May 12th Estate sale of Welsh textiles

6/04/2021     Latest News, Vintage Fashion, Antiques

Peter Francis Auction House is to sell The Margaret Bide Collection of primarily Welsh textiles, costume and furniture on May 12th. 

Margaret Bides interest in the Welsh woollen Industry was ignited after studying textiles in Farnham College of Art. She was born in Farnham Surrey in 1937, and studied textiles, eventually becoming a lecturer  and department head at the university and a respected authority on her subject, but her fascination for weaving led her to Wales.  

In 1965 after completing a survey of over eighty Welsh wool mills, Margaret purchased the derelict water powered Glanffrwd Mill Cellan Wales and later took on the enormous task of restoring it. 

The Margaret Bide collection of woven textiles was amassed over a period of over fifty years.  Her particular passion for the early Welsh blankets is evident.  Many of the blankets are undyed and appear in the cream and black of the sheep in the Welsh fields, others have the inclusion of indigo and other natural dyes. Most were produced by hand on narrow width looms in the 19th and early 20th C.  In this period the Welsh blanket had a huge cultural significance, blankets were made for the farming families and rural communities often using wool from their own sheep, bought to the local mill. When people had to leave their communities to find work far away or even abroad, the Welsh blanket was a piece of home that could be taken with them.

The Bide collection also includes some good Welsh country furniture, traditional Welsh costume, and books on textiles. 


Margaret Bide completed restoration of the mill for which she was awarded a commendation from the Welsh Mill Society.  She retained the mill and surrounding properties until her death in April 2019.  Her wish to form a museum and study centre sadly never came to fruition, however her determination to preserve examples of traditional woven textiles has resulted in her very rare collection

 In March 2021 Glanffrwd Mill Cellan was listed by Cadw to preserve it and the surrounding cottages as an example of special architectural and historic interest as a surviving C19 building associated with an important rural industry in Wales.




We now send a regular e-mail to all our subscribers with updates, catalogues and news. Sign up below!