Description: Arched rectangular shaped central panel with bead edging; naked figure of Mercury/Hermes with winged helmet (petasos), holding a snake-entwined staff (caduceus); he is sitting astride a pair of bellows and blowing a straight trumpet; a twice-bent trumpet lies at his feet; the bellows are pumping air into an organ; to the right of his head is the word, AER (air - Latin); above is a swag of drapery; arched rectangular shaped border with ovolo edging; floral wreath at top with suspended swags of fruit and leaves, including, grapes, pomegranates and apples; inscription, ‘ANNO 1661’, on a scroll at the bottom; scallop shell and sea serpents on top.
Notes: One of a series of firebacks symbolising the four elements.
Copies of this fireback are known.
Inscription: AER / ANNO 1667
Current location: Nymans, Staplefield Road, Handcross, Slaugham, West Sussex, England.
Museum number: NT/NYM/M/20 (part of the National Trust museum group)