Bewitching Welsh Witches, 1910

This charming postcard is from the “National Series” [No.1210]; the hand-tinted photo is by Bassano Ltd (see here for more on Alexander Bassano and his photographic business). It was posted 4 August 1910 from Merthyr Valley.

The “witches” are wearing “Traditional” Welsh costume; although, in Witches, Druids and King Arthur (2003), Ronald Hutton says that this costume was invented in the 1830s by Augusta Hall, Baroness Llanover of Monmouthshire.

Undoubtedly, the similarity of the tall black Welsh hat to the traditional peaked witches’ hat, prompted the identification of these two lovely ladies as witches, the tea-service not being particularly witchy. Perhaps there is something witchy in what the second woman is carrying in her hands (second picture, below); if anyone can identify these objects, please let me know.

4 Responses to “Bewitching Welsh Witches, 1910”

  1. […] Bewitching Welsh Witches, 1910 […]

  2. David Edwards Says:

    I love Welsh Witches !!!!

  3. Ann Corkett Says:

    Sorry to disappoint you, but I suspect the witch on the left is knitting and the one on the right is holding the ball of wool – knitting socks was one of the traditional things for Welsh women to do in postcards. I have this p/c and three more of the same girls, all on the same sort of theme. One is the girl in the flowered dress (knitting) saying “How would you like to be my Cariad? (=love); the girl in the striped dress looking coy with a young man who is proposing to her, while she professes not to understand English, and one close-up of the two girls with the verse “The age of Welsh Witches has gone,/ But still their successors run on;/ They’re bewitchingly coy,/ That’s a truth you’ll enjoy, If you holiday here very long.”

  4. redwitch1 Says:

    Many thanks Ann, that is great to know. And I love the verse!


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