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Fireplace Tiles in the Jewett-Eastman House

Diagram of the fireplace
Ruth 23
Mat 28:?
Luc 10:21
Gen 40
Mar 16:5
Gen 32:24
Gen 39:12
Gen 21:19
John 3:



Ruth 2:3

"And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz...."


Genesis 40

Probably Joseph is on the right, listening to the Pharaoh's baker and butler -- temporarily imprisoned -- as they explain their dreams that show the butler will be restored to his position and the baker hanged.


Genesis 32:24
In this passage, Jacob wrestles with an angel to gain his blessing.


Gen 21:19

At Sarah's command, Abraham sends his bondwoman Hagar and his son by her, Ishmael, into the wilderness.  When Hagar is out of water and fears death for her child, an angel speaks and points her to a well.


Matthew 28:?

This tile is very difficult to read, but it seems likely we are seeing the resurrected Jesus in one of his appearances in this chapter.


Luc 10:21

This tile remains a mystery.  It seems to be identified as related to Luke 10:21.  In this chapter, Jesus sends out followers to prepare people for his teachings, and they return to him elated at their power over devils.  In this verse, Jesus thanks God that such revelations come to ordinary people.  However, none of the figures has a halo, as Jesus does in other tiles where he appears, and little in this chapter points to a group of three, with one prostrating himself before another. Perhaps we are seeing some of those who were sent out before Jesus.


Mark 16:5

The two Marys visit the tomb of the recently buried Jesus:  "And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted."


Genesis 39:12

This passage is part of the story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife.  She wishes to sleep with him, and he refuses:  "And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out."


Probably this tile refers to John 3, though it does look like JOAN 3.  In John 3 is the account of Nicodemus, a pharisee and ruler of the Jews, who visits Jesus and questions him about his miracles and teachings.  The Jesus figure on the left holds his left hand over his heart, gestures with the right, and speaks with tablets in front of him.  On the table is a candle, suggesting Jesus's saying in v. 19 that "light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than light."

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Photos by Wendy Pirsig
Copyright 2003