Firebacks

Manufactured in England

874 results

  1. 1009

    westland_ltd 9961 400x480a.jpg
    400 x 480 mm

    Description: Narrow, arched rectangular central panel with bead edging; a standing female figure in flowing robes, facing forward, holding in her right hand a slanting inverted anchor, a poorly modelled left arm apparently beckoning; arched rectangular border with cavetto-moulded edging enclosing, on each side of the central panel, a festoon of acanthus suspended from a ribbon bow; along the base is a line of acanthus leaves; under the arch, descending foliage.

    Notes: The figure is likely to be an allegory of Hope. A recasting, hence the loss of image definition.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the late 17th century in England.

    Current location: Westland Ltd, St Leonard's Church, Leonard Street, Shoreditch, London, England.

  2. 790

    whatlington,_hancox 03.jpg
    1507 x 1218 mm

    Description: Rectangular with arched rectangular shaped top joined by cavetto curves; astragal edging; shield, supporters, ducal coronet, motto and garter of the Duke of Dorset: Quarterly, Or and gules, a bend vair.

    Notes: Almost certainly the arms of Lionel Sackville KG (1688-1765), created first duke of Dorset in 1720; many different firebacks exist, all with precisely the same armorial stamp.

    Inscription: [around shield] HONY SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE / [on motto scroll] AUT NUNQUAM TENTES, AUT PERFICE

    Arms: Lionel Sackville, 1st Duke of Dorset

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Hancox, Whatlington, East Sussex, England.

  3. 791

    whiligh_1.jpg
    ~600 x ~550 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto-moulded edging; central, two handled, gadrooned vase with swirled, fruited vines issuing from the neck, and a bird on each side perched within the vines; out of the neck, a naïve human figure with arms outstretched, grasping vines on each side.

    Notes: The figure emerging from the vase has a symbolism which has yet to be explained; more than one version of this fireback exists.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 17th century in the Weald area of England.

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

  4. 1069

    wigmore,_chapel farm 02.jpg
    385 x 455 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched shape with forward-facing 'wings', which splay outwards towards the base where each has been pierced with a small hole as if to insert a rod from one side to the other; the 'wings' curve to follow the shape of the main panel but curl outwards at the top; central panel with stylised tree decoration surmounted with a crown between two inward-facing animals, possibly a lion and unicorn; beneath the tree, a partially illegible inscription in relief.

    Notes: This unusual casting was probably formed in an open box mould. Only a very small number of such castings are known. Depth 200mm. A similar fireback, noted at Poynings in Sussex, was illustrated in The Connoisseur, vol 41 (April 1915), p. 221; it too had a crown supported by a lion and unicorn on the top, and a tree with an illegible inscription below.

    Inscription: SYLVESTR..[illegible]

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

    Current location: in private hands, Wigmore, Herefordshire, England.

  5. 925

    wigmore,_chapel farm 04.jpg
    600 x 630 mm

    Description: Rectangular panel with moulded edging (top and sides); two joined guilloche arches with bracket ends and floral designs in the spandrels; above, pediment with dentil edging, between teardrop pinnacles; date in bottom centre of pediment; possible initials below and between arches.

    Notes: The pattern has been formed from, or in imitation of, the upper part of the back of a joined 'wainscot' chair with an inserted date and possible inserted initials

    Inscription: 1661 / [?W] [?H]

    Manufactured: in 1661 in England.

    Current location: in private hands, Wigmore, Herefordshire, England.

  6. 920

    wigmore,_chapel_farm_01a.jpg
    800 x 820 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging; top centre, quartered shield between four 'imp' figures, left facing, one with right arm raised, one of each on each side; below each pair of figures, a rope cross above an inverted V in rope, with an 'imp' figure, arms lowered, below the shield; along the bottom, eight 'imp' figures, alternately arms raised and lowered.

    Notes: The 'imp' figures are common on a group of firebacks, the rope designs having a probable apotropaic significance. The arms are probably of Thomas Wriothesley, who was Henry VIII's last Lord Chancellor and created Earl of Southampton in 1547; he married c.1533 so the arms could date to before then, but the same arms are displayed on his enamelled stall plate in St George's Chapel, Windsor, of 1545, and in stained glass in a window in the parish church at South Warnborough, Hampshire. The same armorial stamp has been noted on at least two other firebacks. A candidate for the earliest English fireback with an example of personal arms.

    Arms: Wriothesley (Earl of Southampton)

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

    Current location: in private hands, Wigmore, Herefordshire, England.

  7. 595

    wigmore,_chapel_farm_03a.jpg
    1640 x 770 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); top centre; crowned Tudor royal shield with angled lion passant guardant sinister to the left, and an angled lion passant to the right; below, a crowned shield with a fleur-de-lys below initials (over-pressed), between two four-petalled, crowned roses; the same crowned rose repeated in each top corner, below each a vertical dagger, point upwards; inside the roses and daggers, two tiered pairs of ‘imp’ figures, one of each with arm raised, above a single figure, its arms lowered.

    Notes: Each dagger, which is seen on two other firebacks (no. 660 and no. 1100), is approx. 35cm long.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: KH

    Arms: Tudor royal arms of England

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

    Current location: in private hands, Wigmore, Herefordshire, England.

    Citation: Lower, M. A., 1849, 'Iron Works of the County of Sussex', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 2, pp. 169-220 (esp. pp. 188-9).

  8. 1020

    wilkinsons_24 apr 2016 lot 317 660x580.jpg
    660 x 580 mm

    Description: Canted rectangular shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides); top centre, date formed of individual numerals.

    Notes: The '1' has a central button, typical of the period, or of a little earlier. Formerly at Padley Hall, Derbyshire. Wilkinson's, Doncaster, auction 24 Apr 2016 lot 317.

    Inscription: 1670

    Manufactured: in 1670 in England.

    Current location:, not known.

  9. 1146

    wilkinsons_24 jun 2018 lot 132 690x530.jpg
    690 x 530 mm

    Description: Canted rectangular shape; astragal edging with repeated fleurs-de-lys inside top and side edges; figure of St George impaling a dragon to the left with a lance over an undulating ground, with a kneeling figure above a sheep to the right.

    Notes: The mould for this unusual fireback may have been formed using a redundant carved, medieval wooden panel, perhaps from a church. Wilkinson's Auctioneers, Doncaster, 24 June 2018, lot 132.

    Manufactured: in the 16th century in England.

    Current location:, not known.

  10. 1055

    wilkinsons_26 feb 2017 lot 272 610x762.jpg
    610 x 762 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with small triangular protrusions in each top corner; fillet edging (top and sides); top centre, date stamp, over-pressed on right side; top corners, single fleur-de-lys stamp; below date, initials in triad.

    Notes: The fleur-de-lys is of a distinctive form; the small triangular protrusions are not seen on other firebacks. Wilkinson's, Doncaster, auction 26 Feb 2017 lot 272. A fireback with the same date stamp is at Newark Park, Ozleworth, Gloucestershire.

    Inscription: 1634 / RCS [triad]

    Manufactured: in 1634 in England.

    Current location: not known.