This antique fireback depicts the weeping virgin and broken column, symbolism from Christian and Hebrew mythologies, later becoming a Masonic symbol. The traditional depiction of this story usually shows father time as a long bearded older man with the weeping virgin, in this case his figure is not present.
The overall meaning of the symbol is that time; patience and perseverance will provides favorable outcomes in life. This piece shows the virgin in a detailed flowing ancient Roman gown resting her right arm on the base of the broken pillar and cradling the top half of the fragmented pillar in the left. She is standing on a platform, with a foliate base. There is a small angel at the bottom of the piece.
DATE 17th century
DIMENSIONS Width 10 Height 25 in.
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