In the opinion of many, nothing is really more satisfactory than the very simple method of using two vases, one placed inside the other. This often proves a failure, because the one inside is not sufficiently heavy at the base, and tips over in an exasperating fashion when the flowers are put into it. For this reason, a tumbler is quite useless. If a good shape is chosen of the same coloured glass as the outer bowl, whether green or white, it will not show at all, and will greatly facilitate the arrangement of the flowers. Moreover, they can then be very quickly rearranged, as for the centre vase a handful of flowers can be taken up and put in together. They will fall naturally and gracefully towards the edge of the bowl, and where it seems to be required an odd rose can be put around the vase in the bowl itself. Nothing could be simpler, while a loose graceful effect is retained. Another immense advantage of this plan is that it ensures plenty of water around the stalks of the roses. A florist, asked recently by a client why her roses never lasted so well as his, said :

"Why, you put yours in vases with only the tips of the stalks touching the water. Mine are always plunged in nearly up to their heads."

To make them last really well, however, they should be taken out of the bowl at night, and put to float in the bath and sprinkled with water. In this way their term of existence will be prolonged to a surprising extent.

With regard to what coloured roses to put in different bowls, this must depend to a large extent on the room in which they are to be placed. A mixed bowl is always delightful. Red roses alone look lovely in cut glass or copper, and pink roses alone are beautiful in old blue china. With the green Farnham ware anything looks well.

By Mrs. Arthur Bell

By Mrs. Arthur Bell

Author of "The Elementary History of Art" "Masterpieces of the Great Artists," "Representative Painters of the

Nineteenth Century " etc. Reviewer of art and technical books, etc.

Provincial English and Scotch Plate - Newcastle, Norwich, Chester, Exeter, Hull, Sheffield, and Birmingham Early Marks - Plate Marks of the Provincial Scotch and Irish Towns

In a previous article (page 705, Vol. 1) the marks on old London plate were fully described;

Those on provincial English, Scotch, and Irish plate will now be considered. These must be divided, as were those of London, into two distinct sets, the Act of Parliament of 1697, referred to in connection with them, having abolished all provincial assay offices, so that all plate had to be brought to the capital to be stamped. The Act of 1700 re-established the old local offices on entirely new lines, with a complete system of new marks.

Beginning, therefore, with the marks in use up to 1697, it will be found that the earliest " touches," as marks were then called, are those on plate made at York. These " touches " consisted of a combination of a crowned leopard's head and a fleur-de-lys in a simple circular shield; but, unfortunately, examples of plate bearing this token are very rare, and the mark is in every case so much defaced by age and wear that it is very

* Complete tables of all date letters used in England, Scotland , and Ireland are given in T. W. Cripps' standard work on " Old English Plate," now out of print, and also in the condensed and revised edition of it prepared, under the title of "The Plate Collector's Guide," by Percy Macquoid, and published by Murray in 1908. "English Goldsmiths and their Marks," by G. C. J. Johnson (Macmillan) is also full of useful information.

A punch ladle of the same date as below, somewhat elaborate in execution

A punch ladle of the same date as below, somewhat elaborate in execution

Silver ladle. A fine example of 18th century silver work difficult to identify

Silver ladle. A fine example of 18th century silver work difficult to identify. Between 1493, when York plate was, it is supposed, first marked with it, until about 1538, an initial letter was generally used with the leopard's head and fleur-de-lys, whilst early in the reign of Elizabeth a date letter was also added.* Between 1701 and 1720, the Britannia mark i.e., the figure of a woman and a lion's head erased, were also employed at York; but when, as already related in the article on London made silver, the old standard for silver plate was restored, the city assayers adopted as their distinc ti\e emblem a leopard's head crowned and a lion passant, combined with the town arms, that up to about 1710 consisted of five lions passant borne in a cross without a shield, after which it was enclosed in one that varied in shape and size from time to time, and is still retained.

Newcastle Plate

The earliest marks on plate assayed at New-castle-on-tyne are the city arms - three castles, two above with one below, in a shield with an irregularly incised edge, or a single castle in a plain shield, to which a lion passant was sometimes added. Early in the eighteenth century it became usual to combine with these the leopard's head crowned, and, for some unexplained reason, the lion passant on Newcastle plate was turned to the right instead of to the left from 1721 to 1727. In the latter year its old position was resumed. Newcastle was the last provincial town to give up using the crowned leopard's head, and the crown having been left out by London assayers from 1821, its presence serves to distinguish the plate made in Newcastle after that date from that of the capital.

Norwich Plate Norwich was long an important headquarters for the production of silver plate, but after languishing for some time, the trade is now practically extinct. The earliest known marks on Norwich plate are the city arms - a castle with a lion passant beneath, the form of the shield enclosing them varying considerably at different times. About 1600 these arms were supplemented by a beautiful design consisting of a seeded rose sprig and a crown separately punched, or a double - seeded rose surmounted by a crown, the latter occurring on plate dating from 1627-40 and 1685-95, but not earlier. It was not until 1565 that date letters were used at Norwich, and owing to the long gaps in examples of plate bearing them, it is very difficult to ascertain what rule was followed concerning them, but it seems probable that only twenty letters of the alphabet were employed, and that between 1660-1685 such letters were entirely given up, to be adopted again, however, on the eve of the eighteenth century.