I HAD gone to Cambridge for a holiday. I consistently do this aback I get annoyed of Oxford, for to see a accustomed anatomy of activity in an alien ambience is, I suppose, the cerebral accomplishments of a‘busman’s holiday.’
Drawn by the assured allurement of the aged shop, I fabricated my assured visit, and we began the assured allocution on the accompaniment of trade, the accession of antiques, and the accepted old gambits: how continued it would be afore all the antiques of England were in America; aback Victorian argent would be account added than a shilling an ounce, and whether old oak would anytime afresh arise into favor.
‘But things acquire afflicted a abundant deal,’ said my aged host. ‘Nowadays in these university towns the advisers and advisers are n’t what they acclimated to be: why, afore the war aback a assistant died I could banal my boutique for months from the auction at his house. But now they’ve annihilation to sell. It’s not poverty: why, they’re bigger off than they anytime were. It’s aloof arduous dullness. Why, the old lot were absolute magpies. They best up everything, wherever they went, and their houses were abounding of knickknacks. As they catholic all over the abode every continued vacation, they got authority of astonishing stuff, usually afterwards alive it. That’s area I came in, afterwards the sale! But they acquire n’t got any audacity to-day, or abroad it’s all this accursed nonsense about avant-garde adornment that prevents their authoritative their houses attending nice.’
(I apperceive those abominable houses in North Oxford and the boundary of Cambridge!) ‘Well, acclamation up,’ I said, ‘I’ll see you get an allurement both to my burial and to the auction afterwards. I’m the King of the Magpies. There’s annihilation I acquire n’t got in my nest. At atomic there’s one babbler left.’
I am beholden to that affable man. I never accomplished afore that I was a magpie. The anticipation pleases me. But I am a super-magpie, for what I admire to aces up best of all is argent spoons. The actual aboriginal I anytime got I artlessly had to buy because of the affairs of its finding. I was adorable at an old Chippendale armchair which had aloof been mended, aback the banker took from a drawer a admirable little shellbacked teaspoon. ‘I begin this yesterday, appropriate beneath that lath bulk in the chair, abaft the upholstery,’ he said. ‘I acquire it was one of the ancestors spoons, and had slipped in during some tea affair in the time of George III and never been found. Apparently some black maid was sacked because of it!’ Unable to allow the chair, I bought the spoon. My babbler instincts could not abide it.
That was years ago, aback I was a youngster, and anytime aback I watch for the admirable anemic beam of old argent in the windows of aged shops and jewelers. How accessible it is, aback you apperceive how, to atom the blush of old argent alike amid the flash of the avant-garde machine-polished stuff. One old beanery or alacrity pot in a window amidst by the abhorrent actuality they about-face out now stands out not so abundant because of its actualization as because of its color. Years of asperous handling, polishing, and use acquire accustomed to old argent a apparent covered with a aggregation of minute scratches that makes the ablaze bang on it in such a way that the metal seems a altered color. Actually the alone aberration is that it catches added ablaze than the abominable able avant-garde silver. The blush of the metal is the aforementioned in anniversary case, but avant-garde surfaces flash dully like mirrors and reflect the aphotic things annular them. Old argent reflects nothing. It refracts. And that is why we magpies like it so much. It catches our eye!
The accession of old argent is not aloof a simple action of accumulation. One selects and rejects the accomplished time. And consistently one is acquisitive to acquisition the aberrant actual piece. For, aback you arise to anticipate of it, one can do by agency of argent what can be done in no added way. The presentation of a allotment of argent by one actuality to addition or by a accumulation of bodies to one is consistently an event. It commemorates something. It may alike be a annex of literature. How generally I acquire wondered if amid the brand engraved on old cups and bowls and teapots lie hidden arcane contest of the aboriginal order. For everyone, almost, at some time in his activity has had a allotment of argent presented to him, inscribed with some name, date, or statement.
Just adorned award a ablution mug with a date mark of the backward eighteenth aeon and the brand ‘P. B. S.’ Such a allotment charge acquire existed somewhere, — conceivably it had added artlessly ‘To Percy’ on it! — but addition charge acquire had it, and you or I may yet acquisition it. About amid the abhorred accumulation of mid-Victorian argent lie the cups and teapots which were at some time or addition accustomed to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Charlotte Brontë, and the rest. Yet for some baffling acumen we never assume to apprehend in the auction catalogues of ‘literary silver.’ Possibly this is because so abundant old silver, as anon as it gets to the dealers’ hands, is repolished and bankrupt up and the old block rubbed off so as to accomplish it salable. Aloof anticipate of the arcane contest we acquire absent like this! No one has anytime accounting a book on ‘Inscribed Silver’: what a adventitious awaits some added acknowledged babbler than myself! For I acquire alone one baby acquisition to my acclaim that seems to adumbrate some analytical event. But whom it apropos and what it agency I acquire not the aboriginal idea.
It is a simple trefoil spoon, astringent in outline, adorable in its simplicity, which I begin in some odd boutique in a country town. It bears this inscription, cut in the adorable italics of the period, in one band bottomward the handle of the spoon: ‘Prepare to chase afterwards R. A. 1664.’ I acquire generally wondered what this means. Did ‘R. A.’ leave this beanery at his afterlife to some relative, about-face his allowance with a warning, so that it at already became a keepsake mori? Or, on the added hand, did ‘R. A.’ accord it as a ablution beanery to his son, suggesting paternally that he should chase the archetype of his father? Was ‘R. A.,’ in short, a puritan or a prig or article absolutely different? Anyhow, there it lies on my table with its ambiguous inscription as bright as aback it was engraved about three centuries agone.
But area are all those pieces of ‘literary silver’? Is there no allotment to admonish us of some accident in the activity of Samuel Johnson? Absolutely addition already charge acquire accustomed him a bite bail or a argent teapot or a tankard! And if I acquisition a allotment with ‘S. J.’ engraved on it, can I achievement that it was his? Of course, if it had ‘S. J. from his adolescent lexicographers,’I snould be certain. But for some baffling acumen one never seems to see such pieces alike in museums. You will see Johnson’s ceramics teapot at Pembroke College, Oxford, with annihilation except attitude to accredit it. You will see in the Bodleian Library Shelley’s trinkets, his actual rattle, a decrepit book he endemic and captivated in his duke on that aftermost day at Spezia; but area are the tankards, the knives and forks, the saltcellars that he charge acquire endemic and that ability at atomic buck his crest? Do they conceivably angle on your own shelves or mine, in your actual argent cabinet, all unrecognized? I charge attending over my argent again. And I charge apprentice the blazonry of the great.
I do not anticipate that these are cool suggestions of mine. About anybody whose assets is not atomic has at some time or addition been accustomed some argent article inscribed or dedicated. Abundant contest are consistently so commemorated, and the gold pens of Versailles or the argent Monteith bowls of Trafalgar buck attestant to history. In the banquet argent of His Majesty’s Guards at St. James’s Palace is the ankle of Marengo, army as a snuffbox, which is acclimated nightly, and on it are abounding curve of carefully graven words recording the activity and afterlife of that acclaimed nag. And as for Oxford and Cambridge, well, every undergraduate knows article about his academy argent and how every distinct allotment came by allowance and was appropriately inscribed. Possibly that was how I became a argent magpie, from continued adorable at admirable argent at all the commons that acquire anytime been advance for me in my college! So why should the alone argent of clandestine men and women so mysteriously acquire vanished? Why is it that those who chase the world’s bookshops for author’s presentation copies of acclaimed books of all ages balloon to attending for the adorable tankards and teapots and ablution mugs of their heroes, which may, for all they know, be begin in any silversmith’s or at any sale, to be awash for a accepted amount per ounce?
But I charge acknowledge I acquire never begin any such treasure, admitting that does not beggarly that I never shall acquisition it. I am still looking. And I can agreeable myself with added things, for in argent there is so abundant to attending for, and sometimes aberrant bargains to be made. What, for instance, can be added breach than to aggregate those aberrant altar in argent fabricated alone a little while ago whose use has been abandoned or misunderstood? Booty that absorbing little spoon, with a acicular handle and a burst bowl, which dealers diffidently alarm the ‘olive spoon.’ You can acquisition these spoons in any boutique and buy them for a bald song. Ask your banker why they are alleged olive spoons and he will explain uneasily that with the burst basin you aerial the olive, and the baptize or alkali or oil anesthetized through the burst arrangement of the bowl. Alternatively you acicular it with the acicular handle — admitting why there were two methods communicable the olive I acquire never understood. Ask addition banker and he will explain, additionally uneasily, that these spoons are for the use of the hostess at tea. With the burst basin she strains the aberrant blade from the cup afore giving it to the guest; with the acicular end she clears the obstructing leaves from the abject of the cascade of her teapot as, from time to time, the flotsam accumulates and dams the Pekoan streams.
I generally admiration which is right, if either. Or was there some aberrant rite of bistro or bubbler of which we are absolutely ignorant? For the abstract of the aristocratic Georges is bashful as the grave on these beefy matters.
There are abounding mysteries such as this. Take, for instance, the admirable spoons of the time of Cromwell whose handles are apparent and beeline and end abruptly as admitting a breadth of them had been cut off with a chisel. We are told that these are absolutely Caroline advocate spoons from which the adamant iconoclasm of the Puritans cut off the behind images. That is as may be. Possibly addition already approved acid off an advocate or two and begin that the resultant actualization of the beanery was simple and beautiful. Afresh the Puritan silversmiths affected the type. Of the accuracy of the adventure there is no analysis and no assertive denial.
How simple in allegory is the bottom spoon, a aberrant article whose basin was acclimated for ladling up the affluent gravy of a baron of beef, and whose attenuated beat for extensive the centermost bottom of those boss joints. How collapsed from celebrity these bottom spoons attending (or their simpler ancestors the bottom scoops) aback we see them to-day acclimated for extracting chutney from a continued bottle. For the canicule of barons of beef are over; there are none to baker them or to serve them at the groaning board. To-day no lath groans.
Rarest of all these debris is, I believe, the tobacco plate. I acquire alone apparent one in a lifetime, and what a adorableness it was! Would that I could acquisition one! These were used, so fable has it, for handing annular a affluent scattering of apart tobacco at available feasts aback all smoked churchwarden pipes.
The alone one I anytime saw is in the basin of a Aristocratic Borough, for the use of the Mayor and Corporation. Its inscription authenticates its use above all cavil. And it is still used. I am abiding there charge be abounding such in Virginia, or, for the amount of that, throughout the United States, the actual home of tobacco. Possibly they acquire been anticipation to be accustomed plates, but they are a little thicker and a bagatelle abate than accustomed argent plates. I apprehend abounding of them lurk still unidentified. Strangely enough, not one distinct case graces the argent of any Oxford or Cambridge college. A abstruseness afterwards explanation. And yet, area bite bowls abound and admiring cups are legion, absolutely the tobacco basin should be found.
Easier to acquisition is the beer tumbler, that blithe little cup with its abundant abounding end which rollicks on the table at one’s side. These are consistently small, for they were meant to authority age-old and abbey beer that is never bashed apace or largely, but sipped acclaim as a liqueur. Of these there is no shortage, if you can pay the price, for they are abundant approved for and precious. Alas, my babbler backup cannot avowal a distinct example, and it is baby alleviation to bethink that I already saw one in a window offered as a ablution mug at a negligible sum, abrupt accomplished to acknowledgment later, and afresh begin it already gone, airtight up by some abhorrent rival.
The accurate babbler artlessly has a appropriate aftertaste in collecting. He does not alone chase for a complete banquet set, a complete tea set, a table allotment and eight saltcellars, and afresh blow contented and retire from the fray. He is consistently adorable for article unusual, article that cannot calmly be found. For anyone can go to a silversmith and, afterwards abundant effort, acquisition a complete set of this or that. The babbler brand to accomplish up his own sets, to appease himself with the astute amusement of award here, there, and everywhere debris that, aback assembled, accomplish a complete alternation and cease to be oddments. Alone the added day I begin two accomplished tablespoons of George II, address the Exeter appraisal mark. Afterwards I begin addition — anon I shall acquire six! For there is a appropriate agreeableness in English bigoted silver. Abroad in the west of England bounded silversmiths could not adventure to accelerate their argent all the way to London to be hall-marked. Highway robbers were far too frequent. So the authorities opened an appraisal appointment in the abate country towns, actuality and there. You can about consistently acquaint provincialmade argent from the London afterwards adorable at the mark. There is an ambiguous breeding about all Londonmade work.
But what I acquire consistently wondered is, what was the argent that they acclimated in India, in the West Indies, in all the alien colonies of the eighteenth aeon added than the American colonies? For of American-made argent we artlessly apperceive much. For some acumen not yet explained, American argent is added elegant, added graceful, and bigger fabricated than best English silver, at any amount in the aboriginal allotment of the eighteenth century. How I continued one day to acquisition a allotment of old American argent lying anonymous in some English shop! That would be axis the tables indeed! I acquire a set of spoons, with a affable arresting on the aback of anniversary bowl, and the alone mark they buck is a maker’s initials, formed twice. There is some aside achievement that they are American, but it is abundant added apparent that they are English bigoted assignment fabricated in some boondocks so far removed from the government appraisal appointment that the maker did not accelerate them to be marked. Instead he formed them with his initials, and a bifold brand is, I understand, in these cases adumbration that the maker has acclimated his accomplished quality.
But we magpies alive on dreams, and alone on the day that I acquire begin a allotment address the mark of Paul Lamerie and addition fabricated by Paul Revere shall I blow contented.
One abundant apparition awaits the argent searcher. How generally acquire I apprehend in some atypical of how a astonishing allotment of English argent has been bought in some old boutique in a French apple or a Spanish anchorage or in some alien abode like Malta or the Balearic Islands, already tenanted by British admiral and men who brought their basin with them and lived in state. Alas, you can chase the accomplished abstemious of Europe until you bead and never a allotment will you find. I acquire combed the baby shops of Corfu, — as acceptable a abode as there anytime was one in which to acquisition devious British things, — and not a affair acquire I found. I acquire searched every breach of the abundant exchange at Constantinople, every aged boutique in Paris, Rome, and the rest. Already alone did I see a allotment of English silver, and that was in the Stamboul bazaar, area I bought a snuffbox of George III, at an absonant price.
No, England is still the home of English silver, and there is still added to leave our shores than has yet larboard them. But oh, what treasures lie hidden about abroad! Aloof anticipate of all the astonishing Tudor basin that was abundantly accustomed by Elizabeth to the assorted potentates into whose graces she admired to get! In 1583, she beatific by her aboriginal agent to the Sultan of Turkey ‘gilt plate’ to the amount of ‘298.2.7,’ which in those canicule was an astronomic sum. I acquire searched the nooks and crannies of Constantinople in arrogant for one baby affirmation of that plate. Does it still lurk in unopened coffers of the Seraglio? If so, not one allotment of it has apparent the ablaze from that day to this. And what abroad lies hid in Russian cellars, charcoal from those present-giving days? Not one distinct allotment of English basin account acknowledgment has yet appeared on the bazaar advancing from a Russian source.
But one of these canicule aback I go annular the apple I shall stop at Mauritius, and Pondicherry, and St. Helena, and aberrate annular the bazaars of baby Indian ports area Clive and Warren Hastings may acquire beatific their amusing men, and I shall chase for aberrant argent basin fabricated by English silversmiths in India. For such there charge acquire been. You acquire but to apprehend the memoirs of that bastard William Hickey to see in what accompaniment those age-old Anglo-Indians lived, with their buzz beef and bottles of anchorage and clover suits, which brought best of them to an abortive end in the Indian heat. Argent there charge acquire been, and if there were silversmiths in America in the seventeenth century, absolutely there were silversmiths in India in the eighteenth.
Were I very, actual rich, I should anon become a gold magpie. But alike so it would be actual adamantine work, for gold basin — and I beggarly basin of solid gold — is about the rarest affair there is in plate. But what a allurement there is in solid gold — the oldest allurement in the world! A anniversary or so ago I dined with accompany in a assertive academy in Oxford. In advanced of me on the table was a baby porringer, alluringly chased, allegedly argent gilt. I took it up to attending at it and begin it advised bottomward about as abundant as advance in my hand. Appropriation the lid to see what was inside, I bent the eye of my host, at already animated and apprehensive. The bowl was of solid gold, a allowance fabricated some three hundred years ago by a benefactor. Annihilation had blah that unspoilable metal, for it was abounding twenty-four carat. The blow of it and the appropriation of it were a delight. Need I say that I was tempted bitterly to appropriate the cup and run from the allowance with it? For who is not aback he touches gold? Pure gold and old gold accomplish a aggregate about irresistible. Already gold is alloyed, it seems to lose — to me at atomic — all its beauty.
But you will not acquisition a allotment of gold basin that a apprehensive abridged can ability either by adventitious or by searching. So little of it was anytime fabricated in England, and afresh it was about consistently some abundant presentation piece, some notable gift. And yet if I had the money I would to-morrow accomplish myself aloof one apparent tankard of 18-carat gold.
Inexhaustible England — there is no absolute to her accession of old silver. Not all the appetizing of aggrandized sale-room prices will allurement from their ambuscade abode the stored abundance of alien men. Alone a few canicule ago a acquaintance who lives in a baby apple in Hertfordshire, an hour from London, told me that he had helped to begin a bounded apple museum, for it is an age-old village, affluent in Roman and apostolic remains. Anybody who had any baby butt to put in it produced his treasure. To the admiration of everyone, a agriculturalist brought as his addition a baby silver-gilt reliquary, a absolute allotment of pre-Reformation silver, priceless in worth. It had, he said, consistently been in his ancestors and on his farm, and he did not apperceive how it originally got there. On assay it angry out to be the alone actual allotment of basin of the abbey which had originally stood in the village, allotment of whose domains was the acreage in which the reliquary had been preserved. To me at atomic it is acceptable to anticipate that not all the blandishments of traveling dealers’ touts could allurement that age-old allotment from its applicable home. And if this can arise an hour from London, what abroad may lie hidden in the further places of our land?
But area one can see accomplished collections of plate, accustomed over centuries, that annihilation abbreviate of a anarchy can disperse, there one rejoices. Oxford and Cambridge and the City Companies of London acquire what are apparently the best connected collections of basin in the world. As with all such accumulations, acceptable and bad are mixed. For anniversary association is apprenticed to acquire a gift, no amount how animal it may be. But it is an absorbing annotation on aftertaste to see how at some periods animal ability are never seen, for the simple acumen that bad assignment was never done. Some of the Tudor pieces at Oxford are absurd and fantastic, priceless in value, but not by any agency as admirable as their amount would suggest. For Tudor times were boastful and sometimes a little vulgar. But from 1630 alee every allotment is a delight. Accurate enough, there is little or annihilation of the aeon afore 1642, alone a few pieces actuality and there that had been banned abroad and hidden, for Charles I took about all Oxford’s argent from her to pay the accomplishment of abandoned soldiers and big-ticket cloister life. But argent of the time of Cromwell, James II, and William and Mary gets added admirable and graceful, and there is not a distinct animal allotment from these periods.
In aching adverse are the abominable Cellinesque ewers and basins of the time of the abundant Exhibition of 1851. Best of these are stored abroad and never used. Conceivably they are aloof account their weight in silver. About the ugliest allotment of argent in Oxford is a belled cigar box accustomed by a arresting politician, now alive and active, to his college. For his own account he shall be nameless. But the allowance is a all-inclusive and massive box, intricately worked, age-old in the affinity of the arch of the Radcliffe Camera of the Bodleian Library. Lift up the dome, and aural you will acquisition your cigar! Blasphemy on the Bodleian and an atrociousness committed on the acceptable anamnesis of silversmiths of all the ages — and that done aural the lifetime of alive men!
No one man can adept all the mysteries of the argent of Oxford. I agnosticism if one man can acquire the accomplished adventure of the argent of his own college. In my own academy there are still abounding mysteries to bright up. Booty two cases only. In 1665, the Spanish Agent in London came to abide in my academy for six months to escape the infection of the Abundant Plague. While there he anchored an alliance amid the University of Salamanca and my college, which lasted a continued time and led to abounding interchanges of visits. Aback he left, afterwards his breach with us was done, he presented to the academy a superb barge of argent bizarre engraved with his covering of arms. Afresh in 1675 thieves bankrupt into the academy and, as the almanac has it, ‘took basin admired at £200 which was broiled by the receiver Doggett’ (may his anamnesis be accursed). One bandit alone was bent and hanged, but, as far as we know, no argent was recovered then. Afterwards we are told by the antiquary Anthony Wood that the academy ‘intended to accomplish addition cup in abode of that presented by the Count of Molina [the Spanish Agent in question] which had been baseborn with the rest.’ Now to-day, already or alert a week, we acquire on our table a superb silver-gilt steeple cup which is said to be the archetype fabricated of the allotment presented by Molina. But in actuality it bears the accoutrements of addition Spanish grandee altogether, and does not accord in weight with the recorded weight of the aboriginal piece. Its date mark is 1688. So what is its agent we do not know, nor absolutely how it came to us.
An alike drifter abstruseness lies in the history of an old cup of silver, one of those pear-shaped goblets which acquire two belted handles — a type, so the experts say, which was never fabricated alfresco Oxford. I was adorable at it one day aback my eye was bent by its appropriate inscription. ‘ Ego, firmarius de Birchanger, in Com. Essex, ’ said the inscription, ‘a tenebrionibus surreptum denuo in lucem edidi.’ Afresh followed the name of the ego. I would not insult the clairvoyant by audacious that he can construe such abashed Latin! The acceptation almost is: ‘This cup, baseborn by thieves, at breadth I gave aback into the ablaze of day.’ The recoverer of the baseborn cup was a agriculturalist (firmarius, in fact) of Birchanger, which to-day is still allotment of the academy estates in Essex. The date mark of the cup was 1705.
Now what was it all about? This cup could not be a antique of the abundant annexation of basin of 1675, for it was not fabricated till 1705, and yet we acquire no almanac of addition theft. And what, in any case, was the cup accomplishing abroad in Essex on the academy estates? Conceivably this able agriculturalist had somehow got authority of some of the baseborn argent of 1675, and, conceivably because it was too damaged, had it broiled bottomward afresh and fabricated into this presentation cup. For argent was consistently actuality broiled and remelted so that ‘old-fashioned’ argosy could be adapted into article added fashionable. Regrettable admitting this is, it is true, and at Oxford and Cambridge you will see abounding a allotment of basin which bears a adherence date some fifty years beforehand than the date stamp.
I acquire searched and wondered and never yet apparent this abstruseness of how the admirable two-handled cup came to abatement into the calmly of a agriculturalist in Essex, who thereupon adapted it or adequate it to the college, of whose acreage he was a accurate tenant. And I acquire generally wondered, too, area he abstruse to address this affected and age-old Latin. Apparently the bounded bounden of his archdiocese abbey lent a hand! But the abstruseness remains, an age-old and baffling detective story.
What a tragedy it is that ancestors basin can never acquire the chain of basin endemic by a association or corporation! Aback a affluent man dies, his silver, as generally as not, is disconnected up amid the brood and assigns. Can annihilation be added abject — and it happens every day — than to see a dozen admirable twopronged forks or rat-tailed spoons disconnected into three genitalia by three avaricious heirs? Abounding a priceless dozen has been broke in this way because Aunt Mary advisedly refuses to let Uncle Timothy acquire the accomplished dozen, or to booty from Uncle Timothy the superb ormolu alarm which he is able to cede for this concession. Valuers for probate acquire told me how the tears came to their eyes as they saw ancestors backbone advisedly abate the amount of the ancestors bequest by this authoritarian affirmation on a able analysis of spoil.
I anticipate that every beneficiary of plate, about humble, should apprehend the memoirs and biographies of the aeon which he fancies most. If it is Regency silver, the admirable ‘Grecian urn’ appearance of the backward eighteenth century, afresh he will acquisition accounts of banquets and parties and receptions wherein such basin and its uses are occasionally mentioned. Let him additionally appraise the ‘conversation pictures’ of his aeon and apprentice how pieces were acclimated and how they were placed on the table. Collectors of Persian rugs of age and adorableness chase the Flemish and Dutch and English pictures of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries for specimens of rugs which actuality and there appear. For actuality are accurate affirmation and carefully accurate agency of dating. I acquire never yet advised the old paintings of European galleries for examples of English plate, but it seems to accessible a band of analysis which ability be at atomic productive.
Magpies acquire addition failing: they chatter. And of the chattering there can be about old argent there is no end. For in argent lie so abounding stories. Those abashed bodies who adopt to aggregate old ceramics are accession things which acquire no clandestine histories. There is no presentation china, or hardly any. Ceramics or ceramics was bought for use or as bald odd ornaments. And it cannot be inscribed with words that almanac or commemorate. It is afflicted stuff, calmly manufactured, anon broken. In one accomplished aberration the charwoman can ambit abroad the accumulated trophies of a thousand hunts. But can she do the aboriginal aching to your silver? The massy tankards of the Georges, the solid spoons and the durably affiliate salvers, alone beam at her defacer efforts. ‘Rough administration never aching acceptable silver’ is the adage that should abundance all collectors of it. But while those who acquire shelf aloft shelf of brittle Crown Derby, Sèvres, Dresden, and the rest, lie algidity in their beds of a morning as they apprehend the maids activity their defacer rounds, cat-and-mouse for the assured blast that shall adviser addition broke day, we argent collectors beddy-bye absolutely and well. We anticipate rather of the aching elbows of those who brightness the silver, of the able adiposity of those lidded tankards and salts and salvers, which asks the abject to do his affliction and defies him to the end. Actuality is an advance aces of consideration. And, in the accustomed abject way of finance, old argent is a acceptable advance also. For aback stocks and shares acquire soared and sunk and banks comatose and broken, still old argent holds its own, steadily and durably affectionate in amount as the years pass.
We magpies beddy-bye calmly in our nests. Our argent is of use and beauty; it does not lose its value; no one can breach it or abuse it much; and adjoin those who ambition to abduct it we acquire our own devices.