Chapter 4. GREEK AND ROMAN SILVER

Table of Contents

CLASSIC DESIGN.
GREEK VESSELS AND THEIR NAMES.
ANCIENT RELICS SCATTERED.
DISCOVERIES AT POMPEII AND MYCENZ
REMAINS OF ROMAN BRITAIN

Classic design-Greek vessels and their names-Ancient relics scattered-Discoveries at Pompeii and Mycenee-Remains of Roman Britain. THE story of art during the classic period has been told often ; the threads seem to gather up naturally, and the viewpoint in each succeeding period has been focussed upon the works of the nations where classic art once flourished. These peoples, the relics of which are to be found in many places, and of a very varied nature, are, of course, the Ancient Greeks and Romans. In their several ways the artists and craftsmen of Greece and Rome wrought wonders, and in the perfection of their art styles the world had ever since had before it marvellous examples of their genius. Greece excelled in the fine arts, and in the skilful cutting of gems and precious stones, as well as in the chasing and ornamentation of gold and silver vessels. The some-what sterner Romans used vast quantities of bronze, and many of their most beautiful works of art were massive and grand. The details of every design, however, were ever kept in view, and many quite large objects were ornamented with minute scenes and exquisite designs. Much of the earlier Roman work was executed by Greek artists, hence it is that there is abundant evidence of the influences at work ; the Roman artists repeated ancient classic forms, giving full play, however, to their own ideas of the interpretation of the ornament and design favoured by the Greeks who in their turn had been influenced by the art of older peoples. There have been many kinds of ancient plate, and there have also been numerous discoveries of isolated specimens of Greek and Roman treasure, and among these are the pieces from which so many replicas have been made, and from which the goldsmiths and silversmiths of the Western nations during the last thousand years or more have drawn their best patterns and copied their forms.