CURIOS OF THE CHURCHES

Of the sundry silver appointments and furniture of the churches and of official ornaments, emblems and staves of office much might be written but they, like the church plate, are not collectable. For instance, St. Dunstan's, in Fleet Street, there is a large hour-glass in a silver frame and massive silver-headed staves. At St. Matthew's, Bethnal Green, there is a curious old staff in silver used by the beadle, representing the legend of the Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green and his daughter-the date of this curious stave is 1669. There are some who make collections of the heads of staves both ecclesiastic and civic ; their study is interesting, but it is the things which have mystic meanings and are closely allied to the church which interest enquirers into church furnishings most. There is something very interesting in a visit to several of the London Churches for although it is not often that plate is on view there are other curiosities which remind us of earlier times and ancient customs. Even in beautiful stained glass windows remind us of the plate which

The chrismatory, a receptacle for consecrated oils is seen sometimes among old church relics. There are also many curios, and spoons and decorative objects of minor importance. In this connection it may be pointed out that many of the smaller vessels found among old family silver are suspiciously like other pieces known to have been made for church use -even a fine silver dish ornamenting a sideboard may at one time have been used as an alms-dish, and the silver cup about which there is no family history not infrequently shows from its symbolic ornament that it was originally designed for use in the most sacred rite of the Christian church.