CUPS OF MANY KINDS

There are, indeed, cups of many kinds. The " home connoisseur " finds in the family plate chest cups which have been won as prizes in the hunting field-they have been taken in open competition and are justly valued by their owners ; others have been given for services rendered, or to mark some auspicious occasion, most of them bearing appropriate inscriptions. Sometimes such cups deceive the amateur as when given and inscribed they have not been new ; indeed, it often happens that many valuable finds have until their hall-marks have been examined by an expert been regarded as comparatively modern, because of the date on the inscription, that of the earlier date of the hall-mark being over-looked. In the sale rooms one often meets with curiously shaped cups which could not have been fashioned because of their usefulness for any particular purpose. Some are like the quaint jugs and teapots of former days, very unsuitable for drinking from. There is the curious Pea-hen cup at Skinner's Hall which may be instanced as an ancient fanciful cup which could never have served any useful purpose. It is shaped like a pea-hen with her two chicks on a stand at her feet. Some of the replicas of ancient cups are very graceful but not very serviceable in roystering days. Such, for instance, the tazze of Greek-like form with high baluster stems which have their modern counterparts in champagne glasses. It must not be assumed that replicas are to be despised, far from it ; indeed it is to the skill of the modern silversmith that we are indebted for the hand-some silver models of celebrated examples of ancient art which can be seen in museums and art galleries. A visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum at South Kensington, is fraught with pleasure and instruction. There are many cases full of replicas of plate, the originals of which are stored in many countries, presenting a diversified selection of the silversmith's art. Cups have often been chosen for presentation purposes, and silversmiths of all ages have vied with one another in their decoration. Of cups and drinking vessels there is no end. The silversmiths are busy fashioning cups ; they have plied their trade for centuries and have made plain and useful cups for general use, they have modelled cups for special purposes, and they have always been ready to design exceptional pieces to mark special events. The results of their labours in all ages have been remarkable, and relics of the silversmiths' skill are obtainable in the sale rooms, in museums and in private collections. The art of the silversmith is as good as ever, and always ready to produce appropriate gifts and souvenirs. In concluding this chapter it seems fitting to mention that the gift of cups continues, and that many of these presentations are curios in the making, some being likely in the future to become relics of great historic value. One of these-a gift of quite recent days-is an excellent example of the modern silversmith's art. It was presented to Dr. Harriss, who so ably conducted the Empire Choir on their tours. The presentation was made on the greatest day of modern times-Peace Day-and the loving cup presented to Dr. Harriss by Viscount Campden, on behalf of the Empire Choir, bears the inscription : " Empire Choir to Dr. Charles Harriss. A memento from the Chorus of Victory, Peace and Thanksgiving. London, 1919." That cup tells of wondrous sights, and of a day that had no precedent. In Hyde Park were assembled upwards of 200,000 persons, and in their chorus of praise they were led by a choir of 10,000 voices, each one following the baton of the great conductor who through a megaphone led them in many impressive pieces, and in that special hymn, " Rejoice to-day with one accord," a hymn of great rejoicing, followed by " God bless the Prince of Wales." England's future king has won the hearts of the people, and that cup into whosoever hands it may fall in the future will remind them of that great day, and of all that it meant to those whose feelings had been pent up for five long years. It will recall too, the great procession, and tell of those field-marshals and admirals of England and of France, who with their generals and commanders and men saluted the Cenotaph raised in Whitehall in memory of the " Glorious Dead," and of those armies who have fought and won a great peace during which the craftsmen of this and other nations can return to the arts of Peace.