CLASSIC DESIGN.

Those who are familiar with the great triumphal arches and the monuments erected in Roman Imperial days to victors and conquerors, many fragments of which remain, know how rich they were in ornament intermixed with historic rendering, illustrated by the chisel of the mason. Similar designs were aimed at by the metal workers. Architectural design has always led the way, and great works have from time to time been models from which silversmiths have gathered their best inspirations. The earlier monuments, some of which are now fragmentary, still standing in Athens and other parts of Ancient Greece, and others in national museums, have been excellent patterns for silversmiths and designers of every kind. The sphinx, the pyramids and the obelisks of Egypt in their simple grandeur have been much copied, and such monuments as the Needle of Cleopatra, now on the Thames Embankment, and Trajan's Column, a plaster cast of which may be seen at South Kensington, have served the purposes of the modeller. Classic design is, of course, that work which appears in the opinion of experts to be authoritative and of acknowledged quality ; a term very largely applied to the master-pieces of the ancients, and especially to the art treasures and expositions of design and excellence given by the craftsmen of Greece and Rome. The very general following of the styles which seem to have been given to their fellow workmen by great artists, who in their time must have stood out conspicuously for their superiority-as in some instances artists of the Middle Ages did-accounts for similarity of style in the finds of ancient plate and other art treasures. The completeness of the application of an accepted classic design is accounted for by the varied finds in which there have been many examples which when compared enable metal workers and others to produce objects ornamented with the ancient designs which are adapted to so many uses, and to such a variety of shapes. Now and then the finds of classic plate have been considerable, but often even in large hoards only a few pieces have remained perfect. A very noted discovery of Roman plate was made at Hildesheimer, in Hanover, in 1869. It contained many fine pieces as well as smaller vessels including wine cups and carriers, and salt cellars, also cooking vessels. Running throughout this treasure trove, very pronounced was the vine and ivy ornament, a classic design well known to artists. The beautiful vases of earthenware made in Greece and in the islands adjacent in the classic period have given the potter and the silver-smith of all succeeding generations form and design, and these as well as ancient silver and metal work have frequently been reproduced by modern artists, thus perpetuating the designs which classic masters first formulated. Such designs, apart from the more slavish copies: of Roman and Greek plate which had even then been made, had a marked influence upon the art of the eighteenth century. It was Wedgwood, Flaxman and other artists in clay who showed the full beauty of the classic art in minute modelling, and their exposition of it was followed by many, especially by the silversmiths of that period and later.