588mm wide

  1. 527

    588 x 824 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead edging terminating at the top in two loops, gather drapery and a scallop shell; two figures to the right, both bearded, the one kneeling wears cavalry armour, a cloak and a crown, the other stands behind; to the left is a sacrificial pyre on which an ox carcass burns, and above an angel carrying a sword in his right hand and a skull in his left; around this is an arched rectangular border with fillet edging and a repeated leaf pattern; on top is a scallop shell between two dolphins.

    Notes: The scene illustrates the visitation of the pestilence on Israel described in 2 Samuel 24, and the sacrifice of an oxen by King David; the skull borne by the angel represents the death of those struck down by the plague. A slightly different version has the face of David looking up at the angel (no. 424).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 17th century in the Siegerland area of Germany.

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

    Museum number: NT/PET/M/81 (part of the National Trust museum group)