British cast-iron firebacks of the 16th to mid 18th centuries cover

British cast-iron firebacks of the 16th to mid 18th centuries

about firebacks

Jeremy Hodgkinson about the author

A first-class piece of work in all respects.
Philip Riden (Sussex Past and Present)

This book ... will be of value not only to historians of the iron industry but to vernacular and polite building studies.
David Crossley (Historical Metallurgy)

A very comprehensive work and a must for anyone with an interest in early ironwork.
Keith Pinn (Antique Metalware Society)

A beautifully illustrated reference work.
Christopher Chalklin in (Archaeologia Cantiana)

A very readable, thoroughly researched and interesting book.
Nick Booth (Surrey Archaeological Society)

...Successfully combines being an interesting introduction to its subject and a scholarly study.
Chris Currie (Regional Furniture Society)

Published in the UK by hodgers books

270x210x18mm | 278 pages | 342 b&w illustrations | index

ISBN 978-0-9566726-0-5

This book is no longer available.

Sample pages

About firebacks

Often passing un-noticed at the back of fireplaces, firebacks began to be made in Britain in the first half of the sixteenth century, their manufacture following the introduction of cast-iron production and given impetus by the incorporation of chimneys into domestic dwellings.

From the purely functional purpose of protecting the back of the fireplace and reflecting heat into the room, it was not long before their decorative potential was recognised and the opportunity taken to embellish the plain iron plates, firstly with everyday objects, then with specially made stamps, and finally by casting them using entire carved patterns.

Their decoration provides us with a reflection of the social history of the times in which they were made, whether in the heraldry of royalty and the landed class, the religious and political turmoil of the Stuart period, or the beginnings of the Enlightenment and the rediscovery of classical literature.

Illustrated with more than 300 photographs, this, the first survey of British firebacks, sets out to demonstrate their development and variety, and to provide interpretation, where possible, of the decoration to be found on them.