Treasure found at Finmere
Extract from Parish News dated May 2005, written by Eric Harkness
WHAT A FIND !!!!
A Peter Cameron was researching French plate and found this reference on the Finmere web site [see links page] and came to Finmere searching these two items
"In the history of Finmere complied by J.C.Blomfield and published in 1886, there is a single reference in chapter III...the Church of St. Michael..."a flagon and paten in French plate. This gift of John Pollard, Esq. AD 1758" French plate is an ancient method of applying silver leaf onto the surface of base metal using high temperature!
They were not in the church inventory, but were found in the bottom of the cupboard in the vestry. Because of their appearance, people had assumed that they were of no value. Items of French plate are exceedingly rare...mainly because they have been re-placed by modern technology.
Dimensions of flagon - overall height 30cm., diameter at base 18.3cm. The flagon is of silvered brass, with extensive remains of the original silvering. The body is engraved on the front with the sacred monogram 'IHS' within a circular rayed cartouche and underneath with the "THE PARISH OF FINMERE".
Dimensions of paten - diameter 23cm., approximate height 3.4cm.. The paten is formed as a flat based, fluted-edged, strawberry dish on raised sheet with no evidence of seams. It has been rather more polished than the flagon, but retains remmants of silvering around the fluted sides. The dish is engraved on the upper side with the sacred monogram 'IHS' within a circular rayed cartouche and underneath with the "THE PARISH OF FINMERE".
After much research, the two items have now been valued for insurance purposes....and have been deposited in the Treasury, Christ Church Cathedral, for all to view
Visit the Christ Church Cathedral web site