1902 Encyclopedia > Plate


PLATE. The word plate (connected with the Greek _______, flat, the late Latin plata = lamina, and the Spanish plata, silver) is usually employed to denote works in silver or gold which belong to any class other than those of per-sonal ornaments or coins.

On account of the ease with which it can be worked and the pure state in which it is generally found, it is pro-bable that gold was the first metal used by man; and it is certain that, in some countries at least, he attained to the most marvellous skill in its manipulation at a time when the other arts were in a very elementary condition. As an instance of this we may mention a sword of the bronze age, found in a barrow near Stonehenge, and now in the museum at Devizes. The hilt of this sword is covered with the most microscopically minute gold mosaic. A simple design is formed by fixing tesserae, or rather pins, of red and yellow gold into the wooden core of the handle. Incredible as it may appear, there are more than two thousand of these gold tesserae to the square inch. The use of silver appears to belong to a rather later period, probably because, though a widely spread metal in almost all parts of the world, it is usually found in a less pure state than gold, and requires some skill to smelt and refine it. Though both these precious metals were largely and skilfully used by prehistoric races, they were generally employed as personal ornaments or decorations for weapons. Except in Scandinavian countries but little that can be called " plate" has been discovered in the early barrows of the prehistoric period in western Europe.

It will be convenient to consider the no less prehistoric gold and silver work recently found at Troy, Tiryns, and Mycenae as forming a stage in the history of Greek art.

Ancient Egypt.—An enormous amount of the precious metals was annually brought as tribute to the Egyptian kings ; according to Diodorus, who quotes the authority of Hecataeus, the yearly produce of the royal gold and silver mines amounted to thirty-two millions of minae—that is, about 133 millions sterling of modern money. Though this estimate is probably an exaggeration, the amount must have been very great. The gold chiefly came from the mines in the Bishari desert, about eighteen days' journey south-east of Kum Ombos. These mines were constantly worked down to the time of the Arab caliphs, but now appear to be exhausted. It is not known where the silver came from. Gold appears to have been relatively more abundant than silver, and the difference in value between them was very much less than it is now. Tribute was paid to the Egyptian kings, not in coined money, which was then unknown, but in rings or ingots. Owing to the Egyptian practice of burying with their dead personal ornaments and jewellery, rather than other possessions less intimately connected with the person of the deceased, but few speci-mens of either gold or silver plate have survived to our times, whereas the amount of gold jewellery that has been discovered is very large, and shows the utmost amount of skill in working the precious metals. We can, however, form some notion of what the larger works, such as plates and vases in gold and silver, were like from the frequent representations of them in mural sculpture and paintings. In many cases they were extremely elaborate and fanciful in shape, formed with the bodies or heads of griffins, horses, and other animals real or imaginary. Others are simple and graceful in outline, enriched with delicate surface ornament of leaves, wave and guilloche patterns, hieroglyphs, or sacred animals. Fig. 1 shows a gold vase of the time of Thothmes III. (Dynasty XVIII., about 1500 B.C.), taken from a wall-painting in one of the tombs at Thebes. The figure on its side is the hieroglyph for "gold." Others appear to have been very large and massive, with human figures in silver or gold supporting a great bowl or crater of the same metal.

In the language of the hiero-glyphs silver is called " white gold," and gold is the generic name for money,—unlike most languages, in which silver usually has this special meaning,—a fact which points strongly to the priority of the use of gold. On the walls of one of the tombs at Beni Hassan there is an interesting representation of a gold- and silver-smith's workshop, show-ing the various processes employed—weighing, melting or soldering with the blow-pipe, refining the metal, and polish-ing the almost finished bowl or vase. In the time of Rameses III., about 1300 B.C., a clearly defined Assyrian influence appears in the decoration of some of the gold plate. A gold basket, represented in the tomb of this king at Thebes, has on its side a relief of the sacred tree between two beasts, the oldest of purely Aryan or Indo-European subjects, and quite foreign to Egypt.
The chief existing specimens of Egyptian plate are five silver phials, or bowls, found at the ancient Thumuis in the Delta, and now in the Bulak Museum (Nos. 482 to 486 in the catalogue). These are modelled in the form of a lotus blossom, most graceful in design, but are apparently not earlier than the 5th century B.C. The Louvre possesses a fine gold patera, 6| inches across, with figures of fishes within a lotus border in repousse work; an inscription on the rim shows it to have belonged to an officer of Thothmes III. (Mem. Soe. Ant. de France, xxiv. 1858).

Assyrian and Phoenician Plate.—Among the many treasures of early art found by General Cesnola in the tombs of Cyprus none are of more interest than a large number of Phoenician silver phialae or saucer-like dishes, enriched with delicate repousse and tooled reliefs, which in their design present many characteristics of Assyrian art mingled with a more or less strong Egyptian influence. A considerable number of bowls and phialse found in Assyria itself are so exactly similar to these Cyprian ones, both in shape and ornamentation, that they cannot but be classed together as the production of the same people and the same age. The British Museum possesses a fine collection of these bowls, mostly found in the palace at Nimnid. Though they are made of bronze, and only occasionally ornamented with a few silver studs, they are oevidently the production of artists who were accustomed to work in the precious metals, some of them in fact being almost identical in form and design with the silver phialse found at Curium and elsewhere in Cyprus. They are oornamented in a very delicate and minute manner, partly by incised lines, and partly by the repousse process, finally ocompleted by chasing. Their designs consist of a central geometrical pattern, with one or more concentric bands round it of figures of gods and men, with various animals and plants. In these bands there is a strange admixture o of Assyrian and Egyptian style. The main motives belong to the former class, the principal groups being purely Assyrian—such as the sacred tree between the two attendant beasts, or the king engaged in combat and van-cpuishing a lion single-handed; while mingled with these are figures and groups purely Egyptian in style, such as the hawk-headed deity, or a king slaying a whole crowd oof captives at one blow. Fig. 2 gives a silver dish from

FIG. 2.—Silver Bowl, about 7 inches in diameter, found in a tomb in Cyprus, with repousse" reliefs of Egyptian and Assyrian style

-Curium containing examples of all the above mentioned subjects. Some of the designs are exceedingly beautiful, and are arranged with great decorative skill: a favourite _composition is that of antelopes walking in a forest of tall papyrus plants, arranged in radiating lines, so as to suit the circular phiale, and yet treated with perfect grace and freedom. In addition to the numerous silver phialss some were found, with similar decoration, made of pure gold.

The Curium find alone is said to have included more than a thousand objects in gold and silver.

Etruscan Plate.-—The Etruscan races of Italy were specially renowned for their skill in working all the metals, and above all in their gold work. Large quanti-ties of the most exquisite gold jewellery have been found in Etruscan tombs, including, in addition to smaller objects, sceptres, wreaths of olive, and massive head-pieces. The Museo Kircheriano in Borne possesses a magnificent speci-men of the last form of ornament; it is covered with nearly a hundred little statuettes of lions arranged in parallel rows. Little, however, that can be classed under the head of plate has yet been found. A number of silver bowls found in Etruscan tombs have ornaments in the Egypto-Assyrian style, and were probably imported into Italy by the Phoenicians; some almost exactly resemble those found in Cyprus.

The British Museum (gold ornament room) possesses a fine specimen of early plate found at Agrigentum in Sicily. This is a gold phiale or bowl, about 5 inches

FIG. 3.—Archaic Gold Phiale, found at Agrigentum, now in the British Museum. It is shown in section below. It is 5 inches in diameter.

across, with central boss or omphalos (______) which seems once to have contained a large jewel. Bound the inside of the bowl are six figures of oxen, repouss6 in relief, and at one side a crescent, formed by punched dots. A delicate twisted moulding surrounds the edge; the workmanship of the whole is very skilful (see fig. 3).

Hellenic Plate.—Discoveries made of late years on the plains of Troy, at Mycenae, and at Camirus in Rhodes have brought to light a large quantity of gold and silver plate of very remote antiquity. These early specimens of plate are all very similar in character, graceful in shape, hammered, cast, and soldered with great skill, but, with the exception of weapons and ornaments, mostly devoid of surface decoration. The most remarkable find was that which Dr Schliemann calls " Priam's treasure," including a large number of silver vases and bowls, with fine massive double-handled cups in gold, and a very curious spherical gold bottle. Fig. 4 sfyows a silver cup, with gold mounts, found in a tomb at Camirus in Rhodes, apparently a work of the same early date and class. Homer's poems are full of descriptions of rich works in both the precious metals {Iliad xxiii. 741), showing that the taste for valuable pieces of plate was developed among the Greeks at a very early time—much more so probably than it was during the most flourishing period of Hellenic art, when the production of beautifully painted fictile vases seems to some extent to have superseded the more barbaric magnificence of gold and silver. During the 6th century B.C. the demand for works of this class, valuable not only for their material but for their workmanship, seems to have been very great under the last dynasty of Lydian kings, whose wealth in gold and silver has become proverbial. Croesus especially encouraged the art, and paid enormous sums for silver vases and cups to the most renowned artists of his time, such as Glaucus and Theodoras the Samian.

Pliny (N. H., xxxiii.) gives a valuable account of the sources whence the Greeks and Romans derived their precious metals, their methods of refining, and the sculptors who were most celebrated for their skill in making articles of plate. Among the Greeks and Romans the greatest artists of the day did not disdain to practise this branch of art. The same sculptor who produced noble and colossal statues for the temples of the gods would at another time put forth his utmost skill and artistic talent in chasing and embossing some small silver cup or vase. In this way ancient pieces of plate ranked among the most perfect productions of art—very different from the custom of the 19th century, which leaves its plate to be executed by some dull mechanical craftsman, after the pompous designs supplied by a tradesman whose only standard of merit appears to be the pretentiousness of the design and the number of ounces of silver it contains.

In the best times of Greek art, the chief works in gold and silver seem to have been dedicated to religious pur-poses, and to have been seldom used for the ostentatious pomp of private individuals. Vessels for the use of the temples, tripods in gold or silver of the richest work, and statues of the gods were the chief objects on which the precious metals were lavished.

The gold used by the Greeks probably came from Asia Minor or Egypt, while the mines of Laurium, in the mountains which form the promontory of Sunium in Attica, supplied an abundant amount of silver for many centuries. According to Pliny, Phidias was the first sculptor who produced works of great merit in the precious metals; he mentions a number of other Greek artists who were celebrated for this class of work, but unluckily does not give their dates. The chief of these were Mentor and Mys (both of the 5th century B.C.), Acragas, Boethus, the sculptors Myron and Stratonicus, as well as the well-known Praxiteles and Scopas. In Pliny's time many works in gold and silver by these artists still existed in Rhodes and elsewhere. Among later workers he specially mentions Zopyrus, who made two silver cups, embossed with the scene of the judgment of Orestes by the Areopagite court, and Pytheas, who made a bowl with reliefs of Ulysses and Dio-medes carrying off the Palladium. Enormous prices were given by wealthy Romans for ancient silver plate made by distinguished Greek artists; according to Pliny, more than £300 an ounce was paid for the last-mentioned cup.

Though a large quantity of later Graeco-Roman plate still exists in various museums, the specimens of Greek silver-work of the best period are extremely rare, and mostly unimportant in point of size. In 1812 Dr Lee dis-covered at Ithaca a very beautiful vase or cyathus 3| inches high (see fig. 5) and a phiale or patera, 9| inches

—Silver Cratei-, found in Ithaca. ^ inches high.

across, both of silver, repoussé and chased, with very, rich and graceful patterns of leaves and flowers—suggesting a slight tinge of Assyrian style. These are probably not later than the 5th century B.C. A good many silver mirror-cases, with repoussé figure-subjects in high relief, have been found at various places ; as, for instance, one with a beautiful seated figure of Aphrodite found at Taren-tum and now in the British Museum.4 The South Ken-sington Museum contains a most exquisite little silver vase found in the baths of Apollo at Vicarello in Italy (fig. 6), enriched with a band in low relief of sterks devour-ing serpents, executed with gem-like minuteness and finish — probably not later than the 3rd century B.C. The British Museum has a little vase of similar form and almost equal beauty, though perhaps later in date ; it is decorated with bands of vine branches in a graceful flowing pattern, and is partly gilt. The most important Fl«.g]]j c 4th find of Greek silver plate, mingled with pieces of Roman or Graeco-Roman work, was that discovered in the crypt of the temple of Mercury Augustus, at Villeret, near Bernay, in France (the ancient Canetum), in 1830.5 It consists of silver vessels and two silver statuettes, sixty-nine pieces in all, the gift of various donors to the temple. It is in itself a small museum of specimens of ancient plate, containing objects of great variety of date and workmanship, from fine Greek work of about 300 B.C. down to the coarser Roman production of the 2nd or 3rd century A.D. The shapes of the vessels composing this treasure are very numerous—ewers, bowls, patera, large ladle-shaped cups, and drinking cups with and without handles. Those of Greek workmanship are in slight relief, while some of the Roman wine-cups and bowls have heads and figures almost detached from the ground. Some of these latter much resemble some silver canthari found in Pompeii. The dedicatory Roman inscriptions, in some cases, appear to be later additions, made by the various donors who presented these treasures to the temple. It is interesting to note that two vases among the Bernay treasure have reliefs of the theft of the Palladium, like the celebrated cup by Pytheas mentioned by Pliny; another subject described by him as decorating silver plate by Zopyrus, the judgment of Orestes, is represented on a fine cup found at Antium, apparently of Greek design, which is preserved in the Cor-sini Palace in Rome. These may possibly be copies from originals by those much-renowned artists.

Graeco-Roman and Roman Plate.—Of what may be called Graeco-Roman plate a much larger number of specimens still exist. Even during the 1st century the growing pomp and ostentation of the wealthy Romans led to an enormous demand for large and elaborate pieces of plate, while their good taste induced them to prefer the works of Greek ccelatores,—a branch of art which even at that time showed but little signs of decay. It was no doubt the desire for objects which should combine intrinsic value with artistic merit, and also be of a more durable sort, that by slow degrees gave the death-blow to the art of vase painting. It is not always easy to distinguish the best works in silver of this Roman period from the more purely Greek works of an earlier time. They are often of the highest merit both in design and execution. The finest collection of these was found in 1869 at Hildes-heim in Hanover, and is now in the Berlin Museum. They consist of a large number of cups, bowls, vases, dishes, and tripods, all of silver, some decorated with gilding and enriched in the most elaborate way with figure and scroll-work reliefs of the greatest beauty and finish; these, except one or two of very rude work, can hardly be later in date than the first century after Christ. The most remarkable is a cylix, inside which a geometrical Greek border in slight relief forms a frame for a seated figure of Athene—an " emblema " solcrered on, in very high relief. The attitude of this figure, the folds of the drapery, and other details are arranged with extreme grace. Almost the only point which recalls the fact that this exquisite piece does not belong to the best period of Greek art is the very salient relief of the figure, whereas in earlier times the silver-worker was content with a more moderate amount of relief, and thus decorated the surface of his vessel without injuring its main contour. A large silver crater in the same set (fig. 7) is free from this fault. It is covered outside with delicate floral scroll-work, growing in graceful curves all over the surface of the vessel, with very slight projection from the main surface,—a perfect model in every way for the treat-ment of silver. Pliny specially mentions the custom of Roman generals and other officers travelling on military


Hildesheim treasure ; defeat or some other disaster may have forced the Roman owner to hide and relinquish the whole set.


The museum at Naples contains a very large number of silver cups found in Pompeii, encrusted with figure-subjects or branches of ivy and vine in relief. In cases of this sort the cup is made double, with a smooth inner skin to hide the sinkings produced by the repoussé wrork in relief on the outside. Silver vessels ornamented in relief were called by the Romans ccelata or aspera, to distinguish them from plain ones, which were called levia.

Among later specimens of Roman plate the most remarkable is the gold patera, nearly 10 inches in dia-meter, found at Rennes in 1777, and now in the Paris Bibliothèque—a work of the most marvellous delicacy and high finish—almost gem-like in its minuteness of detail. Though not earlier than about 210 A.D., a slight clumsi-ness in the proportion of its embossed figures is the only visible sign of decadence. The outer rim is set with sixteen fine gold coins—aurei of various members of the Antonine family from Hadrian to Geta. The central emblema or medallion represents the drinking contest be-tween Bacchus and Hercules, and round this medallion is a band of repoussé figures showing the triumphal proces-sion of Bacchus after winning the contest. He sits triumphant in his leopard-drawn car, while Hercules is led along, helplessly intoxicated, supported by bacchanals. A long line of nymphs, fauns, and satyrs complete the circular band.

The British Museum possesses good specimens of Roman silver work in its last stage of decline. These are two large caskets or toilet boxes, with silver unguent vases,
oblong lances, paterae, ewers, spoons, and other objects, all found in Rome in 1793. The caskets are decorated in low relief with somewhat blunt repoussé figures and ornaments. The rim of one casket is incised with the following words SECTXNDE ET PROIECTA VIVATIS IN CHRSTO.

One of the silver vases has the words PELEGRINA VTERE FELIX. The legend on the casket, and the %T which appears among the ornaments, show that it was made for a Roman lady, named Projecta, who was a Christian ; her portrait, together with that of her husband Secundus, is on the centre of the lid in a medallion supported by two cupids. With the exception of a pair of small silver two-handled vases, undecorated, but of the purest Greek-like form, these various pieces of silver work probably date from the 5th century.

Plate from the Crimea.—The finest collection of early gold and silver plate is that in the Musée de l'Ermitage at St Petersburg, the result of many years' excavation in the tombs of the Cimmerian Bosphorus. Most of these magnificent pieces of plate, both in style of workmanship and the character of their decoration, resemble the work of Greek artists ; in some cases nothing but the costume of the figures embossed upon them shows that they were not produced in Athens.

The earliest in style is a massive gold phiale (______) covered with the richest and most minute surface ornament. The motive of the design is taken from an open lotus flower ; the petals form radiating lobes, and these petals are entirely covered with delicate scroll-work, surrounding Greek-like gorgons' heads, and other smaller heads, savage-looking and bearded. Though perhaps rather overloaded with ornament, this beautiful phiale, which shows strong traces of Phoenician or Assyrian influence, is a real masterpiece of decorative design. Of later date, probably 4th century B.C., is a small gold bottle, Hellenic in form, but ornamented with a band of non-Hellenic figures in relief—Scythian bowmen, as their dress clearly shows. The grandest piece of all is a large silver amphora, of about the same date, shaped like the Greek fictile amphorae, and ornamented with a beautiful flowing pattern, of pure Hellenic honeysuckle form, mingled with birds and very highly projecting animals' heads. On the shoulder of the vase there is a band of Scythians and horses, executed with great spirit and refinement. It is difficult to believe that this splendid vase, so graceful in outline, and so pure in its decoration, was not produced by some famous Athenian toreutes.

Oriental Plate.—Some very curious pieces of plate both in gold and silver have been found in northern India; these appear to be of native workmanship, but the subjects with which they are embossed, and the modelling of the figures, show that they were produced under late Roman influence, or in some cases possibly even Greek influence in a highly degraded state, handed down from the time of Alexander's Indian conquests.

Under the Sasanian kings of Persia (from the 3rd to 6th centuries) very massive and richly decorated gold vases, bowls, and bottles were made (fig. 8). Those which still exist show a curious mingling of ancient Assyrian art with that of Rome in its decline. Reliefs representing winged lions, or the sacred tree between its attendant beasts, alternate with subjects from Roman mythology, such as the rape of Ganymede ; but all are treated alike; with much originality, and in a highly decorative manner. The Paris Bibliothèque and the Vienna Museum contain some fine specimens.

The gold and silver work of Russia resembles in style that of Byzantium at an early period. Shrines and other magnificent pieces of plate in the treasury of the cathedral at Moscow (see Weltmann, Le trésor de Moscou, 1861), though executed at the end of the 15th century, are exactly similar in design to Byzantine work of the 11th or 12th century, and even since then but little change or development of style has taken place.

The caliphs of Baghdad, the sultans of Egypt, and other Moslem rulers were once famed for their rich stores of plate, which was probably of extreme beauty both in design and workmanship. Little or nothing of this Moslem plate now remains, and it is only possible to judge of its style and magnificence from the fine works in brass and other less valuable metals which have survived to our time.

Early Mediaeval Plate.—The Gothic, Gaulish, and other semi-barbarian peoples, who in the 6th century were

Fig. 8. Fig. 9.

FIG. 8.—Sasanian Gold Bottle, about 10 inches high. In the Vienna Museum FIG. 9,—Gold Ewer, 15 inches high, from the Petrossa treasure.

masters of Spain, France, and parts of central Europe,, produced great quantities of work in the precious metals, especially gold, often of great magnificence of design and not without some skill in workmanship. In 1837 a large number of pieces of very massive gold plate were found at Petrossa in Roumania; much of this find was unfortun-ately broken up and melted, but a considerable portion was saved, and is now in the museum at Bucharest. These magnificent objects are all of solid gold, and consist of large dishes, vases, ewers, baskets of open work, and personal ornaments (fig. 9). Some of them show a strong Roman influence in their design, others are more purely barbaric in style. To the first of these classes belongs a very fine phiale or patera, 10 inches in diameter. In the centre is a seated statuette of a goddess, holding a cup, while all round, in high relief, are standing figures of various male and female deities, purely Roman in style. Though the execution is somewhat clumsy, there is much reminiscence of classical grace in the attitudes and drapery of these figures. A large basket and other pieces, made of square bars of gold arranged so as to form an open pattern of stiff geometrical design, have nothing in common with the vessels in which Roman influence is apparent, and can hardly be the work of the same school of goldsmiths. The date of this Petrossa treasure is supposed to be the 6th century. The celebrated Gourdon gold cup and tray now preserved in Paris belong to about the same date. They are very rich and magnificent, quite free from any survival of classic influence, and in style resemble the Merovingian gold work which was found in the tomb of Childeric I, The cup is three inches high, shaped like a miniature two-handled chalice; its com-panion oblong tray or plate has a large cross in high relief in the centre. They are elaborately ornamented with inlaid work of turquoises and garnets, and delicate filigree patterns in gold, soldered on.

In the 6th century Byzantium was the chief centre for the production of large and magnificent works in the precious metals. The religious fervour and the great wealth of Justinian and his successors filled the churches of Byzantium, not only with enormous quantities of gold and silver chalices, shrines, and other smaller pieces of ecclesiastical plate, but even large altars, with tall pillared baldacchini over them, fonts, massive candelabra, statues, and high screens, all made of the precious metals. The wealth and artistic splendour with which St Peter's in Rome and St Sophia in Constantinople were enriched is now almost inconceivable. To read the mere inventories of these treasures dazzles the imagination,—such as that given in the Liber Pontificalis of Anastasius Bibliothe-carius, which includes the long list of treasures given by Constantine to St Peter's before he transferred his seat of empire to Byzantium (330), and the scarcely less wonder-ful list of gold and silver plate presented to the same basilica by Pope Symmachus (498-514).

During the 7th century France and other Western countries were but little behind Italy and Byzantium in their production of massive works, both secular and religious, in the precious metals. St Eloy, the French gold-smith bishop, made a number of most splendid shrines and other sacred furniture in beaten gold—among them large shrines for the relics of St Denis, St Genevieve, and St Martin, as well as gold thrones, plate, and jewellery for the French kings Clothaire II. and Dagobert I. At this time every cathedral or abbey church in Germany, France, and even England began to accumulate rich treasures of every kind in gold and silver, enriched with jewels and enamel; but few specimens, however, still exist of the work of this early period. The most notable are Charlemagne's regalia and other treasures at Aix-la-Chapelle, a few preserved at St Peter's in Rome, and the remarkable set of ecclesiastical utensils which still exist in the cathedral of Monza near Milan—the gift of Queen Theodelinda in the early part of the 7th century.

The existing examples of magnificent early work in the precious metals mostly belong to a somewhat later period. The chief are the gold and silver altar in Sant' Ambrogio at Milan, of the 9th century; the " Pala d'Oro," or gold re table, in St Mark's at Venice, begun in the 10th century (see METAL-WORK) ; and the gold altar frontal given by the emperor Henry II. and his wife Cunigunde, at the beginning of the 11th century, to the cathedral at Basel. The last is about 4 feet high by 6 feet long, repousse in high relief, with figures of Christ, the three archangels, and St Benedict, standing under an arcade of round arches; it is now in the Cluny Museum in Paris.6 A similar gold frontal, of equal splendour, was that made for the arch-bishop of Sens in 999. This was melted down by Louis XV. in 1760, but fortunately a drawing of it was preserved,, and is published by Du Sommerard (Album, 9th series,, pi. xiii.).

A most valuable description of the various methods of work practised by gold- and silver-smiths in the 11th and 12 th centuries is given by the monk Theophilus in his Diversarum Artium Schedula (Hendrie's ed., 1847). He minutely describes every possible process that could be-employed in making and ornamenting elaborate pieces of. ecclesiastical plate—such as smelting, refining, hammering chasing and repousse work, soldering, casting (by the " cire perdue " process), wire-drawing, gilding with mercury amalgam, and the application of niello, enamel, and gems.

The silversmith of those days, as in classical times, was not only a thorough artist with a complete sense of beauty and fitness in his work, but he was also a craftsman of the most varied fertility of resource, and made himself thoroughly responsible for every part of his work and every stage through which it passed,—a most striking, contrast to the modern subdivision of labour, and eager-ness to produce a show of neatness without regard to real, excellence of work, which is the curse of all 19th-century handicrafts, and one of the main reasons why our modern productions are in the main neither works of true art nor objects of real lasting utility.

Italian Plate.—Before the latter part of the loth century, large pieces of silver work were made more for ecclesiastical use than for the gratification of private luxury. The great silver shrine in Orvieto cathedral, made to contain the blood-stained corporal of the famous Bolsena miracle, is one of the chief of these. It is a very large and elaborate work in solid silver, made to imitate the west front of a cathedral, and decorated in the most sumptuous way with figures cast and chased in relief, and. a wonderful series of miniature-like pictures embossed ini low relief and covered with translucent enamels of various brilliant colours. This splendid piece of silver work was executed about 1338 by Dgolino da Siena and his pupils. The other most important pieces of silver work in Italy are the frontal and rotable of St James in the cathedral at Pistoia, and the altar of San Giovanni at Florence (see METAL-WORK). On these two works were employed a, whole series of the chief Tuscan artists of the 14th and 15th centuries, many of whom, though of great reputation in other branches of art, such as painting, sculpture on a large scale, and architecture, did not disdain to devote their utmost skill, and years of labour, to work which we now as a rule consign to craftsmen of the very smallest capacity.

Among the distinguished names of Florentines who during the space of one century only, the 15th, worked in gold and silver, the following may be given to suggest the high rank which this class of work took among the arts :— Brunelleschi, Ghiberti, Donatello, Luca della Robbia, the two Pollaiuoli, Verrocchio, Michelozzo, Ghirlandaio, Botticelli, Lorenzo di Credi, Baccio Baldini, and Francia. The, cities of Italy which chiefly excelled in this religious and beautiful class of silver-work during the 14th and 15th; centuries were Florence, Siena, Arezzo, Pisa, and Pistoia.

Owing to the demoralization and increase of luxury which grew m Italy with such startling rapidity during the early years of the 16th century, the wealth and artistic skill which in the previous centuries had been mainly devoted to religious objects were diverted into a different channel, and became for the most part absorbed in the production of magnificent pieces of plate—vases, ewers, dishes, and the like—of large size, and decorated in the most lavish way with the fanciful and over-luxuriant forms of ornament introduced by the already declining taste of the Renaissance. This demand created a new school of metal-workers, among whom Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571) was perhaps the ablest, and certainly the most prominent. His graphic and often shameless autobiography makes him one of the foremost and most vivid figures of this wonderful 16th century, in which the most bestial self-indulgence was mingled with the keenest enthusiasm for art. Cellini's work is always perfect in oexecution, but very unequal in merit of design; some of Iris silver pieces, such as the large salt-cellar made for .Francis I., are much marred by an attempt to produce _a massive grandeur of effect, on a scale and in a material quite unsuited to such ambitious and sculpturesque effects. Cellini's influence on the design of silver plate was very great, not only in Italy and France, where his life was spent, but also on the great silversmiths of Augsburg and Nuremberg, many of whose finest pieces are often attri-buted to Cellini.1 During the 17th and even the 18th ocenturies fine pieces of plate were produced in Italy, many of them still retaining some of the grace and refine-ment of the earlier Renaissance.

Germany.—From very early times Germany was speci-ally famed for its works in the precious metals, mostly, as in other countries, for ecclesiastical use. In the 15th century oa large quantity of secular plate was pro-duced, of very beauti-iul design and the most skilful work-manship. Tall cov-ered cups or hanaps oon slender stems, modelled with a series of bosses some-thing like a pineapple and surmounted by a cleverly wrought flower, or beakers, cylindrical tankards with lids, enriched owith delicate Gothic ocresting or applied foliage, are the most .beautiful in form and decoration. On the lids of these cups are frequently placed heraldic figures, hold-ing shields with the owner's arms, modelled and cast with great spirit and finish. One celebrated silver beaker, of about 1400, now in the South Kensington Museum (fig. 10), is ornamented with Gothic traceried windows filled in with translucent enamels.2 Another,3 rather later in date, preserved in the print room of the British Museum, is covered with figures and foliage in minute niello work, a most elaborate and splendid piece of plate.

During the first half of the 16th century Augsburg and Nuremberg, long celebrated for their silver work, developed a school of artists in plate whose productions are of the most unrivalled beauty, at once graceful in general form and decorated in slight relief with arabesques, strap-work, wreaths, and figure subjects arranged with the utmost good taste, and modelled and chased with the most perfect precision of touch. Though influenced by the contemporary silver-work of Italy, the works of Paul Flint, Wenzel Jamnitzer (1508-1585), and Theodor de Bry of Liege (1528-98) are free from the extravagance of outline and over-elaboration of detail which often disfigure the grand silver pieces of men like Cellini (see fig. 11). In Germany the traditions of earlier Gothic art were less rapidly broken with; and many purely Gothic forms survived there till quite the end of the 16th century. In the first half of the 17th century the technical skill of the German silversmiths reached its highest point of perfection, but there was some falling off in their designs, which rapidly lost their purity of outline. Switzerland produced several silversmiths whose work is similar to that of this German school, especially their large plateaux and ewers, most richly and gracefully covered with ornament, all finished

with almost cpm-like minuteness


FlG- silver Cup' 8* inches hIgh' usual'y Willi dllliobu gem ___ attributed to Jamnitzer, but more probahly by

Paul Flint. Made at Nuremberg about the, . middle of the 16th century. (S. _. M.)


The principal among these art-ists was Francois Briot, all of whose productions are of extreme beauty. The majority of his existing works are not in silver, but in pewter, and thus by their absence of intrinsic value have escaped the melting pot (fig. 12). Gaspar Endeiiein was an-other workman of this school, whose productions cannot always be distin-guished from those of Briot. Though born in Switzerland, these artists really belong to the great Augsburg and Nuremberg school.

Many of the famous 15th and 16th century painters, such as Martin Schon, Israel von Mecken, and Holbein, used to supply the silver-workers with elaborate de-signs for plate. Virgil Solis of Nuremberg (1514-1562) was especially fertile in this sort of invention, and exe-cuted a large series of etchings of designs for vases, cups, ewers, tazze, and all sorts of plate.

_ _ mi _ .1 Fro. 12.— Ewer by Francois Briot, about
_____. — IhroUgtlOUt the 10 inches high. Middle of 16th cen-
Middle Ages Spain was TULT-
Eimell, London, 1862.

remarkable for its large and magnificent works in the precious metals. The cathedral of Gerona still possesses a most massive silver retable, made by a Valencian silversmith called Peter Bernec. The gold and silver altar-

frontal, a work of the 11th century, was carried off from this cathedral by the French in the present century. Another very large and beautiful piece of silver work is the throne, Northern Gothic in style, made for King Martin of Aragon, about 1400, and now preserved in Bar-celona cathedral. Till after 1500 little that is distinctively Spanish appears in the style of their silver work. At first Moorish influence, and then that of France and Germany, appear to have been paramount. It is not till the 16th century that a really Spanish school of art was developed; and the discovery of America with its rich stores of gold and silver gave an enormous impetus to this class of work. The " custodia," or tabernacle for the host, in many of the Spanish cathedrals, is a large and massive object, decorated in a very gorgeous though somewhat debased style. In spite of the plundering of the French, even now no country is so rich in ecclesiastical plate as Spain.

England. —The Celtic races of both England and Ireland appear to have possessed great wealth in gold and silver, but especially the former. It seems, however, to have been mostly used in the manufacture of personal orna-ments, such as torques, fibulae, and the like. A magni-ficent suit of gold armour, repousse with simple patterns of lines and dots, was found some years ago at Mold in Flintshire, and is now in the British Museum. The amount of gold jewellery found in Ireland during the past century has been enormous ; but, owing to the unfortunate law of " treasure-trove," by far the greater part was immediately melted down by the finders. Little of this period that can be called plate has been discovered in the British Isles,—unlike Denmark and other Scandinavian countries, where the excavation of tombs has in many cases yielded rich results in the way of massive cups, bowls, ladles, and horns of solid gold, mostly decorated with simple designs of spirals, concentric circles, or inter-laced grotesques. Others are of silver, parcel-gilt, and some have figure subjects in low relief (fig. 13). In like manner, during the Saxon period, though gold and silver jewellery was com-mon, yet little plate appears to have been made, with the exception of shrines, altar-frontals, and vessels for ecclesiastical use, of which every important church in England must have possessed a magnifi-cent stock. With regard to English secular plate, though but few early ex-amples still exist, we know from various records, such Flo


as wills and inventories, embossed gold[band; found in a Brave
1 _ -,(1 in the east of Seeland (Denmark). This
that the 14th Century was cup dates from the earlier part of the
one in which every rich lord Iron Age'


or burgher prided himself on his fine and massive collection of silver vessels ; on festive occasions this was displayed, not only on the dinner-table, but also on sideboards, arranged with tiers of steps, one above the other, so as to show off to advantage the weighty silver vases, flagons, and dishes with which it was loaded. The central object on every rich man's table was the " nef "—a large silver casket, usually (as the name suggests) in the form of a ship, and arranged to contain the host's napkin, goblet, spoon, and knife, with an assortment of spices and salt. Great sums were often spent on this large and elaborate piece of plate, e.g., one made for the duke of Anjou in the 14th century weighed
348 marks of gold. The English silversmiths of this period were highly skilled in their art, and produced objects of great beauty both in design and workmanship. One of the finest specimens of late 14th century plate which still exists is a silver cup belonging to the mayor and corporation of King's Lynn. It is graceful and chalice-like in form, skilfully chased, and decorated in a very rich and elaborate way with coloured translucent enamels (fig. 14) of ladies and youths, several with hawks on their wrists. Silver salt-cellars were among the most ela-borate pieces of plate produced

Fig. 14. Fig. 15.
FIG. 14.—Silver Cup, with translucent enamels. Probably French work of the 14th century.
FIG. 15.—Silver-gilt Salt-cellar, 14£ inches high. Given to New College, Oxford, in 1493.

during the 15th century. Several colleges at Oxford and Cambridge still possess fine specimens of these (fig. 15); the favourite shape was a kind of hour-glass form richly ornamented with spiral fluting or bosses.

But few existing specimens of English plate are older than the beginning of the 15th century. Among the few that remain the principal are two or three chalices—such as the two large gold ones found in the coffin of an archbishop of York, now used for holy communion in the cathedral, and a fine silver chalice from the church of Berwick St James, Wilts, now in the British Museum. Both this and the York chalices are devoid of ornament, but, judging from their shape, appear to be of the 12th or 13th century chalice and paten preserved at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, the gift of the founder, Bishop Fox. These have the year-mark K for

It is interesting to note the various changes of form through which the ecclesiastical chalice passed from early Christian times till the 16th century. It was at first an ordinary secular cup (fig. 16, A), with two handles classical in form, and of large capacity, because the laity as well as the clergy received the wine. The double handles were of practical use in passing the cup round like a modern " loving cup." The first alteration was the omission of the handles, so that it took the form B, with large hemi-spherical bowl, a round foot, and a knop for security in holding it. For some centuries it appears to have been the custom for the priest to hold the chalice, while the communicant sucked the wine through a silver tube or fistula." Some of the most magnificent early examples of this form of chalice have the bowl mounted in bands, set with jewels, and enriched with minute filigree work,—a design which appears to have been taken from those cups, such as the four magnificent examples in the treasury of St Mark's at Venice, which have their bowl cut out of crystal, onyx, or some other precious stone. The finest examples of this class are the Ardagh chalice, now in the Dublin Museum, and the chalice of St Remigius, in Rheims cathedral; both are most magnificent specimens of the taste and skill of 11th-century goldsmiths. C shows the next form (12th and 13th centuries). The design is simpler; there is a distinct shaft, extending above and below the knop ; and on the foot is marked a cross, not found in the earlier ones, to show which side the priest is to hold towards himself at celebration. The next alteration in the form of chalice,

FIG. 10.—Various shapes of Chalices, showing development from the earliest form.

which occurred in the 14th century, was to make the foot not circular in plan but polygonal or lobed, so that the cup might not roll when laid on its side to drain, after it had been rinsed out. It thus took the shape D, and this form lasted in most countries till about 1500, and in England till the Reformation. In countries which did not adopt the Reformed faith the shape was altered, by the general growth of the Renaissance, into a form frequently like E. But in England the change was more complete; the bowl, which in the previous two or three centuries had been slowly reduced in size, owing to the gradually introduced practice of re-fusing the wine to the laity, was suddenly made more capacious, and the form was altered to the shape F, in order that the Pro-testant "communion cup" might bear no resemblance to the old Catholic "massing chalice." This was ordered to be done in 1562, (see Arch. Jour. xxv. 44-53). The last form, G, shows the usual shape of sepulchral chalices, which, before the Reformation, were enclosed in the coffins of all ecclesiastics who had received priest's orders. These are without the knop, and were frequently made of pewter, tin, or even wax, as they were not meant for use. In some few cases a real chalice was buried with some ecclesiastic of rank, but this was exceptional.

Secular plate during the 15th and 16th centuries was very similar in style to that made in Germany, though the English silversmiths of the latter century never quite equalled the skill or artistic talent of the great Nurem-berg and Augsburg silver-workers. In the 17th century, during the reigns of James I. and Charles I., many fine pieces of plate, especially tall hanaps and tankards, were made of very graceful form and decoration. The greater part of this, and all earlier plate, especially the fine collections belonging to the universities, were melted down during the Civil War. In Charles II.'s reign returning prosperity and the increase of luxury in England caused the production of many magnificent pieces of plate, often
18th century the designs are mostly poor, and the decoration rather coarse, till the time of the classical revival which was brought about mainly by the discovery of the buried cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. A quite different style of plate then came into vogue—semi-
classical both in form and decoration, and often worked with great delicacy of treatment. A good deal of plate in this style was made under the influence of the brothers
Adam (fig. 18), distinguished architects in the second half of the 18th century. Of modern plate _ from the art point of view there is nothing to say; it is nearly always poor in design and feeble in execution.

The Assay of Gold and Silver Plate.—The primitive method of testing the purity of the
metal was by marking a streak with it on the touch-stone, and comparing the colour of the mark with that made try various pieces of gold or silver of known degrees of purity. Assay by cupellation is now employed for silver: a piece of the silver to be tested is melted with some lead in a cupel or bone-ash crucible; the lead is oxidized, and rapidly sinks into bone-ash, carrying with it any other impurities which are present. The residue of pure silver is then weighed, and by its loss

FIG. 18.—Silver Vase, 11

shows how much alloy it contained. Gold is inches high, dated 1772. now tested by an elaborate chemical process by which the trial bit is dissolved in acid, and then thrown down in the form of precipitate, which can be ex-amined by a careful quantitative analysis. See ASSAYING, GOLD, and SILVER.

The standard of purity required in the time of Edward I. was, for gold, that it should be of the " Paris touch," i.e., 19J carats out of 24. Before then 22 carats was the standard. Silver was to be " of the sterling alloy," viz., 11 oz. 2 dwts. to the pound. Except for a time during the 16th century, this standard of silver has been kept up, and is still required by law.

Hall-marks on Silver.—In the 13th century the English Guild of Gold- and Silver-smiths had grown into great importance, and had acquired monopolies and many special privileges. In order to keep the standard up to the required purity the system of requir-ing each article to be stamped with certain marks was introduced by royal command. The first of these was the King's mark—a leopard's or lion's head crowned. This was introduced in 1300 by Edward I. (29 Edw. I. stat. 3, c. 30). The second, the Maker's mark, was added in 1363 (37 Edw. III. c. 7). This might be any badge or initial chosen by the master silversmith himself. The third was the Year letter or Assayer's mark ; this was an alphabet, one letter being used for a year, counting from the day of the annual election of the warden of the Goldsmiths' Company. When one alphabet was exhausted, another with differently shaped letters was begun. The first of these series of year-letters commences in 1438. The earliest existing piece of plate which has the three marks complete is a spoon which was given by Henry VI. to Sir Ralph Pudsey ; this has the year mark for 1445. Other marks, subse-quently introduced, were the lion passant, first used in 1545 ; the lion's head erased, and a full-length figure of Britannia, used only between 1697 and 1720 ; and lastly the portrait of the reigning sovereign, which has been in use since 1784. In addition to these general hall marks, the plate made in various towns had from the year 1423 certain special provincial marks. The best work on hall-marked plate and the marks themselves, with the history of the Silversmiths' Company, is Cripps, Old English Plate, 1881. See also Cripps, Old French Plate, 1880.

The South Kensington Museum has a very fine illustrative collection of plate, from early mediaeval times downwards. It also possesses a very valuable and large assortment of electrotype copies, including the Hildesheim and a part of the Petrossa treasures, as well as a number of the best specimens of college and corporation plate. The museum handbooks on this subject by J. H. Pollen and W. Cripps are extremely useful to the student. The same department has also published a most valuable List of Works on Gold- and Silver-smiths' Works in the National Art Library, 1882.

Modern Plate in the East.—Though little plate of real artistic merit is now made in Europe, in the East, among the Moslem and Hindu races, there still survive some real taste in design and skill in execution. Delhi, Benares, Lucknow, Cutch, and other places in India and Kashmir still produce a quantity of beautiful silver and gold work,— chiefly ewers, basins, rose-water sprinklers, salvers, coffee-pots, and the like. These are of graceful form, covered with rich repoussé work, or more often with very delicate chased patterns. Their style in the main is Moslem, but some combine an Arab form with native Indian surface decoration. This class of work is not a revival, but has been practised and handed down by unbroken tradition, and with little or no change in style from the 16th century or even earlier.1 The silversmiths of Persia, Damascus, and other Eastern places are still skilful, and retain some good tradition in their designs. They are, however, more occupied in the production of personal ornaments than in making larger works of silver or gold.

THE PLATE OF CLASSICAL TIMES.—Lee, " Silver Plate found in Ithaca," Archxologia, vol. xxxiii., p. 36 sq.; Arneth, Die antiken Gold- und Silber-Monumente . . . in Wien,: 1850 ; Overbeck, Geschichte der griechischen Plastik,M ed., 1882; Müller, Handbuch der Archäologie der Kunst, Breslau. 1848; Cesnola, Antiquities of Cyprus (1873), Cyprus (1877), and Salaminia (1882); Stephani, Antiquités du Bosphore . . . Musée de l Ermitage, St Petersburg, 1854; Salzmann, Nécropole de Camiros, 1875; Schliemann, Troy (1875), Myceme (187S),and/ftos (1880); MacPherson, Antiquities of Kertch, 1857 ; Stephani, Compte-Rendu de la Commission Archéologique, St Petersburg, 1860 sq. ; Barré, Her-culaneum et Pomper, vol. vii., pl. 94 ; Quaranta, Quattordici Vasi d'Argento . . . Pompei, Naples, 1837 ; Agincouit, Storia del Arte, 1826; Viardot, " Vase Grec en Argent, &c. . . trouvés dans la Crimée," Gaz. des B. Arts, 1st series, vol. xxiv., p. 234; Darcel, Trésor de Bildesheim, 1S70; Holzer, Der Hildesheimer Silber-fund, 1870 ; also the Catalogues of the Museums of Paris, Berlin, Vienna, and Bulak (Cairo); Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 2d series, vol. ii. p. 408, vol. xii. p. 450, vol. xix. p. 105, and vol. xxv. p. 19; Daremberg, Dictionnaire des Antiquités, art. "Cœlatura" (in progress); Museo Et rusco Vat., i. pl. 63-66 (silver bowls from Csere); Gazette Archéologique, 1877, pl. 5; Longperier, Musée Napoléon III., pl. 10-11, 1864 sq.; Köhler, Mittheilungen d. deutsch. Archäol. Inst. Athens, 1882, p. 241; Koumanoudcs, 'Aôiixaioi , 1880, p. 162, and 1881, p. 309 (the last two on the gold treasure of Mycenœ).

SCANDINAVIAN AND IRISH PLATE.—Anderson, Mindelblade fra de danske Kön-gen Sämling, 1867; Danmarks, Norges, og Scerigs Historie, 1867; Atlas de l'Archéologie du Nord, 1857; Madsen, Afbildninger af Danske Oldsager, 1868-76; Worsaae, Afbildninger fra del Kongelige Museum (1854), Primeval Antiquities of Denmark (1849), "Industrial Arts of Denmark," S.K.M. Handbook (1882); Hildebrand, "Industrial Arts of Scandinavia," S.K.M., 1882 ; Stralsund, Der Goldschmuck von Hiddensoe, 1881 ; Montelius, Antiquités Suédoises, 1873-75 ; Beeves, Shrine of St Patrick's Bell, 1850 ; Wilde, Catalogue of Antiquities of Gold, Irish R. Academy Museum, 1862.

MEDIEVAL PLATE.—Abel, Vorfèvrerie mosellane au lOme Siècle, 1873-74 ; Bock, Der Reliquien-Schatz . . . zu Aachen (1860), Das heilige Köln (1858); Der Kronleuchter Kaisers Barbarossa zu Aachen (1864), Die Kleinodien des heil, römischen Reiches (1864); Cahier and Martin, Mélanges d'Archéologie,lSi7-56; Christyn, Délices des Pays-Bas, vol. ill., 1769; Clement de Ris, "Le trésor impérial de Vienne," Gaz. des B. Arts, 2d series, vol. ii. p. 209 ; Coussemaker, Orfèvrerie du XIII"" Siècle, Paris, 1861 ; Darcel. articles in Gaz. des B. Arts ('_ L'Orfèvrerie du Moyen-Age," vol. iv. p. 224, 1859 ; "La Collection Soltykoff," vol. x. p. 212, 1861; " Les trésors de Cologne," vol. ix. p. 226, 1861 ; " Le trésor de la Cathédrale de Keims," vol. xxiii. p. 98, 1881; "Les Autels de Pistoia et de Florence," vol. xxvji.); Du Sommerard, Les Arts au Moyen-Age, 1838-46; Fabre, Trésor . . . des Ducs de Savoie, 1875 ; Fleury, Trésor de la Cathédrale de Laon, 1855 ; Frisi, Memorie délia chiesa Monzese. 1774-80 ; Heider, Mittelalterliche Kunst-denkmale (1856-60), Der Altaraufsatz zu Klosterneuburg (1860); Jouy and Jacque-mart, Les gemmes et joyaux de la couronne, 1865-67 ; Jouy, " Le Reliquaire d' Orvieto," Gaz. des B. Arts, vol. xv. p. 582, 1877; King, Metal-work of the Middle Ages, 1852 ; Kratz, Der Dom zu Hildesheim, 1840 ; Linas, Orfèvrerie Mérovingienne, 1864; De Lasteyrie, Trésor de Guarrazar, Paris, 1860 ; Tarbé, Trésors des Églises de Reims, 1843 ; Aubert, Trésor de l'Abbaye dAgaune, Paris, 1872 ; Way, " Gold Crowns from Toledo, and St Fillan's Crozier," in Arch. Jour., vol. xvi., 1859 ; and "Ancient Ornaments," ibid., vol. iii.; Aus'm Weerth,Kunstdenkmäler des christ-lichen Mittelalters in den Rheinlanden, Leipsic, 1857-60; " Chalice from Donegal Abbey," Kilkenny Arch. Soc., n.s., vol. v.; Dunraven, The Ardagh Chalice, 1874; Morgan, " Leominster and Nettlecombe Chalices," Archxologia, vol. xxxv. p. 488, and vol. xlii.; Specimens of Ancient Church Plate, Oxford, 1845 ; Hertfelder, Basilica SS. Udalrici et Afras, Augsburg, 1627 ; Schaepkens, Tresor de l'Art Ancien en Belgique, 1846 ; Shaw, Dresses and Decorations of the Middle Ages (1843), and Decorative Arts of the Middle Ages (1851) ; Milner, " Mitre and Crozier of Limerick," Archxologia, vol. xvii. p. 30, and "Glastonbury Cup," vol. ii.; see also " The Pastoral Staff of Lismore," ibid., vol. xxxii. p. 360.

RENAISSANCE PLATE.—Fairholt, Lord Londesborough's Collection of Plate, 1860 ; Frampton, Gold Plate at Windsor Castle, n.d.; Catalogue of Plate, Jhc. exhibited in 1861 at Ironmongers' Hall, London, 1863-69; Richardson, Old English Mansions and their Plate (1S41-48), Drawings and Sketches of Elizabethan Plate, London, n.d.; Shaw, Ancient Plate from Oxford, 1837; Smith, "Specimens of College Plate," Cam. Ant. Soc, 1845; " L'Orfèvrerie Anglaise," Gaz. des B. Arts, vol. ix. p. 5, and vol. xvi. p. 297; Keller, " Three Silver Cups at Zurich," Arch. Jour., vol. xvi., p. 158 ; Autotypes of Italian Designs for Plate, London, 1871; Schotel, La Coupe de van Nispen, 1850; Strada. Entwürfe für Prachtgefässe in Silber und Gold, Vienna, 1869; Zeitschrift des Kunst-Gewerbe-Vereins zu München, 1871; Cerceau, Œuvre de Jacques Androuet, Paris, and Livre d'Ornements d'Orfèvrerie, Paris, n.d.; Van Loon, Histoire Métallique des Pays-Bas, Hague, 1732-37; Hirth, Formenschatz der Renaissance, Leipsic, 1877 sq.; Lessing, Die Silber-Arbeiten von Anton Eisenhoit, Berlin, 1880; Luthmer, Goldschmuck der Renaissance, Berlin, 1880; Masson, Neue Vorrisse von Sachen die auf allerlei Goldsmidts Arbeit, rfre, Augsburg, 1710; Sibmacher, Entwürfe für Goldschmiede, Nuremberg, 1879; Arneth, Die Cameen und Arbeiten des Ben. Cellini, Vienna, 1858 ; Baldus, Recueil d'Ornements, Paris, 1866 ; Quarterly Review, vol. exli. p. 353.

WORKS ON PLATE OF VARIOUS PERIODS.—Texier, Dictionnaire d Orfèvrerie, 1857; De Lasteyrie, Histoire de l'Orfèvrerie; Viollet-le-Duc, Dictionnaire du Mobilier, 1858-75 ; Jacquemart, Histoire du Mobilier, 1876 ; Labarte, .Histoire des Arts au Moyen-ge, 1864-66 ; Lacroix, Arts in the Middle Ages, 1870; Grecoand Emanuel, Arts of the Goldsmith and Jeweller, 1883 ; Wheatley and Delamotte, Art Work in Gold and Silver, 1882; Kulmer, Die Kunst des Gold-Arbeiters, &c, Weimar, 1872; Luthmer, Der Schatz des K. von Rothschild, Frankfort, 1882 sq. ; Schorn, Kunst und Gewerbe, 1874 sq.; Becker and Hefner-Alteneck, Kunstwerke und Geräthschaften, Frankfort, 1852-57 ; Catalogue of Exhibition of Works of Art at South Kensington, 1862 ; Filimoroff, Plate, Jewellery, Ac, in the Musée cTArmures at St Petersburg, Moscow, 1849 ; Cripps, Old English Plate, 1881, College and Corporation Plate, 1881, and Old French Plate, 1880 ; Ferguson, Church Plate of the Diocese of Carlisle, 1882.

DESIGNS FOR PLATE.—Giardini, Promptuarium Artis Argentarix, Rome, 1750; Holbein, Original Designs for Plate, in the Print Room, British Museum, and in the Bodleian at Oxford (the South Kensington Museum also has a fine collection of original 16th-century designs in pen and ink); Viane, Models of Silver Vases, &c, Utrecht, 17th century ; Loie, Brasiers . . . et Autres Ouvrages de Orfèvrerie, and Nouveaux dessins de guéridons, &c., Paris, n.d.; Maria, Livre de dessins de jouailîerie, &c, Paris, n.d.; Portefeuille d'ornement, Paris, 1841. (J. H. M.)


6 Archaeologia, xxx. 144-48.

1 See the valuable work by Eugene Plon, Ben. Cellini, sa vie, dec., ._Paris, 1883; also Cellini's own work, Dell' Oreficeria, 1568.
2 Shaw, Decorative Arts of the Middle Ages, 1851.
" Shaw, Dresses and Decorations of the Middle Ages, 1858.

3 See Carter, Specimens of Ancient Sculpture, etc., 1838.

3 Darcel, Trésor de Hildesheim, 1870. The number of gold and silver statues in Rome was very great. In the inscription of Ancyra, Augustus records that he melted down no less than 80 silver statues of himself, and with the money thus obtained presented " golden gifts" to the temple of Apollo Palatums. See Mon. Ancyr., ed. Mommsen, 1883.
4 For the various classical methods of working in silver and gold see METAL-WORK.
The so-called " shield of Scipio, " also in the Paris Bibliothèque, which was found in the Rhone near Avignon, is the finest example of Roman plate of the 4th century. It is not a shield, but a large silver patera, about 26 inches in diameter, with a repoussé relief representing the restora-tion of Briseis to Achilles. The composition and general design are good, but the execution is feeble and rather coarse.

The above article was written by: J. H. Middleton

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