Firebacks

Judgement of Paris firebacks

  1. 416

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 050.jpg
    410 x 660 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead edging; with tassel at top; three nude female figures: on top, Juno/Hera with a peacock, to the left Venus/Aphrodite, the young cupid/Eros at her feet, to the right Minerva/Athena with spear and shield; arched rectangular border with fillet edging; the heads of two putti and from them two suspended festoons of fruit and leaves; at the bottom, the inscription, THE 3 GODDESES, widely spaced. On top, two figures of Triton blowing seashells. On each shoulder of the fireback, a fluted vase with flowers issuing.

    Notes: The three eponymous goddesses are those whose beauty was the subject of the Judgement of Paris. This fireback is an instance of a continental back which has been recast in England, the opportunity being taken to insert an English inscription in place of the customary date and pattern maker's monogram.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: THE 3 GODDESES [sic]

    Manufactured: in the late 17th century in England.

    Current location: Anne of Cleves House, Southover High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 1944.24.074 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

  2. 520

    pet-m-74.jpg
    410 x 650 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead edging; with tassel at top; three nude female figures: on top, Juno/Hera with a peacock, to the left Venus/Aphrodite, the young cupid/Eros at her feet, to the right Minerva/Athena with spear and shield; arched rectangular border with fillet edging; the heads of two putti and from them two suspended festoons of fruit and leaves; at the bottom, the inscription, THE 3 GODDESES, widely spaced. On top, two figures of Triton blowing seashells. On each shoulder of the fireback, a fluted vase with flowers issuing.

    Notes: The three eponymous goddesses are those whose beauty was the subject of the Judgement of Paris. This fireback is an instance of a continental back which has been recast in England, the opportunity being taken to insert an English inscription in place of the customary date and pattern maker's monogram

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: THE 3 GODDESES [sic]

    Manufactured: in the late 17th century in England.

    Current location: Petworth House, Petworth, West Sussex, England.

    Museum number: NT/PET/M/74 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  3. 650

    rochester_07.jpg
    415 x >490 mm

    Description: Damaged; top missing; arched rectangular central panel with bead edging; with tassel at top; three nude female figures: on top, Juno/Hera with a peacock, to the left Venus/Aphrodite, the young cupid/Eros at her feet, to the right Minerva/Athena with spear and shield; border with fillet edging; two suspended festoons of fruit and leaves; date and monogram in rectangular panel below central panel; rectangular panel at the bottom, with the inscription, PALLAS VND VENVS.

    Notes: The three goddesses are those whose beauty was the subject of the Judgement of Paris. Examples of this fireback have been recast in England, the opportunity being taken to insert an English inscription in place of the customary date and pattern maker's monogram.

    Inscription: 16 NDW 97 / PALLAS VND VENVS

    Manufactured: in 1697 in the Siegerland area of Germany.

    Current location: Eastgate House, High Street, Rochester, Kent, England.

    Museum number: A3493 (part of the Rochester Guildhall Museum museum group)