Firebacks

Manufactured in the New Forest area

  1. 1056

    beaulieu,palace_house 01.jpg
    920 x 685 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; moulded fillet edging (top and sides); top line, 'daisy' plant stamp repeated three times, spaced evenly, with 'SOWLY' in a block, a ducal coronet above, between the left two, and '1721' in individual numerals, a ducal coronet above, between the right two; a swirling foliage stamp repeated down each side, a 'daisy' plant below each; initials 'I' and 'B' separately in bottom corners.

    Notes: Sowley was the iron furnace in Hampshire owned in 1721 by the 2nd duke of Montagu, whose coronet is seen in the decoration, and operated by John White of Monmouth. The swirled foliage stamp is seen on other firebacks identified by the letters 'IB' between 1703 and 1721, probably indicating the same founder.

    Inscription: SOWLY 1721 / I B

    Manufactured: in 1721 at Sowley furnace in the New Forest area of England.

    Current location: Palace House, Beaulieu, Hampshire, England.

  2. 1057

    beaulieu,palace_house 02.jpg
    1000 x 685 mm

    Description: Rectangular; moulded fillet edging (top and sides); left justified text in upper case, in two lines: Tunc bonus est ignis cum pendet stiria tignis (Then fire is good when icicles hang from the eaves); below left, 'SOWLY' in a block; below right, '1721' in individual numerals; a swirling foliage stamp repeated down each side; initials 'I' and 'B' separately in bottom corners.

    Notes: The source of the inscription is 'A Dictionarie in English and Latine for Children' by William Clark (London, Thomas Purfoot, 1602), p. 13. Sowley was the iron furnace in Hampshire owned in 1721 by the 2nd duke of Montagu and operated by John White of Monmouth. The swirled foliage stamp is seen on other firebacks identified by the letters 'IB' between 1703 and 1721, probably indicating the same founder.

    Inscription: TUNC BONUS EST IGNIS / CUM PENDET STIRIA TIGNIS / SOWLY 1721/ I B

    Manufactured: in 1721 at Sowley furnace in the New Forest area of England.

    Current location: Palace House, Beaulieu, Hampshire, England.

  3. 1108

    islington,_criterion auctions.jpg
    540 x 810 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; Greek Key border with fillet edges; in high relief, in front of swagged drapery, the shield of, quarterly, France quartering England, Scotland and Ireland, surrounded by a Garter, and surmounted by a ducal coronet; below, the inscription in capitals.

    Notes: The use of the Greek Key design as a border is believed to be unique for an English fireback. The arms are indistinct but appear to be the Stuart arms of the reign of Queen Anne before the union with Scotland in 1707, which were anachronistic by 1732. Also, the superposition of a ducal coronet in place of the royal crown is unusual. Sowley Furnace, near Beaulieu in Hampshire, was owned in 1732 by John, 2nd Duke of Montagu, and was let to Miles Troughton. Criterion Auctions, Islington, 7 Jan 2019.

    Inscription: HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE / SOWLEY MDCCXXXII

    Arms: Stuart royal (1707-14) France/England, Scotland and Ireland

    Manufactured: in 1732 at Sowley furnace in the New Forest area of England.

    Current location: Criterion Auctions, 53, Essex Road, Islington, London, England.