AFTER THE RESTORATION

The chief landmark in the history of royal plate is, of course, the Restoration, just as the downfall of royalist dreams and the insignia and emblems in plate and jewels had been after the Civil War and the overthrow of the monarchy. Englishmen, however, returned to their ancient faith in kings and welcomed Charles II as representing the royal house descended from a long line going back to Saxon days when conditions were very different from those existing in modern times. The first efforts of the silversmith of the new regime were directed towards the reproduction of the plate which had been destroyed during the Commonwealth. Most of the new regalia was made by Sir Robert Vyner in 1662. The " Crown Jewels " now shown at the Tower and used and worn on state occasions by the king are all replicas or pieces made after the Restoration. Some doubt exists about one small article of great historic interest-the spoon used at the Coronation ceremony for the anointing of the sovereign, this being, according to tradition, the ancient spoon formerly owned by Saxon monarchs. These wonderful and curious symbols of royalty may be briefly named as follows :-the crown of state, in which are many historic jewels ; St. Edward's staff ; a sceptre surmounted by a dove ; another sceptre with a cross ; the orb or globe, also surmounted with a cross ; a pair of spurs ; two armillas ; an ampulla, and the anointing spoon. To these must be added crowns and coronets of queen consorts and the large salt cellars, many of them of later date. The array of regalia is well cared for, and although the additions are not numerous, the interest in it is well maintained by its careful upkeep and occasional ceremonial use. The stores of royal plate at the different palaces include many rare pieces, some dating from the days of Charles II, and many cups and salts from still earlier days, for even at the great demolition of silver at various periods of necessity, some few pieces escaped, either by accident or owing to the connivance of royalists, some of whom were perhaps connoisseurs of art of no mean order, and perchance collectors who preserved such relics by hiding them or transferring them to safer custody. The numerous pieces of large plate coming to us from the days of Charles II, tell of the luxuries of that age, of court frivolity and royal licentiousness. Evelyn, telling of the gorgeous furnishings of the apartments of court mistresses, describes the Duchess of Cleveland's rooms. He says there were " great vases of wrought plate, table stands, chimney furniture, sconces, branches, brasenas, etc., all of massy silver."