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NOTES OF THE MONTH.
Notes of the Month.
cene work, of which very few-åre known to exist. The back of the gauntlet closes and is fastened over the clasped fist, making it impossible for the fingers to open and foose the sword or spear-a contrivance condemned by the laws of chivalry. We further noticed": a pair of old iron fire-dogs, lent by Messrs. Longden and Co., the models of which were clearly of carved oak, for the mould had taken the grain of the wood and reproduced it in the iron.
This exhibition and the Fine Art Collection shown by the Cordwainers' Company last month, are examples of the good work that can be done by these successors of the medieval guilds, whilst the Watkin-Eiffel Tower monstrosities, lately shown by the Drapers' Company, yield evidence of the base uses to which they can descend.
THE Armourers and Braziers' Company of the City of London held an Exhibition of Art Brasswork and Arms in their Hall in Coleman Street from May 20 to 24, the primary object of the show being to encourage artistic work in metals by prizes and examples of excellent old work. It was curious to note that whereas the company in the exercise of its almost complete control over the manufacture and sale of arnis, hammered brasswork, etc., within the City used to insist on makers adding initials, none of the modern exhibits were thus identified. In the modern room the productions of the Keswick School of Industrial Arts and the Lyzwick Hall Art School of Keswick were very good in design and workmanship, and many of their exhibits were bought by the Armourers' Company. Especially noticeable was a sconce (No. 107) designed by Heywood Sumner from old Sicilian work, and executed in brass overcast with a ruddy tinge. Among the Indian collection lent by the South Kensington Museum was a beautiful specimen of cireperdu casting-the mould and the crucible combined in one piece, as shown by a mould and casting in process of manufacture-a process without such ocular demonstration almost unintelligible. The Wilkinson Sword Company lent among others a double-bladed sword, the blades inch apart, and Messrs. Barkentin and Krall a casket of unknown date, covered with an elaborately punctured and engraved layer of brass studded with large iron nails.
The Royal Military Exhibition, at Chelsea, may fairly come under the cognizance of the Antiquary, for the Battle Gallery contains relics of British battles of the past two centuries, that is from the Revolution of 1688 down to the present time. The relics, however, of the later battles, as might reasonably be expected, are far more numerous than those of the earlier engagements. General Wolfe's tortoiseshell silver-mounted snuff-box, and Sir John Moore's watch, fob-chain, and seals, are interesting mementoes of two of England's heroes. Here, too, is a still more curious relic, though not a personal one, of that memorable Peninsular retreat and victory. After the action at Corunna, Captain Fletcher commanded the rearguard, and when the troops embarked was the last to leave. As he passed through the gates the captain turned and locked them on the enemy, bringing away the keys with him. These keys of Corunna now form part part of the Chelsea Exhibition. The relics of both Wellington and Napoleon are numerous. We confess to being a little sceptical over the identity of some of the exhibits; it is not generally known that Wellington wore two cloaks (Nos. 880 and 883) on the field of Waterloo; that he proved the conqueror when thus handicapped makes the victory all the more remarkable.
One of the cases contained a "Forbidden Gauntlet " in Italian sixteenth-century, Damas
We were glad to see a letter in the Times of June, from General Pitt-Rivers, Inspector of Ancient Monuments, arguing vigorously in favour of an English Exploration Fund, and reminding Englishmen that their own country, as well as Greece, Egypt, Cyprus, and Palestine, had a history. After pointing out that England has "two buried cities, Silchester and Uriconium, nearly equal to Pompeii in interest," and mentioning the claims of Richborough, Avebury, and Stonehenge, he draws attention to the fund started by the Society of Antiquaries for the systematic exploration of Silchester, concluding: "May I ask through your columns those who are interested in archæological excavations to give assistance to that undertaking, instead of sending money for the purpose of digging up antiquities in foreign countries, which, when they are found, the Governments of those countries have generally the patriotism to keep in their own possession ?" This letter seems to have had some effect, for the Silchester fund now amounts to a considerable sum.
A question of interest to archæologists was recently asked in the House of Commons. Inquiry was made of the Home Secretary whether he was aware of the extent to which the action of the weather had corroded
Cleopatra's Needle. The reply was eminently unsatisfactory, though of course made in ambiguous terms. Mr. Matthews considered its condition "not unsatisfactory." The examination showed that the weather had only affected the hieroglyphics to the depth of of an inch, and that "in some places" the hieroglyphics were more than 2 inches deep. Granting even the literal truth of this, it is, then, admitted that the question of the total disappearance of the figures is merely a question of a few years. We always thought it a wrong to Egypt, and false to all true principles of archæology, to transport the obelisk to England. The only real way to preserve it is to transport the stone back again to its native air. If we are to keep it, it should be put under cover without delay.
Yasna, in Zend, with Pahlavi translation, transcribed in the year 1323, presented by Tamaspji Minocheherji, high priest of the Parsis at Bombay. The oldest known MS. of the Yasna is at Copenhagen, but was only completed twenty two days earlier than the MS. now in Oxford.
Rev. Greville Chester has given one hieroglyphic, one demotic, one Coptic, and two Greek ostraka, one of which is a corn account of the fifth year of the Emperor Marcus Antoninus. Rev. G. Horner has presented a leaf of a Græco-Sahidic lectionary from Upper Egypt, catalogued by Scrivener as "Eost, 299. Canon Jenkins has given
a seventeenth-century Italian MS. of the Ponteficato di Paolo IV. Caraffa. An illuminated Latin antiphoner, written at Milan in 1399, has been bought, as well as some rare printed books.
sold at Christie's.
It is an incense boat that was part of the plate of Ramsey Abbey, founded more than nine centuries ago. The incense boat is of Tudor workmanship. The double Tudor rose is found on the cover of it, so that the piece may date as far back as 1486. At each end of the boat is a carved ram's head, and the ondée ornament on which it rests is to represent the sea. The piece is thus a rebus-a silver rebus-on the name of Ramsey, though the derivation is incorrect, the final syllable meaning island, as in the well-known forms of eyot or ait. With it was sold a thurible of Edward III.'s time, discovered in Whittlesea Mere with the Ramsey boat, and thus presumably also part of the plate of the Abbey. The instances of such relics coming into the market are very rare.
With regard to the Gunning Fellowship mentioned in the last issue of the Antiquary, the following interesting particulars as to its origin are now given: In the year 1887 Dr. R. Halliday Gunning made an offer to the Council of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland of a Jubilee gift of £40 per annum, the object being "to help experts to visit other museums, collections, or materials of archæological science at home or abroad, for the purpose of special investigation and research." Dr. Gunning's generous offer was accepted by the society, and the result has been that a series of most valuable reports on the subjects in question has been obtained. The first two reports were on the contents of the local museums in different parts of Scotland by Dr. J. Anderson and Mr. G. F. Black (Proc. Soc. Ant. Scot., vol. xxii.). The third report was on the Museums of Switzerland and North Italy by Dr. Anderson; and the fourth on the archæological materials of the Culbin Sands, Morayshire. The two last were laid before the meeting of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland on May 12, and will be published in the next volume of the Proceedings. The council have decided that the funds for the next two years shall be applied to making an archæological survey of the early sculptured stones of Scotland and a complete descriptive catalogue of the same, the work having been entrusted to Mr. J. Romilly Allen, F.S.A. (Scot.).
An interesting addition to the Foljambe memorials in the parish church of Chesterfield has lately been brought to light. Within the altar-tomb of Henry and Benedicta Foljambe, a much-worn brass effigy has been found. The head-dress gives the date, and there can hardly be any doubt that it is the missing brass to Jane, wife of Thomas Foljambe, of Walton, daughter of Sir Thomas Ashton, who died in 1451; she was the mother of the above-named Henry Foljambe. We are glad to learn that Mr. Cecil G. S. Foljambe, M.P., has had this effigy fixed on a stone slab, with the following short inscription on a brass plate under the figure :
Jane, wife of Thos Foljambe of Walton Esq., daur and heir of Sir Thos Ashton Kn', 1451. The brass is now fixed against the wall of the Foljambe chapel.
Another brass is also about to be restored to its proper place. The Rev. A. S. Brooke, rector of Slingsby, has found a brass plate which was discarded from the church when it was rebuilt about twenty years ago; it used to be fixed on a large stone at the entrance of the chancel, and is much foot-worn. By the aid, however, of Dodsworth's MSS. in the Bodleian, the inscription can be deciphered, and proves to be to the memory of "Sir John Stone, person of this church and chapleyne to therle of Northumberland." He died in 1608, and the invitation to "Pray for the soull" is therefore somewhat remarkable. Mr. Brooke is about to replace this interesting plate in the church of Slingsby. oe ရက်
A curious and valuable find has recently been made in North Wales, near the residence of Mr. Pritchard Morgan, M.P., Dolgelly. Some labourers were returning from their work across an unfrequented track, when one of them perceived what appeared to be a plate embedded in the rock. After some trouble they loosened it from its resting place and carried it home, where it was found after considerable washing and scraping to be a gold plate. Upon the assumption that this was not the only article to be found, a strict search was prosecuted with the result that a vase-shaped substance was brought to light. The two pieces seem to belong to each other, and it is affirmed by experts that they are a
sacramental wafer dish and wine cup, dating back to the thirteenth century, and composed of a low-class gold, weighing altogether 46 ounces. Both of the pieces are very beautifully chased and hammered, and bear inscriptions. The metal was incrusted when found by nearly two inches of vegetable matter. Near the spot is the ancient monastery of Llanelltyd, and it is assumed that these vessels must at one time have belonged to the monks, who during the reign of Henry VIII. buried them in the place where they have just been uncovered.
At the church of Middleton, in Teesdale, there is a bell with a very curious inscription which has long baffled everybody. At last, however, it has been deciphered. Our correspondent writes: The inscription is in black letters; after a little trouble I made it out thus: "tell soulknell at his endi[n]g, and for his soul say one pater noster and one ave Ano dni, 1557." One cause of the puzzlement has been that the words one pater noster" are on a separate stamp, which is upside down. Probably this is one of the "three bells of an hundrethe weght" which William Bell," prest and p'son of middleton, in tesdaill," left to the church, and desired his "lord of Lyncoln, and doctor Watson of the colledge of Duresme," to see to the hanging in 1558. The bell-carriage is old, and probably that made out of the "xx tres" also given by the same donor to the church (Wills and Inv. of North Counties). The other two bells now in the tower are comparatively modern, one being by Samuel Smith, the well-known York founder (E), and dated 1697, and the other by Pack and Chapman, cast in 1780. The belfry is a small detached ivy-grown square building, with low pitched roof in the north-west corner of the churchyard.
The Bishop of Derby, with characteristic energy and generosity, has already brought about the adoption of a satisfactory plan for dealing with the church of St. Werburgh's, Derby, so as to provide the necessary accommodation for an increased number of worshippers, and at the same time to retain all that is of interest and value of the older parts of the fabric. Sir Arthur Blomfield, the selected architect, reported in favour of
an entirely new church, but offered an alterna tive plan by which the seventeenth-century substantial tower could be preserved. The latter scheme, we are glad to say, has been adopted with certain modifications, whereby the eighteenth-century chancel and vestry will also be preserved, so as to form a chapel of the new building. This is a highly satisfactory solution of a difficult question, and infinitely preferable to the clean sweep recommended by the architect, for the chancel has some good features, and it is a distinct advantage to leave its mural and fenestral monuments unmoved.
In connection with the interesting paper recently read by Mr. Hardy before the Society of Antiquaries, on the subject of the early appropriation of pews and seats in churches, a correspondent at Lucerne thus writes: "Visitors to the somewhat desolate cathedral of Lucerne generally visit it for the sake of listening to the fine organ, and some perhaps stop to notice the very good old ironwork of the doors, and especially of the grille of the baptistry; but very few have probably noted or studied the old coats of arms, merchants' marks, and names engraved on small plates, and affixed to the seats in various parts of the nave. These denote the appropriation of the seats. The earliest dated example seems to be 1680, but several seem to be as old as the stained panels of the windows, namely, about 1650. It is not a little remarkable, in this ancient city, to note that a considerable number of these docketed seats (for the most part single ones out of a long bench or pew) have been uninterruptedly occupied by members of the same family from the seventeenth century to the present day."
In the Antiquary for April, mention was made of the fine Elizabethan chalice of Hutton Magna, which had been alienated from the church of that village, and sold at a public auction in London. It will interest many to know that the chalice has been traced and restored to the parish. happy recovery has been effected through the kindness and good feeling of the gentleman who had bought it, and the liberality of a parishioner who gave the money for the repurchase. It is, however, a shame to think