Firebacks

Manufactured in the Furness area

  1. 1209

    bowness,_blackwell_house_02.jpg
    1130 x 1285 mm

    Description: Individually designed quasi-arched rectangular shape; astragal edging; central portico with framed doorway and sloping roof, in which stands a male figure dressed in contemporary style; above the roof, the date, and above that, the initials R R separated by a flower head, this inscription enclosed within a five-sided ribbon compartment held at the top corners by a pair of mirrored dancing cherubs each of which holds in their outer hand a wand surmounted by a fleur-de-lys; below them are mirrored vine designs terminating in a grape bunch, and below each of them a mirrored swirled snake, its head reversed; towards the outer side of these snakes are a pair of mirrored birds within a curved cartouche of slightly raised relief that is associated with a swirl on each side of the fireback that terminates the astragal edging on each side and which ascends via a step surmounted by a miniature urn on each shoulder of the back to the top which is surmounted by an acorn shape; above the ribbons held by the cherubs, is a stylised crown between the initials GR; the above features are limited by a horizontal astragal, though the portico descends below it, and which is supported at each end by a simple Doric column enclosing the bottom panel which is otherwise plain.

    Notes: The initials GR are of Georgius Rex - King George I. Finely cast but of naïve design, another fireback of the same design but with different inscriptions and dated 1714 is at Low Graythwaite in Hawkshead parish, which was home to the Rawlinson family who, in 1711, built the first blast furnace in what was then the northern part of Lancashire.

    Inscription: G R / R R / 1723

    Manufactured: in 1723 possibly at Backbarrow furnace in the Furness area of England.

    Current location: Blackwell House, Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria, England.

    Citation: Cowper, H. S., 1899, Hawkshead: its History, Archaeology, Industries, Folklore, Dialect, etc., etc. (London, Bemrose).

  2. 1210

    cowper,_hawkshead_1899.jpg
    ~1130 x ~1285 mm

    Description: Individually designed quasi-arched rectangular shape; astragal edging; central portico with framed doorway and sloping roof, in which stands a male figure dressed in contemporary style; above the roof, the date, and above that, the initials TKM arranged in triad and around a flower head, this inscription enclosed within a five-sided ribbon compartment held at the top corners by a pair of mirrored dancing cherubs each of which holds in their outer hand a wand surmounted by a fleur-de-lys; below them are mirrored vine designs terminating in a grape bunch, and below each of them a mirrored swirled snake, its head reversed; towards the outer side of these snakes are a pair of mirrored birds within a curved cartouche of slightly raised relief that is associated with a swirl on each side of the fireback that terminates the astragal edging on each side and which ascends via a step surmounted by a miniature urn on each shoulder of the back to the top which is surmounted by an acorn shape; above the ribbons held by the cherubs, is a stylised crown between the initials AR; the above features are limited by a horizontal astragal, though the portico descends below it, and which is supported at each end by a simple Doric column enclosing the bottom panel which is otherwise plain.

    Notes: The initials AR are of Anna Regina - Queen Anne. Finely cast but of naïve design, another fireback of the same design but with different inscriptions and dated 1723 is Bowness on Windermere. Illustration from Cowper, 1899, p.179.

    Inscription: A R / TKM [triad] / 1714

    Manufactured: in 1714 possibly at Backbarrow furnace in the Furness area of England.

    Current location: Low Graythwaite, Hawkshead, Cumbria, England.

    Citation: Cowper, H. S., 1899, Hawkshead: its History, Archaeology, Industries, Folklore, Dialect, etc., etc. (London, Bemrose).

  3. 1214

    geddington,_boughton_house_01.jpg
    860 x 1250 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; no edging; shield of the 2nd Duke of Montagu surrounded by the Garter and surmounted by a ducal coronet.

    Notes: One of four firebacks at Boughton House, Northamptonshire, cast with the ducal arms and the Garter having a diameter of 77cm. Fifty firebacks were cast for the house between 1743 and 1748 by Richard Ford, probably at Nibthwaite Furnace, but also possibly at Newland furnace, both then in north Lancashire. The arms are blazoned: Quarterly, 1st & 4th: Argent, three fusils conjoined in fess gules, a bordure sable (Montagu); 2nd & 3rd: Or an eagle displayed vert beaked and membered gules (Monthermer); on an escutcheon of pretence, Sable a lion rampant Argent a canton Argent charged with a cross Gules (Churchill); John, 2nd Duke of Montagu married Mary, daughter and co-heiress of John, 1st Duke of Marlborough.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: HONI.SOIT.QUI.MAL.Y.PENSE

    Arms: Montagu quartering Monthermer with Churchill in an escutcheon of pretence - John Montagu, 2nd Duke of Montagu, KG

    Manufactured: in the mid 18th century probably at Nibthwaite furnace in the Furness area of England.

    Current location: Boughton House, Geddington, Northamptonshire, England.

  4. 1215

    geddington,_boughton_house_02.jpg
    500 x 590 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; no edging; shield of the 2nd Duke of Montagu surrounded by the Garter and surmounted by a ducal coronet.

    Notes: One of four firebacks at Boughton House, Northamptonshire, cast with the ducal arms and the Garter having a diameter of 31cm. Fifty firebacks were cast for the house between 1743 and 1748 by Richard Ford, probably at Nibthwaite Furnace, but also possibly at Newland furnace, both then in north Lancashire. The arms are blazoned: Quarterly, 1st & 4th: Argent, three fusils conjoined in fess gules, a bordure sable (Montagu); 2nd & 3rd: Or an eagle displayed vert beaked and membered gules (Monthermer); on an escutcheon of pretence, Sable a lion rampant Argent a canton Argent charged with a cross Gules (Churchill); John, 2nd Duke of Montagu married Mary, daughter and co-heiress of John, 1st Duke of Marlborough.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: HONI.SOIT.QUI.MAL.Y.PENSE

    Arms: Montagu quartering Monthermer with Churchill in an escutcheon of pretence - John Montagu, 2nd Duke of Montagu, KG

    Manufactured: in the mid 18th century probably at Nibthwaite furnace in the Furness area of England.

    Current location: Boughton House, Geddington, Northamptonshire, England.

  5. 1216

    geddington,_boughton_house_03.jpg
    440 x 710 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; no edging; shield of the 2nd Duke of Montagu surrounded by the Garter and surmounted by a ducal coronet.

    Notes: One of six firebacks at Boughton House, Northamptonshire, cast with the ducal arms and the Garter having a diameter of 40cm. Fifty firebacks were cast for the house between 1743 and 1748 by Richard Ford, probably at Nibthwaite Furnace, but also possibly at Newland furnace, both then in north Lancashire. The arms are blazoned: Quarterly, 1st & 4th: Argent, three fusils conjoined in fess gules, a bordure sable (Montagu); 2nd & 3rd: Or an eagle displayed vert beaked and membered gules (Monthermer); on an escutcheon of pretence, Sable a lion rampant Argent a canton Argent charged with a cross Gules (Churchill); John, 2nd Duke of Montagu married Mary, daughter and co-heiress of John, 1st Duke of Marlborough.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: HONI.SOIT.QUI.MAL.Y.PENSE

    Arms: Montagu quartering Monthermer with Churchill in an escutcheon of pretence - John Montagu, 2nd Duke of Montagu, KG

    Manufactured: in the mid 18th century probably at Nibthwaite furnace in the Furness area of England.

    Current location: Boughton House, Geddington, Northamptonshire, England.

  6. 1217

    geddington,_boughton_house_04.jpg
    580 x 790 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; no edging; shield of the 2nd Duke of Montagu surrounded by the Garter and surmounted by a ducal coronet.

    Notes: One of 23 firebacks at Boughton House, Northamptonshire, cast with the ducal arms and the Garter having a diameter of 48cm. Fifty firebacks were cast for the house between 1743 and 1748 by Richard Ford, probably at Nibthwaite Furnace, but also possibly at Newland furnace, both then in north Lancashire. The arms are blazoned: Quarterly, 1st & 4th: Argent, three fusils conjoined in fess gules, a bordure sable (Montagu); 2nd & 3rd: Or an eagle displayed vert beaked and membered gules (Monthermer); on an escutcheon of pretence, Sable a lion rampant Argent a canton Argent charged with a cross Gules (Churchill); John, 2nd Duke of Montagu married Mary, daughter and co-heiress of John, 1st Duke of Marlborough.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: HONI.SOIT.QUI.MAL.Y.PENSE

    Arms: Montagu quartering Monthermer with Churchill in an escutcheon of pretence - John Montagu, 2nd Duke of Montagu, KG

    Manufactured: in the mid 18th century probably at Nibthwaite furnace in the Furness area of England.

    Current location: Boughton House, Geddington, Northamptonshire, England.

  7. 1218

    geddington,_boughton_house_05.jpg
    660 x 1060 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; no edging; shield of the 2nd Duke of Montagu surrounded by the Garter and surmounted by a ducal coronet.

    Notes: One of five firebacks at Boughton House, Northamptonshire, cast with the ducal arms and the Garter having a diameter of 59cm. Fifty firebacks were cast for the house between 1743 and 1748 by Richard Ford, probably at Nibthwaite Furnace, but also possibly at Newland furnace, both then in north Lancashire. The arms are blazoned: Quarterly, 1st & 4th: Argent, three fusils conjoined in fess gules, a bordure sable (Montagu); 2nd & 3rd: Or an eagle displayed vert beaked and membered gules (Monthermer); on an escutcheon of pretence, Sable a lion rampant Argent a canton Argent charged with a cross Gules (Churchill); John, 2nd Duke of Montagu married Mary, daughter and co-heiress of John, 1st Duke of Marlborough.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: HONI.SOIT.QUI.MAL.Y.PENSE

    Arms: Montagu quartering Monthermer with Churchill in an escutcheon of pretence - John Montagu, 2nd Duke of Montagu, KG

    Manufactured: in the mid 18th century probably at Nibthwaite furnace in the Furness area of England.

    Current location: Boughton House, Geddington, Northamptonshire, England.