won the prize in 1853 were of felt, not silk. Mr Restall of Abergavenny sold a Ladies Welsh Hat to ‘Her Ladyship’ (Lady Llanover), in 1879  for 16 shillings (Gwent Record Office D1210.519); it is assumed that this was of silk like the one in her portrait by Mornewicke, 1862. Records of costumes worn by Lady Llanover’s friends and servants suggest that she had a large collection of Welsh hats which she might have commissioned the prize winners to make.

1838 Abergavenny Eisteddfod, Wednesday and Thursday, October 10th and 11th,
Judges for woollen and hats: W. Watkins, J. Morgan, W. Williams, and J.Daniel of Abergavenny. [information from the programme, not the newspaper]
Competition 7
Prize sponsored by Lady Charlotte Guest of a medal, valued at 2 guineas
For the best black beaver hat such as is usually worn by females in the Principality.
Won by Evan Davies, Crickhowell. ‘The hat was shown and is very beautifully finished’
[Cambrian (newspaper), 20.10.1838]; NLW MS 13962E, 98a (poster advertising the competitions).

1840 Abergavenny Eisteddfod, Wednesday and Thursday 7th and 8th October
Competition 14, Prize given by the Ladies of Abergavenny. Medal value 1 guinea and a premium of 2 guineas.
For the best Black Beaver hat, dyed and manufactured in the county of Monmouth.
Awarded to Mr Thomas Johnson, hatter, Abergavenny.
NLW MS 13962E, 98b, bilingual poster

1842 Abergavenny Eisteddfod
Competition 17, prize given by Mr David Thomas, £1 10s in a purse.
For the best Lady’s black beaver hat made and dyed in Gwent and Morganwg.
Competition 18, prize given by Mr David Thomas, £1 in a purse.
For the second best Lady’s black beaver hat.
NLW MS 13962E, 98b, bilingual poster; Cambrian (newspaper) 22.10.1842 (prizes)

1845 Abergavenny Eisteddfod
[Competition] For the best lady’s beaver hat, manufactured in Brecon, Crickhowell, or Abergavenny, a prize of £3 3s.; and by a Lady, for the second best ditto under the above restrictions, a prize of £2. in a purse. Awarded by Mr. Charles Daniel, draper, of Abergavenny, to Mr. David Davies, who had sent in two hats, and was the only competitor.
Cardiff and Merthyr Guardian, Glamorgan, Monmouth, and Brecon Gazette, 1 November 1845

1848 Abergavenny Eisteddfod (15th anniversary), 11th & 12th of October 1848
Competition [39] A prize of three guineas, by Mrs Maddocks, of Tregunter for the best beaver hat. [Winner] Mr Restall, hatter, of Abergavenny.
Competition [40] A prize of two guineas, by Mrs Keymes Tynte, of Cefn Mably, for the second-best beaver hat. [Winner] Mr Davies, Crickhowel.
Fifteenth eisteddfod of the Abergavenny Cymreigyddion by Cymreigyddion y Fenni, 1848, Extracted from the Hereford Times of Saturday October 21, 1848. (Printed at the [Hereford] Times Office, Hereford.)

1853 Abergavenny Eisteddfod, 12th &13th of October
Competition 42 Lady Chetwynd, 2 guineas for the best Welsh hat, manufactured in Brycheiniog, Gwent and Morganwg.
Awarded to Mr Restall of Abergavenny
Competition 43 Miss Roche, the Gwenddolen prize of £1 10s for the second best ditto.
Awarded to Mr Restall of Abergavenny
Cambrian Journal, 1854, pp 55-60; The Musical World, 1853, pp. 677-678

1858 Llangollen Eisteddfod
There was a competition for the Best Welsh hat
Cheshire Observer – Saturday 18 September 1858