Japanned Fire Screen
54 x 15.5 x 15.5
Late 18th century English paper-mache fire screen in Jappaned style. Featuring sugar-barley twist stem and mother of pearl inlay. Used to keep the heat of a fireplace off ones face when sitting in front of a hearth.
At this time in England, British astronomer Sir William Herschel (1738–1822) officially discovered the planet Uranus in 1781, viewing it from his back garden through a homemade telescope. The name Uranus references the ancient Greek God of the sky of the same name, although the planet was briefly called “George’s Star” in honour of King George II (1683–1760). It is the only planet whose English name is derived directly from a Greek mythological figure. In recognition of his achievement, Herschel was awarded an annual stipend of 200 pounds, on the condition he agree to move to Windsor so that the Royal Family could look through his telescope.