Firebacks

63 results

  1. 1219

    bishop_and_miller,_27_jan_2022,_lot_88,_1060x630.jpg
    1060 x 630 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides); top centre, cross-shaped arrangement of four fleurs-de-lys between to crosses formed of lengths of twisted rope with single fleurs outside and beyond each of them a dagger, point upwards; to the right, a single fleur; bottom centre, a triangle formed of three lengths of twisted rope, vertex to the bottom, between two non-identical groups of three fleurs arranged in star pattern.

    Notes: The style of the fleurs-de-lys associates this fireback with a series with several examples. The dagger type (approximate length 32cm) is different to others in the same series. Bishop & MIller Auctioneers, Stowmarket, 27 Jan 2022, lot 88.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:, England.

  2. 826

    burwash,_little broadhurst farm.jpg
    910 x 655 mm

    Description: Canted rectangular shape with moulded edging (top and sides) overlain by a length of twisted rope repeated six times; central vertical line formed of twisted rope, crossed with rope upper centre, with rope laid in a diamond pattern around the cross; lower centre, two irregular v-shapes formed of rope, one on each side of the vertical; shield shaped stamp with a fleur de lys repeated twice each side, upper left and right.

    Notes: The twin V arrangement may have apotropaic significance and the cross above them having a Christian symbolism; the base board appears to have had a moulded edge, with rope lengths applied over part of the moulding after the board had been pressed into the casting bed; a sketch of this fireback was made by J. Starkie Gardner c.1891 and is in his collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Archive of Art and Design (AAD/2014/8).

    Manufactured: in the late 16th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Burwash, East Sussex, England.

  3. 247

    chawton_house 01.jpg
    1185 x 870 mm

    Description: A modified recasting of a variant of the ‘Armada’ fireback, with initials changed to IK, a single anchor panel, and the addition of a plain base and borders, the latter each with a twisted rope saltire, upper middle.

    Notes: It is likely that an original four-panel fireback has been used to recast a copy with additional side and base panels; the saltires may have apotropaic significance. A second fireback at the house cast in the 19th century is identical but for being 1% smaller all round, and has a full-width extension on top bearing four symmetrical rope saltires, the outer two larger than the inner two. The first example was used to make the second.

    Inscription: 1588 / IK

    Manufactured: in the 17th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Chawton House, Chawton, Hampshire, England.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2010, British Cast-Iron Firebacks of the 16th to Mid-18th Centuries (Crawley, Hodgers Books).

  4. 1148

    chawton_house 03.jpg
    1178 x 1080 mm

    Description: A composite recasting placing, on a plain background with symmetrical rope saltires, a recast variant of the ‘Armada’ fireback, with changed initials, a single anchor panel, and the addition of plain base and borders, the latter each with a twisted rope saltire, upper middle.

    Notes: It is likely that an original four-panel fireback was used to cast an early copy with additional side and base panels. In the 19th century this second fireback was used to cast this third fireback with an additional full-width extension on top bearing four symmetrical rope saltires, the outer two larger than the inner two. The image of this fireback has been reconstructed by computer, combining photographs of the two fragments into which it had been broken.

    Inscription: 1588 / IK

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 19th century in England.

    Current location: Chawton House, Chawton, Hampshire, England.

  5. 1196

    christy_1908_fig10.png
    ~897 x ~638 mm

    Description: Quasi-rectangular shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides); 'W' in top corners, between which are a line of five stamps: a 'renaissance' style shield bearing a rose and crown, between two rose stamps, and a rectangular stamp bearing a dragon at each end; below each dragon stamp, a 'W' preceded by a reversed 'P'; below this, the line of five stamps repeated.

    Notes: The shield and dragon stamps have been seen on other firebacks, associating them with a common producer; the 'W' may be apotropaic and symbolic of the Virgin Mary. Illustration from Christy 1908 who noted the fireback at Guildford, Surrey.

    Inscription: W W / qW qW

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:.

    Citation: Christy, M., 30 May 1908, 'The Old Flat Hearth and its Appliances, III - The Fire-back', The Crown, The Court and County Families' Newspaper, XCIX, Vol. 8, No. 9, pp. 383-6.

  6. 1194

    christy_1908_fig12.png
    1615 x 740 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; twisted rope or strap edging (top and sides); semi-random arrangement of three stamps interspersed with rope crosses and rope 'squares' with saltires or linked smaller squares within; low centre, a crowned rose-en-soleil stamp repeated, more or less regularly, five times across the width of the fireback; above, four circular butter mould stamps with a hexagonal design, between which are two rope squares with saltires and, to the left, a rope square containing a smaller square with its corners linked to the corners of the outer square; above, a horned sheep standing on a base repeated four times, between which are two crowned rose-en-soleil stamps and four rope crosses, with a square-within-a-square at the right end.

    Notes: The rose-en-soleil was the badge of King Edward IV and, thus, a Yorkist symbol. It, together with the butter mould and rope squares, are seen on other firebacks associating them with the same producer/foundry. Formerly at Heringdales/Heronsdale Manor, Waldron, East Sussex. Illustration from Christy 1908.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century possibly at Pounsley Furnace, Framfield in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Wickham Manor, Winchelsea, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: NT/WMF/M/007 (part of the National Trust museum group)

    Citation: Christy, M., 30 May 1908, 'The Old Flat Hearth and its Appliances, III - The Fire-back', The Crown, The Court and County Families' Newspaper, XCIX, Vol. 8, No. 9, pp. 383-6.

    Citation: Gardner, J. S., 1898, 'Iron Casting in the Weald', Archaeologia, 56, 1, pp. 133-164.

  7. 1195

    christy_1908_fig5.png
    ~756 x ~453 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; no edging; top centre, cross formed of two lengths of twisted rope, with a flattened saltire of the same below; top right, a shield, indented at the top, charged with a bird upon a branch, below which is an indeterminate semi-spherical feature; on each side of the cross, a stylised fleur-de-lys in low relief; top left, an inverted shield with indeterminate decoration (suggested by Christy to be IC).

    Notes: The cross and saltire will have had an apotropaic purpose. Illustration from Christy 1908, who stated it was in Buxted, East Sussex.

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 16th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:.

    Citation: Christy, M., 30 May 1908, 'The Old Flat Hearth and its Appliances, III - The Fire-back', The Crown, The Court and County Families' Newspaper, XCIX, Vol. 8, No. 9, pp. 383-6.

  8. 39

    cranbrook_museum.jpg
    805 x 640 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular shaped with cavetto canted top corners; fillet edging; two V-shaped arrangements of laths, one inverted and superimposed over the other, in centre of plate; date split on either side; initials in triangular arrangement above laths.

    Notes: The shape of the fireback is very similar to firebacks at Knole, Sevenoaks, of similar date, and may be the product of the same furnace; the 'X' shapes may have apotropaic significance.

    Inscription: 17 RSL 28

    Manufactured: in 1728 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Cranbrook Museum, Cranbrook, Kent, England.

    Citation: Easton, T. & Hodgkinson, J. S., 2013, 'Apotropaic Symbols on Cast-Iron Firebacks', Jnl. of the Antique Metalware Soc., 21, pp. 14-33.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2010, British Cast-Iron Firebacks of the 16th to Mid-18th Centuries (Crawley, Hodgers Books).

  9. 1113

    crowborough,_luxford house 04.jpg
    840 x 570 mm

    Description: Quasi-rectangular with a three-facetted arch; top centre, left hand print; around each shoulder, M W mirrored.

    Notes: The likelihood is that the M and W are formed of a double-V (virgo virginum) intended to symbolise the Virgin Mary and have an apotropaic (evil-averting) purpose. It may be of significance that hand prints seen on firebacks are always of the left hand.

    Inscription: MW WM

    Manufactured: in the early 17th century possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Crowborough, East Sussex, England.

  10. 1115

    crowborough,_luxford house 06.jpg
    >935 x 470 mm

    Description: Fragment; canted rectangular; twisted rope edging (topand sides); central cross of twisted rope.

    Notes: Sections missing at both ends.

    Manufactured: in the 16th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Crowborough, East Sussex, England.