GREEK VESSELS AND THEIR NAMES.

Greek vessels are very distinct in form, and of course each different type or design had its especial use, and its own particular name, just as the vessels in domestic use to-day are known by their names and forms, some of the former indicating the shape, and others the purpose, of the vessels. Some of their old names have been perpetuated in modern reproductions and in vessels of similar forms still used, but most of the replicas of Greek silver are only made now as ornaments, for their original purposes are no more. Their graceful shapes must be seen to be fully appreciated, for the beauty of classic art which characterised the paintings, sculptures and figures of Ancient Greece was just as prominent in pottery and in metal-their graceful forms cannot be represented by any pen picture. In this connection it has been pointed out by students of the art of the ancients that the metal vessels and the pottery of classic Greece were but copies of delicate silver and gold vessels of an earlier period, such metal work in its turn being copied from still older pottery of similar shapes but having very crude ornament. It is well to remember that vast numbers of the more ancient objects have been repeated many times, that is to say there were old replicas, so that the exact age or period of any special find is not easy to state. The best known forms of ancient vessels made in pottery and also in metal, of which the collector should take note, include the following. Patera, a flat bowl or saucer. Cantharus, a drinking vessel or cup with loop handles, associated with the worship of Bacchus. Lanx, a flat shallow dish of oblong shape, with orna- mental handles which are flat and projecting. Scyphus, a vessel of pointed shape resembling a funnel, probably used for wine and for similar purposes. Cyathus, a small vessel of silver or other metal used like a punch ladle for pouring wine from a larger vessel or jar into cups and goblets. It is recorded that Roman gallants in drinking to their mistresses imbibed as many cyathi of wine as there were letters in the names of their adored ones. The frequent reproduction of silver has been suggested. There is no doubt that the same metal has often been used up over again, for its peculiar ductility renders it easy to shape and remake. It is a nice point for our philosophers to decide how far the remains of ancient plate represent the original vessels into which the silver was first wrought, for in some of those which look very old, traces of still older designs may frequently be seen, for the hammering of those who have fashioned it has not always completely obliterated the graver's marks of the first makers. Genuine antiques of pure design and of authentic origin are, of course, very rare, but the accuracy of pattern can be followed in the modern replicas made from well authenticated pieces in national and private collections. In the Victoria and Albert Museum, at South Kensington, there are many replicas of famous pieces of plate. Some of these have been again reproduced by modern silversmiths and are sold openly without any deception. Thus collectors have opportunities of obtaining pieces in every way as good in quality of workmanship, and the purity of the original classic design, as the older pieces now in the safe custody of museums-and at vastly smaller cost.