Firebacks

410mm wide

  1. 25

    burwash,_batemans 03.jpg
    410 x >490 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular shape with arch decorated with floral swirls and an urn on each shoulder; three female figures: Aphrodite on the left, Hera in the centre on a plinth with two peacocks behind her, and Athena on the right; a double tassel hangs above Hera’s head.

    Notes: The figures are the participants in the Judgement of Paris, the outcome of which precipitated the Trojan War.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in England.

    Current location: Bateman's, Burwash, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: NT/BAT/M/55 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  2. 414

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 048.jpg
    410 x 660 mm

    Description: Rectangular central panel with elongated arch; bead edging; semi-nude figure of Poseidon/Neptune, a trident in his right hand, standing on two hippocampi (mythical sea horses). Rectangular border with elongated arch; fillet edging; two suspended festoons of fruit and leaves; at the bottom, the date and monogram. On top, two scrolls of foliage. On each shoulder of the fireback, a basket with fruit

    Notes: A number of images of Poseidon on firebacks bear more than a passing similarity to fountain statuary. This is just such an example although the source of the design has yet to be identified.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 NDW 97

    Manufactured: in 1697 in the Siegerland area of Germany.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.075 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

  3. 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)

  4. 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)