Description: Canted rectangle; cavetto moulded edging (top and sides); single horizontal fillet below canted corners and vertical fillet parallel to each side, dividing the fireback into two side panels, two top corner panels, top panel and main central panel; corner panels, ‘daisy’ plant stamp; top panel, date between ‘daisy’ stamps, between initials in triad at each end; side panels, swirling foliage stamp repeated each side above initials, I to left, B to right; centre panel, stamp of ‘Indian’ smoking a pipe at top left, stamp of seated ‘gentleman’ smoking a pipe and holding another, at top right.
Notes: The 'daisy' stamp and the IB initials are identical to those on similar firebacks dated between 1703 and 1721, and probably indicating the same founder. The use of stamps relating to tobacco smoking may suggest an origin near Bristol, the main entry port for the tobacco trade at that time. Formerly at Lilly Hall, Ledbury, Herefordshire.
Inscription: TVI [triad] 1708 TVI [triad] / I B
Current location: National History Museum, St Fagans, Glamorgan, Wales.
Museum number: 13.90/2 (part of the Welsh National History Museum museum group)
1070? x ? mm
Description: Rectangular; ovolo-moulded edging; two fleurs-de-lys arranged vertically top left and top right; top centre, date; below date, initials WEI in triad.
Notes: Said to have been made by George White, iron founder, of Monmouth. Formerly from Newport, Monmouthshire.
Inscription: 1668 / W E I [triad]
Current location: National History Museum, St Fagans, Glamorgan, Wales.
Museum number: 25.21 (part of the Welsh National History Museum museum group)
Description: Rectangular shape; fillet edging (top and sides); across the top, line of squared cross stamps in three groups (5, 5 and 7), with six more continued down each side; below the top line of stamps, central date with initials in triad to each side, interrupting the top line of stamps, with two fleurs-de-lys to each side and a single bead; below, three sides of a rectangular compartment, fillet edged with irregular quadrants at the top corner enclosing two fleurs-de-lys each, between which is a line of about 10 beads between single fleurs.
Notes: A large and badly corroded fireback linking the Square Cross series and Hollow Saltire series stylistically. The initials probably relate to a husband and wife. Chorley's Auctioneers sale, Gloucester, 20 November 2019, lot 634.
Inscription: WCK [triad] 1668 WCK [triad
Current location:, England.
Description: Rectangular with ogee arch; ovolo, egg and dart edging; shield, garter, helm, mantling, crest and motto of the English House of Stuart; date split either side of garter buckle.
Notes: One of several firebacks, all of the same date, but varying in size, framing style and moulding; all have stylistic features in common and will have been the work of the same pattern maker, who was also responsible for carving royal coats of arms in three West Country churches. Christie's auction 19 Jun 2012 lot 191.
Copies of this fireback are known.
Inscription: HONI SOIT QVI MAL Y PENSE / 16 18 / DIEV ET MON DROIT
Arms: English Stuart royal (James I)
Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2017, 'Church Armorials and Firebacks: Evidence of an Early 17th-Century Woodcarver', Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, 135, pp. 213-223.
Description: Canted rectangle; ovolo-moulded edging (top and sides); from top: double star stamp repeated four times; date between two triads of the same initials, the 'Y' and the 'N' reversed; stylised fleur-de-lys below each pair of initials, with a large hollow fleur-de-lys in the centre.
Notes: The initials 'NYM' in triad probably relate to a couple whose surname initial was 'Y'; a fireback, dated 1659, with some of the same stamps is at the Dean Heritage Centre, Soudley, Gloucestershire, and another, dated 1667, has been noted at Upper End Farm, Hope Mansell, Herefordshire. Christie's auction, 24 May 2001.
Inscription: NYM [triad] 1669 NYM [triad]
Description: Canted rectangle; hatched fillet edging (top and sides); initials in triad to the left; fleur-de-lys stamp repeated seven times across top; date and initial pairs below; full width, horizontal hatched fillet below inscription; zig-zag formed of short, hatched fillets down each side below horizontal fillet; space within bordered by squared cross stamp repeated 12 times horizontally and six times on each side.
Notes: The distinctive squared cross and fleur stamps are seen on other firebacks; the initials in triad may relate to a husband and wife, the pairs of initials to their children; an almost identical fireback seen at Smith's Funeral Services, close to the site of Elmbridge Furnace, at Newent, Gloucestershire, differs only in the alignment of the left-hand column of squared crosses.
Inscription: AHE [triad] 1671 WH MH
Current location: in private hands, Coombes, West Sussex, England.
Description: Canted rectangle; stepped fillet edging (top and sides); twisted rope lengths parallel to top and parallel to each side, forming six compartments; side compartments: seven double fleurs-de-lys in vertical line; top corner compartments: one double fleur-de-lys angled parallel to canting; top compartment: date in centre, initials repeated at each end, three fleurs between date and initials, centre fleur perpendicular to others; main compartment: one fleur in each top corner, line of beads inside rope line, semi-circular at corners.
Notes: The arc shape and use of repeated beads suggests a common source with other firebacks of the same period.
Inscription: RR / 1688 / RR
Current location: The George Hotel, Stone Street, Cranbrook, Kent, England.
Description: Composite; canted arched rectangular shape; armorial fireback, cavetto edging, with Stuart Royal arms, garter, supporters, crown and motto, and 1620 date above crown; this overlies a canted rectangular plate, with twisted rope edging, fillet; two quasi-horizontal fillets from the tops of the vertical sides to the middle of the armorial fireback separate the back into two uneven parts, the date in the top part, split by the armorial, and a fleur-de-lys at the top of the lower part, also separated by the armorial.
Notes: The use of the armorial back is seen frequently and probably dates from 1619, though the date is usually altered; in this case the alteration does not match the more prominent date for the fireback; photograph ex T. Crowther & Son Ltd, 1985.
Inscription: 16 29 / HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE / 16 37 / DIEV ET MON DROIT
Arms: English Stuart royal
Description: Canted rectangle; cavetto moulded edging (top and sides); single horizontal fillet below canted corners and vertical fillet parallel to each side, dividing the fireback into two side panels, two top corner panels, top panel and main central panel; ‘daisy’ plant stamp in top corners, and at outer end of top panel enclosing two, opposite facing, lion passant stamps with date between; swirling foliage stamp repeated in each side panel above initial, I to left, B to right; stamp of ‘Indian’ smoking a pipe in top left of central panel, stamp of seated ‘gentleman’ smoking a pipe and holding another, at top right.
Notes: The 'daisy' stamp and the IB initials are identical to those on similar firebacks dated between 1703 and 1721, and probably indicating the same founder. The use of stamps relating to tobacco smoking may suggest an origin near Bristol, the main entry port for the tobacco trade at that time. Lent to Dyrham Park by the late John Workman OBE, of Sheepscombe, Gloucs. in 1963, and given in 1996.
Inscription: 1708 / I B
Current location: Dyrham Park, Dyrham, Gloucestershire, England.
Museum number: NT/DYR/M/5 (part of the National Trust museum group)
Description: Rectangular; astragal with cavetto-moulded edging (top and sides); date top centre; initials evenly-spaced below date; low-relief fleur de lys stamp repeated three times down each side, and in triangular arrangement below initials.
Notes: The initials may relate to William Boevey who was owner of Flaxley furnace from 1683-92. Another fireback with the same date and initials, and fewer fleurs, is also known.
Inscription: 1685 / W B
Current location: in private hands, Flaxley, Gloucestershire, England.