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Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 805 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PLATED WARE, articles chiefly intended for table use consisting of an inferior metal or alloy covered by one of the precious metals, with the object of giving them the appearance of gold or silver. Before the introduction of electro-plating the method employed for silver-plating (the invention of which in 1742 is associated with the name of Thomas Bolsover, of Sheffield) was to fuse or burn together, by a flux of borax, a thin sheet of silver on each side of an ingot of base metal, generally copper, or German silver, which is an alloy of copper. The silver plates were firmly wired to the ingot, which was then placed in a heated furnace and brought nearly to the fusing-point of the silver. The artisan knew the exact moment to withdraw the ingot. When cold it was rolled down to a sheet, and from such sheets " silver-plated " articles were made. Articles like dish-covers were originally only silver-plated on one side, and after being worked into shape were tinned inside with pure tin. In Birmingham bar-copper was the base metal used; when bare of silver this showed blood-red. The Sheffield manufacturers, on the other hand, used shot-copper mixed with brass (an alloy of copper and zinc) in the proportion of 4 or 6 to 1. In this way they got rid of the redness of the copper and rendered it harder, and their product is the " old Sheffield plate " (q.v.) that has become famous all over the world. This method of plating rapidly declined with the introduction of the newer process of electro-plating (q.v.), by which it has been superseded. Plating with nickel is extensively used for bedsteads and other articles of upholstery, and for various parts of bicycles, steam-ships, railway carriages, &c. Steel sheets are also plated with nickel for cooking purposes, and iron is plated with brass. PLATEN-HALLERMUND, AUGUST, GRAF VON (1796-1835), German poet and dramatist, was born on the 24th of October 1796 at Ansbach, the son of the Oberforstsneister in the little principality of that name. The latter, together with other Franconian principalities, having shortly after his birth become incorporated with Bavaria, he entered the school of cadets (Kadettenhaus) in Munich, where he showed early promise of poetical talent. In 1810 he passed into the royal school of pages (konigliche Pagerie), and in 1814 was appointed lieutenant in the regiment of Bavarian life-guards. With it he took part in the short campaign in France of 1815, being in bivouac for several months near Mannheim and in the department of the Yonne. He saw no fighting, however, and returned home with his regiment towards the close of the same year. Possessed of an intense desire for study, and finding garrison life distasteful and irksome, he obtained a long leave of absence, and after a tour in Switzerland and the Bavarian Alps, entered the university of Wiirzburg in 1818 as a student of philosophy and philology. In the following year he migrated to that of Erlangen, where he sat at the feet of F. W. J. von Schelling, and became one of his most enthusiastic admirers. As a result of his Oriental studies he published a little volume of poems—Ghaselen (1821), each consisting of ten to twenty verses, in which he imitates the style of Ruckert; Lyrische Bldtter (1821); Spiegel der Hasis (1822); Vermischte Schriften (1822); and Neue Ghaselen (1823). These productions attracted the attention of eminent men of letters, among them Goethe, both by reason of their contents, which breathe the spirit of the East, and also of the purity and elegance of their form and diction. Though he was at first influenced by the school of Romanticism, and particularly by Spanish models, yet the plays written during his university life. at Erlangen, Der glaserne Pantoffel, Der Schatz des Rlzampsinit, Berengar, Treue um Treue, Der Turin mit sieben Pforten, show a clearness of plot and expression foreign to the Romantic style. His antagonism to the literature of his day became more and more pronounced, and he vented his indignation at the want of art shown by the later Romanticists, the inanity of the lyricists, and the bad taste of the so-called fate tragedies (Schicksalstragodien), in the witty " Aristophanic " comedies Die verhangnisvolle Gabel (1826) and Der romantische Oedipus (1828). The want of interest, amounting even to hostility, with which Platen's enthusiasm for the purity and dignity of poetry was received in many literary circles in Germany increased the poet's indignation and disgust. In 1826 he visited Italy, which he henceforth made his home, living at Florence, Rome and Naples. His means were slender, but, though frequently necessitous, he felt happy in the life he had chosen, that of a wandering rhapsodist." Der romantische Oedipus earned for him the bitter enmity of Karl Immermann and Heinrich Heine, and in the literary feud which ensued Heine launched the most baseless calumnies at the poet, which had the effect of prejudicing public opinion against him. But he retained many stanch admirers, who delighted in the purity of the subject matter of his productions and their beauty of form and diction. In Naples, where he formed the friendship of August Kopisch, the poet and painter, were written his last drama Die Liga von Cambrai (1833) and the delightful epic fairy-tale Die Abbassiden (1830; 1834), besides numerous lyrical poems, odes and ballads. He also essayed historical work in a fragment, Geschichten des Iionigreichs Neapel (1838), without, however, achieving any marked success. In 1832 his father died, and after an absence of eight years Platen returned to Germany for a while, and in the winter of 1832–1833 lived at Munich, where he revised the first complete edition of his poems, Gedichte (1833). In the summer of 1834 he returned to Italy, and, after living in Florence and Naples, proceeded in 1835 to Sicily. Dread of the cholera, which was at that time very prevalent, induced him to move from place to place, and in November of that year he was taken ill at Syracuse, where he died on the 5th of December 1835. Like Heine himself, Platen failed in the drama, but his odes and sonnets, to which must be added his Polenlieder (1831), in which he gives vent to his warm sympathy for the Poles in their rising against the rule of the Tsar, are in language and metre so artistically finished as to rank among the best classical poems of modern times. Platen's Gesammelte Werke were first published in one volume in 1839, and have been frequently reprinted; a convenient edition is that edited by K. Goedeke in Cotta's Bibliothek der Weltliteratur (4 vols., 1882). His Tagebuch (1796-1825), was published in its entirety by G. von Laubmann and L. von Scheffler (2 vols., 1896-1900). See J. Minckwitz, Graf Platen als Mensch and Dichter (1838); P. Besson, Platen, etude biographique et littiraire (1894); 0. Greulich, Platens Literaturkonzodien (1901); A. Fries, Platen-Forschungen (1903); and R. Unger, Platen in seinem Verha.ltnis zu Goethe (1903).
End of Article: PLATED WARE

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