The very nature of church plate is inducive of exhaustive enquiry into the origin of vessels possessed. In some counties local talent and literary leisure have enabled loving records to be compiled. Alas, many counties have no such books to which their admirers may turn, others, however, have chronicled with patient care the ancient plate stowed away in vestry cupboard or vicarage safe.
Whenever these county records have been compiled it is astonishing to find how many treasures the church still possesses, although the real curio value of some of the pieces is unknown to those who possess them, and to those in whose custody they are placed. Many pieces of great beauty and extreme rarity have been found. One of the most comprehensive and painstaking works on the subject is that on " Yorkshire Church Plate," begun by the late T. M. Fallow, M.A., F.S.A., and completed by H. B. McCALL, F.S.A. This work is highly commended to the student of church plate who is anxious to compare the relative values of the different vessels used in any given locality. Not only were the clergy and custodians of the plate belonging to the numerous parishes in the city of York, and the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire requested to make returns of their plate, but the information given was followed up by personal visits by the authors of the work. The extreme value of the personal inspection by experts is apparent in the accounts given, for inaccuracies in description made in all good faith were remedied. The book is a splendid record of many years laborious research for which reliable accounts were compiled. It is a pity that such records of all the counties of England are not available.