Firebacks

Manufactured in England

870 results

  1. 1117

    isleworth,_london road, 02.jpg
    305 x 530 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped central panel, bead edging, narrow-necked urn with swagged decoration and gadrooned base, flowers issuing therefrom; arched rectangular shaped border with fillet edging and symmetrical floral festoons; on top, mirrored plant fronds descending from a small mask; at the bottom, an indistinct cartouche and a probable letter 'W' between swirled foliage.

    Notes: Small firebacks of this type and period might have been cast at one of the London foundries and used for attaching to the rear of dog grates. The initial 'W' probably denotes the pattern maker.

    Inscription: W

    Manufactured: in the late 17th to early 18th century possibly in the London area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Isleworth, London, England.

  2. 1118

    isleworth,_london road, 03.jpg
    675 x 440 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); initials in top corners; below the initials, a saltire formed of possibly two straight lengths of twisted rope.

    Notes: The saltire is likely to have an apotropaic purpose; the hollows in the risers of the letter 'H' and the end of the left line of the saltire may have been formed by gas bubbles in the molten iron during casting.

    Inscription: N H

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 17th century in England.

    Current location: in private hands, Isleworth, London, England.

  3. 1250

    isleworth,_london_road,_04_688x458.jpg
    688 x 458 mm

    Description: Plain rectangular shape; no edging; separate initials in top left corners.

    Notes: The regular form of the letters suggest that they might be reused printing blocks.

    Inscription: T F

    Manufactured: in the 19th century in England.

    Current location: in private hands, Isleworth, London, England.

  4. 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. Although somewhat indistinct, the use of the Stuart royal arms and the ducal coronet can be explained by the fact that the fireback was one of a group cast for the 2nd Duke of Richmond, whose father, the 1st duke, was the illegitimate son of Charles II and Louise de Kéroualle. The Richmond arms were differenced from the Stuart royal arms by the addition of a bordure compony (the detail of which is not distinct on this casting). Sowley Furnace, near Beaulieu in Hampshire, was owned in 1732 by John, 2nd Duke of Montagu, and was let to Miles Troughton. A similar, but larger, variant of this fireback, dated 1731, is at Goodwood House, the seat of the Dukes of Richmond. Criterion Auctions, Islington, 7 Jan 2019, lot 128 (£50).

    Inscription: HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE / SOWLEY MDCCXXXII

    Arms: Duke of Richmond

    Manufactured: in 1732 at Sowley Furnace, Beaulieu in the New Forest area of England.

    Current location:, not known.

  5. 354

    keighley,_east riddlesden hall.jpg
    433 x 463 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular shaped; unique, cavetto moulded edging, which loops upon itself three times. A mythical salamander shown in the flames which legend states it is able to resist; behind is what appears to be a palm tree, on either side of which the date is stamped. Two plank-lines.

    Notes: Whole pattern with added date; one of a series of firebacks where the number ‘1’ is hooked at both ends. Damage and subsequent repair to the bottom right corner has obliterated a letter 'M' seen on another casting; presumably part of 'IM'. A variant, at Lewes, is incorrectly dated 1550.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1650

    Manufactured: in 1650 possibly at Brede Furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: East Riddlesden Hall, Keighley, Yorkshire, England.

    Museum number: NT/ERH/M/40 (part of the National Trust museum group)

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2007, 'A Godly chimney plate and other firebacks from Brede', Wealden Iron, 2nd ser., 27, pp. 18-26.

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

    Citation: Schubert, H. R., 1957, 'A Forgery in Iron', Journal of the Iron & Steel Institute, 165, p. 125.

  6. 355

    kenilworth_castle.jpg
    860 x 850 mm

    Description: Rectangular joined to pediment by symmetrical scrolls; fillet edging with embattling inside; shield, helm, crest, supporters and mantling of the city of Bristol; date split by bottom of shield; inscription in an oval cartouche below shield.

    Notes: Both '3's in the date are a substitution, with another casting suggesting an original date of 1614 or 1624. The pattern-maker was also responsible for carving royal coats of arms in three West Country churches and a small number of series of firebacks in the first quarter of the 17th century.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 33 / [ARMES] BRISTOLL

    Arms: City of Bristol

    Manufactured: in 1633 possibly in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: Kenilworth Castle, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, England.

    Museum number: 88278827 (part of the English Heritage museum group)

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

    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.

    Citation: Russell, A. J., 1978, 'The Fireback in Willey Farmhouse, Chaldon', Local History Records, 17 (The Bourne Society), pp. 8-9.

  7. 1172

    kensal_green,_retrouvius_a.jpg
    720 x 410 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); to each side, two saltires formed of crossed lengths of twisted rope; in between, and repeated seven times, a circular stamp decorated in low relief with a central disc perforated in the centre, surrounded by a circle inside a square looped at each corner, the sides of which are echoed twice on each side; the stamps are arranged in two rows, of three and four, in the upper part of the plate.

    Notes: A boldly cast fireback with an excrescence top centre caused by disturbance of the casting sand by the pouring of the iron.

    Manufactured: in the late 16th to early 17th century possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Retrouvius, 1016 Harrow Rd, Kensal Green, Brent, London, England.

  8. 1253

    kingsdown,_old_cottage.jpg
    448 x 469 mm

    Description: Central panel of arched rectangular shape with cavetto canted corners and bead edging; figure seated astride a triumph of weaponry (cannon, spears, drums), holding a laurel wreath in his right hand, surrounded by martial objects (flags, cannon, drums etc.), symmetrical hanging drapery above; same-shaped border with fillet edging and suspended ribbons with floral bunches

    Notes: Possibly a depiction of an allegory of Victory. Other firebacks have the same distinctively shaped central panel and border shape, suggesting the same pattern maker. A reduced variant of a more elaborate fireback (no. 456) but missing mirrored serpents on top and probable reed decoration at the base.

    Manufactured: in the late 17th to early 18th century possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Kingsdown, Kent, England.

  9. 356

    knowle,_baddesley clinton 01.jpg
    1005 x 758 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; twisted rope edging (top and sides); bearded face stamp repeated in top corners and below inscription; date along top edge; initials split by date and slightly below.

    Notes: The distinctive style of the ‘4’ in the date and the bearded mask stamp have also been noted on a fireback at Callow Farm, Dymock, Gloucestershire, associated with the operator of the Newent furnace.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: E 1641 M

    Manufactured: in 1641 probably at Elmbridge Furnace, Newent in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: Baddesley Clinton Hall, Knowle, Warwickshire, England.

    Museum number: 342876 (part of the National Trust museum group)

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

  10. 358

    knowle,_baddesley clinton 03.jpg
    356 x 600 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead edging on a broad fillet; standing on a ground with a peacock behind her, a classically-dressed figure of a female, wearing a crown and holding a sceptre in her right hand, her left hand across her chest; above her, swagged drapery; arched rectangular border with fillet edging; central scallop shell at the top with a descending arrangement of swirled and interlinked lines; at bottom centre, a cartouche bearing the letter ‘N’; on top, two mirrored serpents.

    Notes: The figure is that of Hera/Juno. The pattern maker identified as ‘N’ is likely to have been working in collaboration with pattern makers whose fireback designs are identified with the initials, SHR and EB, and with the maker responsible for patterns made in 1724, some of which bore inscriptions in Welsh.

    Inscription: N

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in England.

    Current location: Baddesley Clinton Hall, Knowle, Warwickshire, England.

    Museum number: 342886 (part of the National Trust museum group)

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