This magnificent, large, rectangular fireback is from the Period of Louis XIV (1643-1715). What is so amazing, is that the details are still so visible. The center of the rectangle is a cartouche depicting an interior Roman or Grecian scene. The motifs surrounding the cartouche are patterned grounds of diagonal florets which are also shown on the side borders.
Around 500 years ago, it was discovered that iron would reflect and disperse the heat from the fireplace into the room rather than escaping through the chimney. Firebacks are cast in iron with a multitude of various motifs in relief. Today, firebacks are still used for this reason as well as other design purposes, such as inset into a decorative tile wall in the kitchen, or displayed as a piece of art anywhere.
CONDITION: Very Good Antique Condition. Minor wear to iron commensurate with use and age of 1700.