The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Fire-screen
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • After David Teniers the Younger (1610 - 1690), (tapestry)
  • France
  • c. 1845 (frames)
    c. 1760 - c. 1770 (taperstries)
  • Oil gilt, pinewood, tapestry and yellow silk damask lining
  • Object size: 119.5 x 79.6 x 40 cm, frame
    Height: 86.5 cm, tapestry
    Width: 66.2 cm, tapestry
  • F284
  • Reserve Vault 1
Further Reading
  • One of a pair of fire-screens (with F283). In the latter half of the nineteenth century older textiles such as tapestries and embroidered panels were often mounted on new furniture made in the eighteenth-century style. A fire-screen was designed to protect anyone sitting in front of it from the full heat of the fire. In the summer it was used to hide the empty grate.

    The tapestries were probably woven in the eighteenth century at Lille in the Werniers workshop. The dancing couple on this screen also occurs on a large-scale tapestry, signed 'LA VEUVE DE G.WERNIERS L F', sold in Paris in 1930. Although mounted in later frames, the tapestries were probably woven as fire-screen panels, perhaps as part of a set representing the months. This one, with the sign of the zodiac for Sagittarius, would therefore represent December, and F283 (Gemini) June.

    The use of pinewood for the frames of F283-4, their oil-gilding, and the way in which a number of details were carved separately and then glued on, all suggest a nineteenth-century date. They are good imitations of carved furniture of the transition between Louis XV and Louis XVI styles, and their feet are reminiscent of those on a fire-screen delivered by Louis Delanois (1731-1792) in 1769 for the salon of the pavillon de Louveciennes, now in the Louvre.