The perfect gem-cutting of the ancients could not have been attained without the use of magnifiers; and doubtless the artificers who executed these wonderful works also made them.
In 1363, in answer to a remonstrance against the mischief caused by "the merchants called grocers who engrossed all manner of merchandize vendable, and who suddenly raised the prices of such merchandize within the realm," it was enacted "that all artificers and people of mysteries shall each choose his own mystery 1 before next Candlemas, and that, having so chosen it, he shall henceforth use no other."
The mode of electing officers, and the system of management generally, was challenged by three members who called themselves "artificers, poor men of the craft of goldsmiths."
The artificers accused the company of subverting their grants, misappropriating the funds 1 Properly the word should be spelled, as it was originally, "mistery;" it comes through the 0.
The description of the great gold lions of Solomon's throne, and the laver of cast bronze supported on figures of oxen, shows that the artificers of that time had overcome the difficulties of metal-working and founding on a large scale.