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Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 803 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CX1. 26 in date from 177o to 1788, in the Adam style. Many of Flax-man's designs were produced in plate, among the most important being the " Shield of Achilles," in silver-gilt, at Windsor Castle. Thomas Stothard, the painter, executed several designs for gold-smith's work for Rundell and Bridge. 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 touchstone, and comparing the colour of the mark with that made by 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 the bone-ash, carrying with it any other impurities which are present. The residue of pure silver is then weighed, and by its loss shows how much alloy it contained. Gold is 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, v.'hich can be examined by a careful quantitative analysis (see ASSAYING). 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 dwt. 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 Gild 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 requiring each article to be stamped with certain marks was introduced by royal command. The first of these was the II 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 instituted 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 earliest existing piece of plate which has the three marks is the chalice (with paten, 1479-1480), at Nettlecombe, Somerset. Other marks, subsequently introduced, were the lion passant, first used in 1544; the lion's head erased; and a full-length figure of Britannia, used only between 1697 and 1719-1720; and, lastly, the portrait of the reigning sovereign, which was used from 1784 to 189o, when the duty on gold and silver plate ceased. In addition to these general hall-marks, the plate made in various provincial towns had certain special assay and hall-marks. The best work on hall-marked plate and the marks themselves, with the history of the Goldsmiths' Company, is C. J. Jackson's English Goldsmiths and their Marks (1905), where will be found illustrations of the marks found on plate wrought in Scotland and Ireland, and at English provincial gilds—York, Norwich, Exeter, Chester, Lincoln, Newcastle, Birmingham, Sheffield and other places. E. Alfred Jones's book, Old English Gold Plate (1907), illustrates and describes gold plate only. 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 repousse 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.' 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. AUTaoRITIES.—Scandinavian and Celtic Plate.—Worsaae, Primeval Antiquities of Denmark (1849); Afbildninger fra de Kongelige Museum (1854) ; " Industrial Arts of Denmark," S.K.M. Hand-book (1882) ; Atlas de l'archeologie du word (1857) ; Anderson, Mindelblade fra de danske kongers Samling (1867) ; Danmarks, Norges, og Sverigs historie (1867); Madsen, Afbildninger of danske Oldsager 1868-1876) ; Montelius, Antiquites suedoises (1873-1875) ; Stralsund, Der Goldschmuck von Hiddensoe (1881) ; Hildebrand, " Industrial Arts of Scandinavia," S.K.M. (1882); Reeves, Shrine of St Patrick's Bell (185o) ; Wilde, Catalogue of Antiquities of Gold, Royal Irish Academy (1862); Margaret Stokes, Early Christian Art in Ireland (1875); J. Romilly Allen, Celtic Art in Pagan and Christian Times (1904). Danish.—C. Nyrop, Meddelelser and dansk Guldesmedekunst (1884); Bernhard Olsen, De kjobenhavnske Guldsmedes Marker fra Tiden for Aaret, z800 (1892). Italian.—L. Caglieri, Compendio delle vite dei santi orefici ed argentieri (1727); Il Sanluario delle retiquie ossia it tesoro della basilica di S. Antonio di Padova (1851) ; " Stanziamenti e contratti per opere di oreficeria (XIV.-XV. cent.)," Perugia: R.Commissione Giornale, i. 333, iii. 206, 225 (1872-1874); Filangieri, Documenti per la storia, le arte e le industrie delle provincie napoletane (1883-1891); Antonio Pasini, Il Tesoro di San Marco, Venezia (2 vols., 1885-1886) ; " Orfevres et l'orfevrerie en Savoie," Chambery: Soc. savoisienne memoires, xxiv. 329 (1886); A. Guarneri, Esposizione di Palermo. Catalogo delta collezione di antica oreficeria ed argenteria (1891); L. Fumi, Il Sanluario del SS. Corporate net duomo di Orvieto (1896) ; Congresso eucaristico ed esposizione di arte sacra antica in Orvieto (1897); Congresso eucaristico di Venezia (1898); A. Cocchi, Les Anciens reliquaires de Santa Maria del Fiore et de San Giovanni de Florence (1903) ; O. H. Giglioli, Pistoia, nelle sue opere d'arte (1904); Catalogo generate delta mostra d'arte antica abruzzese in Chieti (1905); E. Manceri, Notizie di Sicilia, arte viii. 388 (1905); P. Piccirilli, Oreficeria medievale aquilana: due cimeli net Victoria and Albert Museum di Londra (1905) ; F. Ferrari, L'Oreficeria in Aquila 1 See Birdwood, Industrial Arts of India (188o), p. 144. (1906); S. J. A. Churchill, " The Goldsmiths of Rome under the Papal Authority," with valuable bibliography, Papers of British School at Rome, vol. iv. (1907); Catalogo delta mostra d'antica arte Umbra (Perugia, 1907) ; Corrado Ricci, Il Palazzo pubblico di Siena e la mostra d' antica arte senese. Russian, &c.—A. P. Sonzoff, an illustrated book on some Russian plate (1857-1858); A. Maskell, Russian Art and Art Objects in Russia (1884); C. de Linas, Les Origines de l'orfevrerie cloisonne; Viollet-le-Due, Art russe; Antiquities of the Russian Empire. Austrian and Hungarian.—B. Czobor and I. Szalay, Die historischen Denkmaler Ungarns (1897-1901); E. Radisics and J. Szendrei, Treasure of Hungarian Art (Hung.) (Budapest, 1897-1901); J. Mihalik, "History of Goldsmiths' work at Kassa " (Hung.), in vol. xxi. of Archaeological Proceedings of Hungarian Academy (1899); " Zur Geschichte der Wiener Gold- and Silberschmiedekunst," by E. Leisching, in Kunst and Kunsthandwerk, vii. 343 (1904) ; " Alt Troppauer Goldschmiedekunst," by E. W. Braun, in Zeitschrift fiir Geschichte ... oesterreichisch Schlesiens, i. 24 (1905); J. Hampel, Aiterthumer des friihen Mittelalters in Ungarn (Brunswick, 1907) ; Katalog der Ausstellung von alt,-oesterreichischen Goldschmiedearbeiten (Kaiser Franz Josef Museum in Troppau); A. Ilg, Wiener Schmiedewerk. German, &c.—Manuscripts (W. Jamnitzer), "Ein gar kunstlicher and wolgetzicrter Schreibtisch sampt allerhant kunstlichen silbern and vergulten newerfunden Instrumenten " (1585), col. drawings; Sibmacher, Entwurfe fur Goldschmiede (1879); R. Bergau,. Wentzel Jamnitzer (188o) ; Erzeugnisse der Silber-Schmiede Kunst aus dem 16 bis i8 Jahrh. (1883) ; Luthmer, Der Schatz des Freiherrn K. von Rothschild (2 vols., 1883-1885) ; Luthmer and Schuermann, Grossherzoglich-hessische Silberkammer (1884); C. A. von Drach, Alien Silberarbeiten in den kgl. Sammlungen zu Cassel (1888); Marc Rosenberg, Der Goldschmiede Merkzeichen (189o); J. H. Hefner-Alteneck, Deutsche Goldschmiede-werke des 16. Jahrh. (189o); Marc Rosenberg, 17 Blatt aus dem grossherzoglich sdchsischen Silberschatz im Schlosse zu Weimar (1891); Die Kunstkammer im grossherzoglichen Residenzschtosse zu Karlsruhe (1892); Siebzehn Blatt aus dem herzoglich Anhaltischen Silberschatz im Schlosse zit Dessau (1895); F. Sarre, Die berliner Goldschmiede Zunft (1895); P. Seidel, " Deux oeuvres de Wenzel Jamnitzer," Der Silber- and Goldschatz der Hohenzollern im kgl. Schlosse zu Berlin (1895); Gaz. des beaux arts, 3 S. xx. 221 (1898); Eugen von Nottbeck and W. Neumann, Geschichte u. Kunstdenkmaler der Stadt Revel (1899) ; Bernhard Olsen, De hamburgske Guldsmede Jakob Mores d. oeldres og d. yngres Arbejder for de danske Konger Frederik II. og Christian IV. (1903), (Die Arbeiten der hamburgischen Goldschmiede Jacob Mores, Vater and Sohn, fur die deinischen Konige Frederick II. and Christian IV.); J. Sembritzki, Verzeichniss in Memel vorhandener, alterer Erzeugnisse der Edelschmiedekunst (1904); H. P. Mitchell, " Two works by Wentzel Jamnitzer," Art Journal, p. 105 (1905); W. Neumann, Verzeichnis baltischer Goldschmiede, ihrer Merkzeichen and Werke (1905); E. Hintze, Die breslauer Goldschmiede (1906); E. Alfred Jones, " The gold and silver plate of W. D. von Raitenau, prince-archbishop of Salzburg, in the Pitti Palace," Connoisseur, xviii. 20 (1907) ; " The Plate of the Emperor of Germany," Connoisseur, nos. 51 and 54; Illustrated Catalogue of Early German Art (Burlington Fine Arts Club, 19o8); Richard Graul, Leipziger Gold- and Silberschmiedearbeiten des Mittelalters (1908); A. Weiss, Des Handwerk der Goldschmiede zu Augsburg bis 2681; E. von Schauss, Die Schatzkammer des bayerischen Konigshauses; " Duke of Portland's Gold Cup," Archeologia, lix. 233. French, Burgundian, &c.—J. C. Delafosse, Nouvelle iconologie historique, fol. (1771); E. Aubert, Tresor de l'abbaye de Saint-Maurice d'Agaune (1872); Mely, Le Tresor de Chartres (1886); L. Palustre et X. Barbier de Montault, Le Tresor de Treves (1886); J. D'Arbaumont et L. Marchant, Le Tresor de la Sainte-Chapelle de Dijon d'apres ses anciens inventaires (1887); C. G. Bapst, Etudes sur l'orfevrerie francaise au XVIIIe siecle, le Germain, orfevressculpteurs du Roy (1887) ; Album de l'exposition de l'art ancien au pays de Liege: orfevrerie religieuse (1888); Catalogue raisonne des pieces d'orfevrerie francaise composant la collection du marquis da Foz (a Lisbonne) (1889); L'Orfevrerie francaise a la tour de Portugal au XVIII'. siecle (1892) ; E. Miintz, Histoire de l'art pendant la Renaissance (1891); W. Cripps, Old French Plate (1893); H. Havard, Histoire de l'orfevrerie francaise (1896); Inventaire de l'orfevrerie et des joyaux de Louis I. (1903) ; E. Molinier, Un Monument d'orfevrerie francaise du XIII', siecle, Soc. des anciq. de France, p. 477 (1904) ; F. Pasquier, " Objets precieux de la maison de Foix au quinzieme siecle," Societes des beaux arts, Memoires (19o4); L. de Farcy, " Croix de la Roche-Foulques," Revue de l'art chretien, p. 337 (1905) ; J. J. Marquet de Vasselot, Catalogue raisonne de la collection Martin Le Roy (1906); Histoire de Part, ii. 988-999 (with bibliography), edited by Andre Michel (1907), &C.; A. Lefranc, 5o planches d'ancienne orfevrerie empire. Low Countries.—Van Loon, Histoire metallique des Pays-Bas (Hague, 1732-1737) ; Schaepkens, Tresor de l'art ancien en Belgique (1846); Tentoonstellung Amsterdam (illustrations), (1877); for marks on Dutch plate, see Nederlandsche Kunstbode (1879); Exposition retrospective d'objets d'art en or et en argent, Amsterdam (188o); Roddaz, L'Art ancien dl'exposition nationale belge (1882) ; Leewarden-Provincial Friesch Genootschap (1902); Catalogue of the Exhibition at Bruges (1903); Catalogue of the Exhibition at Liege (1905); J. Helbig, L'Art Mosan. Spanish.—Riano, Industrial Arts in Spain (1879) ; Davillier, L'Orfevrerie en Espagne (1879); Museo espan"ol de antiguedades (1879); Jose Villaamil y Castro (on Spanish chalices), Boletin de la sociedad espan"ola de excursiones (April, 1893) ; El Tesoro de la catedral de Santiago; H. P. Mitchell, Catalogue of the Silversmiths' Work in the .Wyndham Cook Art Collection (1905); L. Williams, Arts and Crafts of Older Spain (1907); Don Enrique de Leguina Baron de la Vega de Hoz, La Plata espanola; Gestoso, Diccionario de artifices sevillanos. American.— J. H. Buck, Old Plate (1903); American Silver (Boston, 1906); Colonial Silverware of the 17th and 28th centuries (1907); E. Alfred Jones, " Old American Silver Plate," Connoisseur (December, 1908). English.—H. Shaw, Dresses and Decorations of the Middle Ages (1843); Decorative Arts of the Middle Ages (1851); Bray, Life of Stothard (1851); Catalogue of the Antiquities and Works of Art exhibited at Ironmongers' Hall (1861); Catalogue of the Exhibition of Objects of Art, South Kensington (1862) ; W. Cripps, College and Corporation Plate (1881) ; Old English Plate (9th ed., 1906) ; R. S. Ferguson, The Old Church Plate of the Diocese of Carlisle (1882) ; Atkinson and Foster, Old Cambridge Plate (1883) ; W. A. Scott Robertson, Church Plate in Kent (1886); R. C. Hope, Church Plate in Rutland (1887); J. E. Nightingale, The Church Plate of Dorset (1889); The Church Plate of Wilts (1891); A Trollope, The Church Plate of Leicestershire (189o); F. G. Hilton Price, Handbook of London Bankers, with some account of the Early Goldsmiths (1890–1891); H. D. Ellis, The Silver Plate of the Armourers' Company (1892) ; The Silver Plate of the Merchant Taylors' Company (1892) ; ' The Plate of Christ's Hospital," Trans. of the London and Middlesex Arch. Soc. (1902, new series, vol. i., pt. 4); Sir J. Watney, The Plate of the Mercers' Company (1892) ; Rev. T. Burns, Old Scottish Communion Plate (1892); J. Starkie Gardner, English Enamels (1894); Old Silver Work, chiefly English, 15th to 28th centuries (1902); " Charles II. Silver at Welbeck," Burlington Mag. vol. vii. nos. 25 and 26; " Silver Plate of the Duke of Newcastle," Burlington Mag. vol. viii. no. 32; " Silver Plate of the Duke of Rutland," Burlington Mag. vols., viii. and ix, nos. 36 and 37; C. A. Markham, The Church Plate of the County of Northampton (1894) ; Handbook to Foreign Hall-marks (1898) ; E. H. Freshfield, The Communion Plate of the Churches in the City of London (1894); The Communion Plate of the County of London (1895); The Communion Plate of Middlesex (1897); The Communion Plate of Essex (1899); Sir W. Prideaux, Memorials of the Goldsmiths' Company (1896); L. Jewitt and W. H. St John Hope, The Corporation Plate, &'c., of England and Wales (1895) ; W. Chaffers, Gilda Aurifabrorum (1896); Hall Marks on Gold and Silver Plate (1905); Cyril Davenport, The English Regalia (1897); Haslewood, Church Plate of Suffolk (1897); G. E. Halliday, Llandaff Church Plate (1901); A. Butler, " The Old English Silver of the Innholders' Company," Connoisseur (1901), i. 236; " The Old English Silver of the Skinners' Company," Connoisseur (1903), V. 201, vi. 33 Percy McQuoid, " The Plate of Winchester College," Burlington Mag. (1903) ii. 149; " Evolution in English Plate," Burlington 11/lag. (1903) i. 167, 359; The History of English Furniture (1904, &c.); Stanhope and Moffatt, The Church Plate of the County of Hereford, (1903); Guide to the Early Christian .and Byzantine Antiquities, British Museum (1903); General Guide to the Art Collections (Gold and Silver), Science and Art Museum, Dublin (1903) ; Montague Howard, Old London Silver (1903) ; E. Radford, " The Church Plate of St Lawrence Jewry," Connoisseur (1904), viii. 72; H. F. N. Jourdain, History of the Mess Plate of the 88th Regiment (1904); T. M. Fallow, " Yorkshire Plate and Goldsmiths," Journal of Arch. Inst. of Great Britain (1904), lxi. 74; J. T. Evans, The Church Plate of Pembrokeshire (1905); The Church Plate of Gloucestershire 0906); The Church Plate of Carmarthenshire (1908) ; C. H. Ashdown, Notes on the Corporation Plate and Insignia of the City of St Alban (1905); H. C. Casley, " An Ipswich Worker of Elizabethan Church Plate," Suffolk Inst. of Arch. and Nat. Hist. (1905) vol. xii. pt. 2; F. Guy Laking, The Furniture of Windsor Castle (1905); H. C. Moffatt, Old Oxford Plate (1906); J. W. Caldicott, The Values of Old English Silver and Sheffield Plate (1906); E. Alfred Jones, " The Old Silver Sacramental Vessels of English Nonconformity," Mag. of Fine Arts (1906), i. 28o, 371; The Church Plate of the Diocese of Bangor (1906); The Old Church Plate of the Isle of Man (1907); The Old Silver Sacramental Vessels of Foreign Protestant Churches in England (1907); Old English Gold Plate (1907) ; Illustrated Catalogue of Leopold de Rothschild's Collection of Plate (1907) ; Two Illustrated Catalogues of J. Pierpont Morgan's Collection of Plate (1907–1908) ; Old Plate at the Dublin Exhibition, 1907," Connoisseur (Dec. 1907); " English Plate at the Church Congress, Great Yarmouth," Burlington Mag. vol. xii. no. 57 (Dec. 1907) ; The Old Plate at the Tower of London (1908) ; " The Civic Plate, Regalia, &c., of the Norfolk Boroughs," Memorials of Old Norfolk (1908); The Old English Plate of the Czar of Russia (1909) ; The Old Plate of the Cambridge Colleges (1909) ; " Some Old Plate in the possession of Lord Mostyn," Burlington Mag. ; " The Plate of Jesus College, Oxford," Y Cymmrodor, vol. xvii. ; Guide to the Medieval Room, British Museum 9o7); Nelson Dawson, Goldsmiths' and Silversmiths' Work (1907);T. S. Ball, Chester Church Plate (1908); R. H. Cocks, Concerning some Treasures of the Vintners' Company; Hope and Fallow, " English Medieval Chalices and Patens," Arch. Journal, xliii. 14o; C. J. Jackson, " The Spoon and its History," Archaeologic, vol. liii. ; G. R. French, " The Plate of the Vintners' Company," London and Middlesex Arch. Soc. Trans. vol. iii. ; " The Plate of the Mercers' Company," London and Middlesex Arch. Soc. Trans. vol. iv.; J. G. Nichols, " The Plate of the Stationers' Company," London and Middlesex Arch. Soc. Trans. vol. ii.; Article on " Drinking and other Horns," in Chester Arch. Soc. Journal, new series, vol. xi.; Somerset Arch. Soc. xlv. 2; Oxfordshire Arch. Soc. Proc. vols. xxvi., xxiv. ; Norfolk Archaeology. Designs, &c.—J. Giardini, zoo Designs for Silversmiths' Work, (pub. in Rome, 1750) ; A. W. Pugin, Designs for Gold- and Silversmiths, (1836); Andronet du Cerceau, Ornemens d'orfevrerie propres pour flanquer et emailler: nouveau livre d'ornemens d'orfevrerie (pub. Paris, c. 166o, London, '888); H. Bouchot, Cent modeles inedils de lorfevrerie francaise des 17' et 18' siecles executes par les orfevressculpteurs royaux Nic. de Launay, J. J. Roettiers, T. Germain, F. T. Germain et reproduits d'apres les dessins originaux de la bibliotheque nat. (1888) ; Le Cabinet des estampes de la bibliotheque nationale (1895); Reproductions of Paul Flindt's designs for gold-smiths' work, published 1888; Reproductions d'anciennes gravures d'orfevrerie hollandaise (1892–1900); Collection of illustrations entitled Die Schatzkammer des Bayer-Konigshauses (1902). For an account of the original drawings for silversmiths' work in the museum at Basle see Jahrbiicher der kgl. preuss. Kunstsammlungen (1905); Illustrated reproductions of goldsmiths' designs by the Dutch silversmith, Adam Vianen; Etienne Delaune (1519–1583), Reproductions of his goldsmiths' ornaments, Paris; J. F. Forty, Oeuvres d'orfevrerie a l'usage des eglises; J. C. Reiff. (18 Jahrh.), 4 Blatt sehr schone Zierrathen fur Goldschmiede, &c.; Giardini, Promptuarium artis argentariae (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 cent.) ; Loie, Brasiers. . . et autres ouvrages de orfevrerie, and Nouveaux dessins de gueridons, &c. (Paris, n.d.); Maria, Livre de dessins de jouaillerie, &c. (Paris, n.d.); Portefeuille d'ornement (Paris, 1841).
End of Article: CX1

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