« PreviousContinue »
they found the camp, which, though very high above sea-level, is in a hollow, soaked with water like a peat-bog; any excavations would have been at once drowned out, while heavy and blinding rain-squalls were ever sweeping over its exposed area. Under these circumstances it was decided to abandon operations for this year, and to try and make a systematic start early next spring. The exposed situation and its remoteness from habitations render the undertaking difficult, and the daily getting to and fro will take up much time; it will probably be expedient to form some sort of camp or shelter.
We are pleased to be able to say that the movement, which we mentioned in our April number, to rescue from destruction Tullie House, Carlisle, has been successful; the house has been purchased by public subscription, and presented to the town on condition of adopting the Free Libraries Act. This was done unanimously at a large meeting of ratepayers, and the matter is now in the hands of the Corporation of Carlisle, who propose to utilize Tullie House as a museum, and to build in its ample grounds accommodation for a free library, school of art, picture gallery, etc. So soon as the museum is ready for their reception, Mr. Robert Ferguson, F.S.A., of Morton, will present to the town his invaluable collection of pre-historic, Roman, and other antiquities, found in Cumberland and Westmorland, and now at his residence at Morton. Other people will probably follow this generous example.
The Newcastle Society of Antiquaries has lost through death another distinguished member, at the ripe age of 73. Mr. Robert Spence, banker, was a courteous, charitable, and well-known member of the Society of Friends.
As an antiquary he was a diligent and discriminating collector of coins, engravings, autographs, and rare books. His residence at North Shields is described as "a very museum." His extensive collection of manuscripts included, among others of special value, many original writings of George Fox, the founder of the Quakers.
Further church wall-paintings have been just brought to light in Cornwall at the church of
Linkinhorne, near Collington. The Western Morning News says that in peeling off the layers of white lime from the south wall, portions of texts, in old black letters, surrounded by scrolls, were noticed, and below these again indications of coloured figures; and on a careful and complete removal of these outer surfaces a life-size figure of our Lord was disclosed, with groups of smaller figures at each side and beneath His feet, representing the seven acts of mercy-to give food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, clothing to the naked, harbour to the homeless, to visit the sick, to minister to prisoners, to "berry (the) ded." The groups with the words on labels above are imperfect, and have not yet been fully identified. act of clothing and that of visiting prisoners seem to be included in one picture. legends appear to be all in English. The dispenser of mercy in every act (excepting the last, in which a priest with a tonsure appears) is a woman in the dress of an abbess, with a peculiar bag at her waist, sometimes called a "gipsy bag." The figure of our Lord, under a canopy or tent, against a diapered background, is finely outlined. He is represented with a nimbus (enclosing a cross) surrounding His head, and with wounded side, hands, and feet. His bleeding hands are uplifted as if in blessing (“Ye have done it unto Me"), and the symbolical treatment of the subject throughout is of much interest. The fresco (for such, no doubt, it is, although executed on only a thin coat of plaster, and in a manner very different from Italian frescoes) is probably only one of a series which occupied the spaces between the door and window openings of the south aisle; indeed, further west is a portion of another painting, the subject of which has not yet been made out, and which was covered by the post-Reformation lettering alluded to. The words "King James" probably fix the exact period of this latter treatment. There can be little doubt that the frescoes are of the same date as the aisle itself (circa 1380), and that they are on the original plastered surfaces of the masonry.
Oxford, with reference to Silchester as possessing the only Roman forum to be seen in Britain, which was quoted in the last number of the Antiquary. He points out that every pilgrim to the Wall well knows the fine forum at Chesters (Cilurnum), which, with all its adjuncts, has been open for many years. Moreover, in 1874-5, the forum of South Shields was laid bare, and is now open to everyone visiting the station. This latter is not so large as the Chesters forum, but has like it the curia, etc., or rather the remains of them.
Peterborough Cathedral is to be re-opened with much ceremony, after the long process of restoration, on October 14. In the November issue of the Antiquary we hope that an analysis of the important work accomplished will be given by the competent pen of the able supervisor, Mr. J. T. Irvine. The love of notoriety and of cheap fame for very small deeds has been much on the increase of late years. These unworthy desires have been much pandered to by the builders of Nonconforming chapels, who are ready to supply as many inscribed "foundation stones" as there are Browns, Joneses, and Robinsons to find
It is melancholy to note that this same catch-penny expedient has now reached even to our historic cathedrals. At the last meeting of the executive committee of the Peterborough Cathedral restoration, it was agreed, "Mr. Pearson having been consulted, that the names of the donors of the honorary canons' stalls should be placed on the misereres." And yet the total cost of all these stalls is only £125! It is a little comfort that these names will be out of sight, but we should like just to hear the robust Bishop of Peterborough speak out his mind for five. minutes on this subject.
lish one is that of Elizabeth Pindar, 1608, of which an example remains in the British Museum. Among other notable ex-libris are those of Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford, with seventeen quarterings; Matthew Prior; Laurence Sterne; David Garrick; Horace Walpole; John Wilkes; and Robert Bloomfield. The taste for ex-libris plates has pleasantly revived of late years, many of our best known men and women of letters having book-plates that often show much originality and careful design. Some of the most charming that we have seen are those designed by that rising young artist, Mr. Leslie Brooke.
The second International Folk-lore Congress, under the presidency of Mr. Andrew Lang, is to be held in London in September, 1891. It is proposed at this conference to
constitute an International Folk-lore Council. The first list of nominations to this council is a thoroughly catholic one, including wellknown names of distinguished "folk-lorists" Irish, French, Danish, Portuguese, German, (a term of their own coining) of English, Russian, American, and Anglo-Indian nationality. Mr. G. L. Gomme, F.S.A., is the chairman of the organizing committee of the congress.
Mr. Morgan S. Williams, of Aberpergwm, "In Notes of the Neath, writes to us : Month' of April's issue of the Antiquary mention is made of an old English silver teapot, exhibited at the meeting of the Leicestershire Architectural and Archæological Society, with date mark 1691, that being six years earlier than the earliest teapot mentioned by Mr. Cripps in his Old English Plate. I thought it might interest some of your readers to know of one still earlier, which I have, with London hall-mark and date 1682."
commanders (naval and military), and the representatives of art, literature, and science. The period is particularly rich with eminent statesmen and commanders, commencing with Marlborough (who died in 1772), Prince Eugene, Stanhope, Bolingbroke, Harley (Earl of Oxford), the Walpoles, the Pelhams, Chatham, Wolfe, Clive, Anson, Rodney, Pitt, Fox, Burke, Sheridan, Perceval, Sir John Moore, Keppel, Duncan, Nelson, and concluding with Wellington. In literature we find the names of Addison, Pope, Johnson, Swift, Chesterfield, Defoe, Goldsmith, Cowper, Burns, Hume, Gibbon, Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Byron, and Scott; in music and the drama those of Handel, Haydn, Boyce, Arne, Burney, Garrick, Colley Cibber, Foote, Quin, Macklin, Kemble, and Mrs. Siddons; and among men of science Newton, Halley, Macclesfield, Herschel, Hunter, Watt, Davy, and many others. The committee are confident that it will be possible to bring together one of the most remarkable and instructive series of portraits of public characters ever displayed; and they feel, moreover, that the artistic success of the exhibition will be assured by the presence of the works of such eminent men (besides those already named) as Kneller, Thornhill, Ramsay, Raeburn, West, Flaxman, Lawrence, Cosway, and Wedgwood. It will further comprise miniatures, prints, drawings, books, manuscripts (including autographs), embroideries, plate, porcelain, coins and medals, seals, and personal relics.
A portion of the old silk mill at Derby has collapsed. The Corporation have now condemned the whole structure. This is unfortunate; but it would be hard to blame them, for the building is in so dangerous a condition that without great expense it cannot possibly be repaired. The whole of one side has been shored up for some time past. This is the mill erected on an island in the Derwent by John Lombe, in 1718. It was the first successful silk mill in England. Lombe succeeded in bringing over from Italy models of the machinery in use in that country, which had hitherto been kept a secret.
recently been explored. Much ancient pottery had been found round about it previously, and considerable hopes of a "find" were entertained. The mound, on having its true inwardness disclosed, has been found to consist of a very large mass of stones piled to a height of fully 30 feet. After a deep, broad trench had been driven into the western side of the structure, "a neatly-formed stone cist was discovered, and on the freestone cover being removed a cinerary urn was exposed to view, containing bones and wood ashes. The cist was 2 feet long, by 18 inches in breadth, and 15 inches in depth. It is composed of four flat and carefully-dressed stones set on edge, and it seemed to have been carefully puddled above and below with clay. It was found at a depth of about three feet below the surface of the mound. The urn, which is quite entire, is remarkably perfect in shape, formed of a bluish clay common to the district, and is entirely covered outside with the usual rude ornamentation. It is 5 inches in height, 20 inches in circumference at its greatest girth, tapering to 9 inches at its base. The bones in the urn were much decayed, consisting only of a few tiny fragments-even the teeth being so soft that they crumbled on being touched, thus testifying to the remote antiquity of the deposit." Still further exploration is projected, and it may be hoped that Harelaw has still other secrets in its keeping to reward the archaeologist.
Our contemporary, the Reliquary, has recently stated that the Llanelltyd chalice and paten "would find their proper resting-place in the national collection in Bloomsbury." Welsh archeologists will be grieved at the proposed removal of these interesting relics to the British Museum. Surely they would find a fitting place beside that valuable manuscript, the "Liber Pontificalis Domini Aniani Bangoriensis Episcopi" (A.D. 1268-1306), in Bangor Cathedral Library? If it be true that the date of the chalice and paten is not later than 1300, Bishop Anian's pontifical is contemporaneous. This plate would be consecrated according to the "Use of Bangor," and it is interesting that after the lapse of five centuries plate and book should thus be reunited. We hope that it is not too late for their reunion to be maintained. If these
A point of exceptional interest which was
The Speaker, in a recent speech at Leaming-
have believed they were trying to hoax him. What he found was a well-preserved hardboiled egg! Lying near it was a little vase and a spoon. The egg was encased with clay. Mr. Bellows was unable to hand the egg round for inspection, because after it had been exposed to the air for an hour or so it faded away before his eyes into a pale dust; but he was confident that it was an egg, boiled in the officers' quarters of the Roman garrison, and said that when he found it it was in a wonderful state of preservation. The egg-spoon had not faded away, and he handed it round for inspection." This preservation of an unfossilized egg for fifteen centuries does really require rather a large swallow.
mace of the House of Commons, with the Motes of the Month (Foreign). result that the special authority on historic insignia, Mr. W. H. St. John Hope, contributed a valuable letter to the Times on August 28 which thus concludes: "I have little doubt that the shaft of the mace belongs to the one made by him in 1649, as it is quite possible that the old head and foot were recast to form the new head and foot of 1660. So far from the famous 'bauble
having been lost, it may be said to be, to all intents and purposes, still borne before the Speaker of the House of Commons." This subject will probably be treated of in detail in a subsequent issue of the Antiquary.
A sceptic has been generously defined as one who is yet undecided as to what is true." With all possible respect to that able Roman archæologist, Mr. John Bellows, of Gloucester, may we venture to say that we are sceptical, in the above sense, with regard to a most astonishing statement made by that gentleman to the members of the Royal Archæological Institute at their recent meeting at Gloucester ? He was describing a kitchen waste-heap uncovered outside the prætorium of the old Roman garrison. "It was on this heap," says the Gloucester Journal, "that Mr. Bellows had made the startling discovery. He made it himself, he said; if the navvies had told him of it he should
Two important discoveries have occurred in carrying on the works for laying out on a new plan the city of Rome. In the quarter of the recently obliterated villa Ludovisi, an ancient fountain in Greek marble has come to light, similar to two others which may be seen in the so-called lapidary gallery of the Vatican Museum. It is formed of two square basins, placed one above the other, the upper and smaller basin having a niche in the middle of each of its four sides, and above this niche a vase in the shape of an olla, from which the water ran in one stream over steps into the larger basin below. The fountain, which was not large, was surrounded by a marble grating, of which fragments have been found.
three mètres depth beneath the actual level of the soil in a good state of preservation. * *
At Treviglio, in Lombardy, in digging foundations under an old wall, about one mètre deep, was found a jar full of fine mediæval coins. They number several thousands, and belong to the Dukes of Milan, and the Imperial Vicars Barnabó, Barnabó Galeazzo, and Galeazzo Visconti.
The Italian Minister of Public Instruction has despatched a mission to Locri, in Magna Græcia, to draw up a topographical and archæological plan of the whole site of this ancient Greek settlement. Meanwhile, the sculptures found here by Dr. Orsi last winter have been put together in the National Museum at Naples. Dr. Orsi-whose name will be henceforth connected with his discovery this year at Locri of the two Greek temples, built by the Greeks on Italian soil, one prehistoric, the other dating from the best period -has returned to his post as director of the museum at Syracuse, where he is exploring the prehistoric burial-places of the neighbourhood. He has already made discoveries of some importance in this branch, sufficient to throw light on the hitherto unsolved problem of the aboriginal inhabitants of Sicily. these excavations and discoveries connected with ancient Sicilian sepulchral rites he will shortly publish a full and detailed account. Excavations at Locri will be resumed later in the season.
At Smyrna a discovery has been made near the Konák (Governor's palace) of some marble columns, of a mosaic pavement, and of two headless statues. It is reported that excavations will be made here in consequence.
At Athens the Archæological Society has undertaken excavations at the Dipylon, namely, outside the ancient Peribolos of the city, where stood the Necropolis. On August 4 work began on the east side, behind the monument of Dionysios. The principal discovery, so far, is that of a monument of a good period, about two mètres high, having the figure of a woman richly clothed carved in relief. The preliminary operations from May 9 to July 28 were remarkable for
nothing but the unearthing of considerable remains of ancient walls, one of which was built in great part of poros stone in equal courses (opus isodomon), and of some tombs formed of terra-cotta tiles, containing only bones and rude unfigured pottery. Roman sepulchral cippi with inscriptions were found at the same time, four belonging to men and two to women. In one of the tombs was found a Roman coin, which served as Charon's obolus. The excavations, which are under the direction of Prof. Mylonas, will include the whole cemetery around and under the modern church of the Holy Trinity.
A member of the council of the Greek
Archæological Society, having just made a tour of inspection in the Peloponnesus, writes from Athens, under date August 24, that at Licosura, where the colossal statue of the Despoina was recently found in fragments, the excavations still continue under Mr. Lacudia at the expense of the Government. They have now revealed the whole plan of the temple, and also of the portico mentioned by Pausanias. At Megalopolis, he thinks, the British School cannot continue their excavations and bring them to a successful issue without greater means than they have hitherto had at their disposal, as the work has proved to be very expensive.
Meanwhile, the Greek Society is pushing on its excavations at Mycenæ, under Mr. Tzountas; and of the temple of Amphiaraus, at Oropus, under Mr. Leonardo. Moreover, it has sent Mr. Staïs to Rhammus to open out the foundations of the temple there a work of great importance. In a short time the Society will begin excavating on the Acropolis of Tanagra and its neighbourhood. It is impossible, however, as yet to say for what purpose served the double portico of Roman times, of which so many columns of Hymettan marble have recently been found in situ during the excavations made by the Society in Athens, between the clock of Andromikos