Biblical Fireplace

Second Floor

Preserving the Manor Gallery- West Room

The West Room is equal in size to the room below, with similarly styled woodwork. The fireplace is filled with blue and white Delft tiles, most dating from the early years of the Manor, featuring art illustrating biblical stories and listing the stories’ chapter and verse.  

Credit: Lavada Nahon – NYS OPRHP, 2021

A 1908 article on Delft tiles from the Metropolitan Museum of Art says,

“One can trace three distinct periods in the development of the Dutch art of tile making…the third [period] from the end of the 17th century to the end of the 18th century…. During the third period…whole compositions, portraying animated scenes especially of a Biblical or pastoral character, are crowded on to one tile.”

Of the original tiles, only 106 remained in 1911. The pattern was still being produced in the Netherlands and new tiles were ordered to replace missing ones.

Elijah Stove Plate Fireback

The fireback is an old stove plate, cast in relief with a representation of Elijah being fed by ravens (I Kings:17). The marking "17BSDW60" indicate that it was cast in 1760 by master ironworkers Benedict Schroeder and Dietrich Welker, owners of the Shearwell Furnace in Pennsylvania. The plate was part of a “five-plate non-ventilating stove.” This style of stove was introduced in the mid-to-late eighteenth century by German immigrants. Examples of this type, many with Biblical stories cast on them, can be found throughout the region. They heated rooms more effectively than open fireplaces. The shifting technology of room heating would advance quickly following the Revolutionary War as more iron works were created. The plate was used as a traditional fireback, and no historic documents reference when it was installed or by whom.

A matching fireback depicting this same scene is featured in the fireplace in the "Connected Manors" exhibit room to the east.