Both male and female harpers wore Welsh costumes, the women wore something akin to traditional or National costume; the men often wore something based on mediaeval costumes (such as that invented by Lady Llanover), or 18th century costume (breeches, shirt, waistcoat, jacket). Men and boy performers
There is a portrait of a young woman in a checkered gown standing by a harp which is thought to be Lady Llanover’s daughter. (Cambridge University collection).
Photograph: Llanover harpists, Miss Maggie Jones ‘Telynores Arfon’, Mrs Gruffydd Richards, the blind harpist, David Roberts, Gwyneth Vaughan and representatives from other Celtic countries at the Pan-Celtic Congress, Caernarfon, Photograph by John Wickens, 1904
Gwynedd Archives and Museum Service
Loffler, Marion, A Book of Mad Celts, John Wickens and the Celtic Congress of Caernarfon, 1904, (2000)
Silk hat made by Christy’s of London. It was given to Beatrice Bottrill on her 21st birthday in 1891. Beatrice was a renouned harp player. She was born in Merthyr Tydfil, trained at the Royal Academy and later lived in Cardiff. This hat is unusual in having a wool on the undersurface of the brim like a top hat but unlike a Welsh hat. It is possible that a few hats like this were made especially for harp players after the Welsh hat production ceased. It is said that she knitted items of clothing for the members of the orchestra she played in during concerts when not playing.