DISCOVERIES AT POMPEII AND MYCENZ

The discoveries at Pompeii, many of the objects being now deposited in the Museum at Naples, consisted of vessels then in use, the greater part of them were very decorative, the vine leaf and the ivy ornament being general. The method of ornamenting was chiefly by hammering in repousse, the cups and similar vessels frequently having a plain metal lining, giving a smooth appearance to the interior, although the exterior was richly decorated in raised ornament. The " Encyclopcedia Britannica," describing the finds of gold and silver plate at Mycenve, says : " These early specimens are all very similar in character, graceful in shape, hammered, cast, and soldered with great skill, but with the exception of weapons and ornaments, mostly devoid of surface ornament," in that they appear to have differed from those found at Pompeii. It is interesting to note the corroborative evidence of classic writers who often confirm the opinions of modern experts who have examined the finds of ancient art. Pliny, the great writer upon much that is of importance to those who love to follow closely the ways and habits of the ancients, tells of the superiority of workmanship expended upon quite common objects then in use, and of the way in which the greatest artists of his day did not disdain to work on small objects, and to use their great skill upon things which in modern days would be made by inferior workmen, and not engraved and decorated by the best artists of the time. Economic considerations do not appear to have influenced art to its detriment then as now. Again it must be remembered that many of the best articles of plate which have been handed down to modern times from the classic period were originally made for the temples of the gods, and it is not surprising that in their manufacture the greatest skill of the artist would be expended.