Firebacks

Manufactured in England

870 results

  1. 1260

    woolley_and_wallis,_salisbury,_4_apr_2023_lot_46_1260x720a.jpg
    1260 x 720 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides); from top: rose and crown within a shield stamped eight times horizontally; rectangular stamp with a griffin passant repeated seven times horizontally; rose and crown within a shield stamped eight times horizontally.

    Notes: Five other firebacks bearing these stamps are known: two are in Hastings, and one, dated 1569, is at Hadlow Down, Sussex. The locations of the other two, formerly in Ipswich and Guildford, are not known. Two excrescences on the lower part of the fireback show where the iron was poured, displacing the sand in the mould. Woolley & Wallis auction, Salisbury, 4 Apr 2023, lot 46 (£1,400).

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

    Current location:, not known.

  2. 1105

    worth,_rowfant house 3.jpg
    ~406 x ~296 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; cyma recta moulded edging (top and sides); top centre, rose and crown; top right, date; top left, initials, DI (with D reversed); small rose stamp between initials and rose/crown; concentric, rope-patterned roundel below date and below initials, with fleur-de-lys separating each from the rose/crown; below, uneven alternating line of three fleurs and two small rose stamps.

    Notes: One of a series of firebacks cast between the 1670s and 1690s bearing small, simple stamps, initials and dates; the style of rose and crown is similar to that used in gun founding in the Tudor period, suggesting that the furnace that was the source of this fireback may have been used for that purpose. Alleged to have been formally at Rowfant House, Worth, Sussex.

    Inscription: D [reversed] I 1685

    Manufactured: in 1685 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:, not known.

  3. 636

    worth,_saxon road 02.jpg
    1445 x 597 mm

    Description: Rectangular; no edging; quasi-symmetrical arrangement of crosses and buckle outlines: a cross at each corner and one to right of middle, three buckles along the top and three buckles in triad, level with, and below, the central cross; two horizontal plank lines; lower left part of back missing due to wear and corrosion. The fireback has a small accumulation of iron slag on the reverse side, probably caused by a failure, by the founder, to tap off all the slag from the furnace hearth before casting.

    Notes: The buckles, which could have been stamped using a branding iron, suggest a connection with the Pelham family. This is the fireback noted in 1861 at Warbleton Priory, Sussex, which the Pelhams endowed in 1413; the priory was dissolved in 1535 suggesting that the fireback dates from before then. The excrescence, left of centre, on the surface of the fireback was probably caused by molten iron being poured from a ladle into the sand mould and displacing some of the sand.

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

    Current location: Anne of Cleves House, Southover High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, England.

    (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).

    Citation: Turner, E., 1861, 'The College and Priory of Hastings and the Priory of Warbleton', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 13, p. 161.

  4. 803

    worth,_saxon road.jpg
    475 x 720 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel, astragal and fillet edge, pictorial, Hercules, sword in hand, preparing to slay the Hydra; Arched rectangular border, fillet edge, ivy leaves and tendrils, monogram at bottom; swirled foliage on top.

    Notes: The wooden pattern for this fireback (no. 927), formerly in the custody of William Hobday (d. 1883), last surviving ironworker at Ashburnham furnace, was given to the Sussex Archaeological Society by the Revd. J. Bickersteth. The fireback was previously at a house at Hooe, East Sussex.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: TAN

    Manufactured: in the 18th century at Ashburnham Furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Citation: Butterfield, W. R., 1916, 'Old Wealden Firebacks', The Connoisseur, 46, pp. 197-209.

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

    Citation: Lloyd, N., 1925, 'Domestic Ironwork I', Architectural Review, 58, pp. 58-67.

    Citation: Straker, E., 1931, Wealden Iron (London, Bell).

    Citation: Whistler, R. F., 1888, 'Penhurst: being some account of its Iron Works, Manor House, Church, etc.,' Sussex Archaeological Collections, 36, pp. 1-18.

  5. 1192

    worth,_saxon_road_02a.jpg
    815 x 530 mm

    Description: Canted rectangular shape; twisted rope edging formed of six lengths of 23cm (top and sides); top centre, rectangular panel with cavetto-moulded edging (left side missing) enclosing date between initials CT, all interposed with dots; below, eight shields of Ayloffe impaling Sulyard in three rows (3-2-3); Ayloffe: sable, a lion rampant Or, collared gules, between three crosses formy of the second; Sulyard: argent, a chevron gules between three pheons inverted sable.

    Notes: William Ayloffe (c1535-1584) of Hornchurch, Essex, Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench, married (c1560) Jane, dau. of Sir Eustace Sulyard, of Runwell, Essex. The initials 'CT' are likely to be those of Charles Tyler, a founder whose working life and that of his family have strong parallels with the occurrence of these firebacks. The excrescence affecting the left shield in the middle row and the blemish left of the middle shield in the top row are the result of inexpert ladling of the iron during casting. Previously at Smarden, Kent.

    Inscription: C.1.6.1.2.T

    Arms: Ayloffe impaling Sulyard (William Ayloffe of Bretons, Hornchurch)

    Manufactured: in 1612 possibly at Bedgebury Furnace, Goudhurst in the Weald area of England.

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

    Citation: Cowper, H. S., 1911, 'A Series of Kentish Heraldic Firebacks and the Identification of the Arms', Archaeologia Cantiana, 29, pp. 40-6.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2018, 'A series of Kentish firebacks and the possible identification of their founder', Archaeologia Cantiana, 139, pp. 312-15.

  6. 1204

    worth,_saxon_road_03a.jpg
    805 x 645 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; ovolo moulded edging; date in arch; below arch two parallel, vertical straps, each with a buckle at the top and six prong holes; initials left and right of centre; in top corners, rectangular framed stamp with inset bird; top centre, to left and right of buckle, circular 'butter mould' stamp with stylised fleur-de-lys design, the left one angled top to left; between each initial and strap, rectangular framed stamp with inset deer with antlers, and star in top left corner; below this, adjacent to each strap end, a circular stamp with symmetrical pattern; to left and right of this, a rectangular stamp with an unidentified animal, possibly a dog..

    Notes: The buckles, the date and the initials all appear to be separate stamps but attached to the base board before being impressed to form the mould, as they are identically positioned on all castings. The buckles suggest a connection with the Pelham family; the initials may relate to Sir Thomas Pelham, Bt. (1597-1654) who owned and operated ironworks at Waldron in Sussex. This would appear to be a casting of the original pattern with the addition of five pairs of stamps. The circular stamp with the symmetrical pattern is probably the same stamp that has been noted on an otherwise unrelated fireback (no. 733). Some of the stamps are seen in greater profusion on a fireback formerly at Huggetts Farm, Waldron, Sussex (no. 966) and drawn by Edward Hughes, of Heathfield, in a scrapbook of images compiled by J. Starkie Gardner. Nicholson's auction, Fernhurst, 3 Jul 2021, lot 100 (£5).

    Inscription: 1642 / T P

    Manufactured: in 1642 probably at Waldron Furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

  7. 1129

    wotton_under edge, wotton auctions 30 apr-1 may lot 1138 600x600.jpg
    600 x 600 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; no edging; date in arch; initials in wide triad below.

    Notes: A rather crudely cast fireback; rivets indicate repair. Wotton Auctions, Wotton-under-Edge, 30 Apr-1 May 2019, lot 1138.

    Inscription: 16 59 / W R [or P] F [triad]

    Manufactured: in 1659 in England.

    Current location:, not known.

  8. 254

    wrangle,_youngs_antiques_a.jpg
    910 x 815 mm

    Description: Curved ogee-arched rectangular with egg and dart moulding along top, supported by Ionic pilasters; English Stuart royal shield, garter, helm, crown, motto and supporters; date below and either side of garter.

    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.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: HONI + SOIT + QVI + MAL + Y + PENSE / 16 18

    Arms: English Stuart royal (James I)

    Manufactured: in 1618 possibly in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location:, not known.

    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.

  9. 1008

    wye_college.jpg
    1230 x 730 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging on top and (probably both) sides; cavetto-moulded-edged rectangle top centre, enclosing date between initials; 13 shields of Ayloffe impaling Sulyard in three rows (5-4-4), the bottom row having a gap between the middle pair of shields; Ayloffe: sable, a lion rampant Or, collared gules, between three crosses formy of the second; Sulyard: argent, a chevron gules between three pheons inverted sable.

    Notes: William Ayloffe (c1535-1584) of Hornchurch, Essex, Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench, married (c1560) Jane, dau. of Sir Eustace Sulyard, of Runwell, Essex. About 110mm of the left side has broken off suggesting an original width of 1340mm. The initials 'CT' are likely to be those of Charles Tyler, a founder whose working life and that of his family have strong parallels with the occurrence of these firebacks.

    Inscription: C 1610 T

    Arms: Ayloffe impaling Sulyard (William Ayloffe of Bretons, Hornchurch)

    Manufactured: in 1610 possibly at Bedgebury Furnace, Goudhurst in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Wye College, High Street, Wye, Kent, England.

    Citation: Cowper, H. S., 1911, 'A Series of Kentish Heraldic Firebacks and the Identification of the Arms', Archaeologia Cantiana, 29, pp. 40-6.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2018, 'A series of Kentish firebacks and the possible identification of their founder', Archaeologia Cantiana, 139, pp. 312-15.

  10. 805

    yapton_metal co.jpg
    760 x 510 mm

    Description: Rectangular with canted top corners; twisted rope edging (top and sides); top centre, date formed from a single stamp, over-pressed; monogram below date.

    Notes: Dates formed from a single stamp are uncommon, this series being distinguished by this practice.

    Inscription: 1632 / HPE

    Manufactured: in 1632 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Yapton Metal Co., Yapton, West Sussex, England.

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