Firebacks

Manufactured in England

874 results

  1. 153

    warnham,_westons place 2.jpg
    760 x 650 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular; gadrooned edging (top and sides); three spondles as stamps - one centre top, and a different one on each side to left and right of arch base - initials and date split either side of top spimdle.

    Notes: The distinctive edging and use of spindles or bobbins is seen on other firebacks; similar initials and date suggest a common source; the initials may relate to John Weston, of Warnham, Sussex (d. 1642). A rectangular fireback of the same date and also with three identical spindles is at Ewhurst Place, Ifield.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: I W / 16 32

    Manufactured: in 1632 possibly at Cuckfield Furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Warnham, West Sussex, England.

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

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2012, 'Pre-Restoration Iron Firebacks', Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, 20, pp. 2-15.

  2. 1252

    wartling,_cowden_farm.jpg
    880 x 1190 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular shape; no edging; arched rectangular central panel edged with a garland within a cartouche between guilloche-moulded bands that extend vertically below to form two further panels separated by a similar but plain band; the two bottom panels each extend sideways to form simulated pedestals; below is a plain, borderless panel. Within the main panel, at each corner a cherub head facing towards the centre; within the border of the panel, a symmetrical strapwork band forms the edge of a cartouche that is scrolled at the bottom and which curves away from the edge of the panel at the sides to reveal scrolls from behind, and which forms a heart shape in front of each of the putti enclosing an indeterminate feature; in the centre of the panel, resting upon a scrolled cartouche with scallop shells to left and right, a gadrooned medallion enclosing the depiction of an empty mural monument, draped from above and with a lion's mask below. Resting upon the pedestal to the right, a consol enclosing an indeterminate circular feature with two descending bands; on the pedestal to the left a similar consol and indeterminate circular feature but with a single descending band; above each consol the head of a classical deity facing to right and left respectively, above which are rows of vertical figures, four on the left and two on the right, which may be caryatid figures possibly intended to depict the Daughters of Athens on the Parthenon; above the main panel symmetrical scrolls. In the lower panel, a central rectangular cartouche, scrolled at the top and bottom, between symmetrical vignettes.

    Notes: Some of the detail is too indistinct to permit accurate description, but a fireback of untypical design features that are all characteristic of the early-17th century.

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

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

  3. 1106

    warwick,_northgate house b.jpg
    ~590 x ~719 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with quadrant extensions on top corners; twisted rope edging (top and sides); vertical rope line parallel to each side, forming two separate side panels; horizontal rope line joined to vertical lines enclosing the following: inside arch, initials IBA in triad; below initials, double fleur-de-lys stamp between split date 1693; below horizontal line, a double fleur stamp in each top corner of central lower panel; in each side panel, a single bead above a vertical sequence of squared cross stamps repeated nine times.

    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 photograph had to be taken through a perspex sheet marked with bird droppings.

    Inscription: IBA [triad] / 16 93

    Manufactured: in 1693 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: Northgate House, Northgate, Warwick, Warwickshire, England.

  4. 43

    watchet,_lynda cotton gallery.jpg
    700 x 542 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with ovolo canted top corners; fillet edging; within a cartouche, shield of the Worshipful Company of Barber-Surgeons - quarterly, first and fourth, Sable a Chevron between three Fleams Argent, second and third, Per pale of the second and Vert on a Spatter also Argent a Tudor Rose proper crowned Or; on a Cross Gules dividing the quarters a Lion passant guardant Or; the date is above the shield, which is surmounted by a vase from which are displayed a flower and leaf stems; the same occupy the spaces on each side of the shield, below which is a motto scroll.

    Notes: The arms on this fireback were granted to the company in 1569.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1631

    Arms: Worshipful Company of Barber-Surgeons

    Manufactured: in 1631 possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:, England.

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

  5. 300

    welshpool,_powis_castle_02.jpg
    ?610 x ?840 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped central panel with bead-and-pellet edging on a broad fillet; Jupiter in his chariot drawn by eagles; above are clouds, below is a landscape; arched rectangular shaped border with fillet edging, with a symmetrical scrolled wire design; the monogram, SHR, bottom centre; above is a symmetrical design of scrolled floral tendrils.

    Notes: The design is derived from a personification of the planet, Jupiter, in 'Planetarum effectus et eorum in signis zodiaci', by Marten de Vos (1585).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: SHR

    Manufactured: in the late 17th to early 18th century in England.

    Current location: Powis Castle, Welshpool, Powys, Wales.

    Museum number: 1180886 (part of the National Trust museum group)

    Citation: Dawson, C., 1903, 'Sussex Iron Work and Pottery', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 46, pp. 1-54.

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

  6. 1041

    west_hoathly, manor house 01.jpg
    1185 x 705 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and upper three-quarters of sides); central Tudor shield, garter, crown and supporters (greyhound and lion), formed from separate stamps; date on a single stamp in top left corner.

    Notes: This is an early example of a fireback being used as a pattern, with the addition of a subsequent date. The same stamps forming the arms can also be seen on other firebacks. The extension of the lower part of the ‘3’ on the date stamp suggests that the numbers may have been fixed to the backing block, rather than the date being carved as a whole. Another variant of this fireback has the rope edging extending further down the sides.

    Inscription: 1583 / HONE SOVT qVEY MAL Y PENSE

    Arms: Tudor royal (prob. Henry VIII)

    Manufactured: in 1583 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, West Hoathly, West Sussex, England.

  7. 1042

    west_hoathly, manor house 02.jpg
    995 x 585 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); top centre, twisted rope saltire between two food moulds used as stamps, comprising two concentric discs with a hatched design and enclosing four hearts arranged in a cross; below the saltire another food mould stamp; in the top corners, a twisted rope saltire with a double V design below each, the open ends facing inwards; below each of the upper pair of food mould stamps, an inverted twisted rope V.

    Notes: The food mould stamps can be seen on another fireback dated to 1562; the rope Vs and saltires have an apotropaic, or evil averting, purpose.

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

    Current location: Manor House, North Lane, West Hoathly, West Sussex, England.

    Citation: Hughes, G. B., May 1940, 'Old English Firebacks', Apollo, 31, 185, pp. 117-120.

  8. 1043

    west_hoathly, manor house 03.jpg
    910 x 590 mm

    Description: Rectangular; triple-fillet moulded edging formed of lengths of carved wood (top and upper seven-eights of sides only); stamp formed of an elliptical shield enclosed within an elliptical border of 23 beads, all mounted on a rectangular block, repeated eight times symmetrically 3-2-3.

    Notes: This is a rare example of elliptical arms on a fireback; in each instance the stamp has been over-pressed so that the block on which it was carved has appeared in relief.

    Arms: not known

    Manufactured: in the 17th century in England.

    Current location: in private hands, West Hoathly, West Sussex, England.

  9. 1052

    west_hoathly, old parsonage.jpg
    850 x 565 mm

    Description: Rectangular; rope edging on top and sides; central inscription panel; repeated trailing vine decoration from impressed wooden strips — one horizontal line at top, one vertical strip at each side.

    Notes: The inscription panel is identical to that on the memorial plate to Anne Forster in Crowhurst church, Surrey; at least ten other firebacks are known with the same inscription panel. Formerly at Stonelands, West Hoathly.

    Inscription: HER : LIETH : ANE : FORST/ R : DAVGHTER : AND : / HEYR : TO : THOMAS : / GAYNSFORD : ESQVIER / DECEASED : XVIII : OF: / IANVARI : 1591 : LEAVYNG / BEHIND : HER II : SONES : / AND : V : DAVGHTERS

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

    Current location: The Old Parsonage, North Lane, West Hoathly, West Sussex, England.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2018, 'The Anne Forster Firebacks', Surrey Archaeological Collections, 101, 99-114.

    Citation: Holgate, M. S., 1918, 'The Anne Forster Grave Slab', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 59, pp. 130-1.

  10. 780

    west_hoathly, priest house 01.jpg
    990 x 665 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); top corners, initials in separate stamps arranged in triad with ‘WR’ above ‘E’; top centre, date on single block overstamped.

    Notes: It is somewhat puzzling why a furnace should have a stock of letters but not of numerals. The use of a block for the date suggests that other firebacks may bear the same stamp.

    Inscription: WER [triad] 1632 WER [triad]

    Manufactured: in 1632 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Priest House, West Hoathly, West Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 1944.24.233 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

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