Firebacks

Edging: rope

201 results

  1. 322

    hever_castle 07.jpg
    1260 x 750 mm

    Description: Rectangular; rope edging (top and sides); two central crowned Tudor shields, one above the other, each with lion passant guardant sinister to the left, and lion passant to right; crowned, barbed, four-petalled rose in right and left corners; two crowned shields with KH in Lombardic characters above a fleur de lys, each irregularly placed between lions on left and right sides; three ‘imps’ with right arm raised, two on right and one on left between lions; two ‘imps’ with both arms lowered, one on each side in similar positions.

    Notes: The same heraldic charges can be seen on other firebacks, with other charges, forming the decoration on many other firebacks, suggesting they were the stock of one particular furnace.

    Arms: Tudor royal arms of England

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

    Current location: Hever Castle, Hever, Kent, England.

  2. 333

    horsham_museum 11.jpg
    875 x 620 mm

    Description: Rectangular with triangular extension at middle of top edge; rope edging (top and sides); inscription in triangle - O larger than I; a pair of vertical, parallel ratchet bars (180mm long) below each top corner.

    Inscription: O I

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

    Current location: Horsham Museum, Causeway, Horsham, West Sussex, England.

    (part of the Horsham Museum museum group)

  3. 1126

    horsted_keynes, the crown.jpg
    765 x 480 mm

    Description: Canted rectangular shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides); fillet-edged rectangle top centre, enclosing date between initials CT; five shields of Ayloffe impaling Sulyard in two rows (3-2); 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 smallest dated example in this series.

    Inscription: C 1609 T

    Arms: Ayloffe impaling Sulyard (William Ayloffe of Hornchurch)

    Manufactured: in 1609 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: The Crown, Inn, The Green, Horsted Keynes, 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.

  4. 334

    huddington_court 02.jpg
    607 x 498 mm

    Description: Quasi-rectangular; twisted rope lengths along top and sides; centre top, unidentified quartered shield between two vertical carved stamps of a billet with five oval shapes; the same billet is repeated horizontally below between two irregular twisted rope saltires.

    Notes: 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 at South Warnborough, Hampshire.

    Arms: Wriothesley

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

    Current location: in private hands, Huddington, Worcestershire, 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

    Citation: Starkie Gardner, J., 25 May 1907, 'Old Wealden Ironwork at Warnham Court', Country Life,

  5. 942

    hull,_wilberforce house.jpg
    910 x 680 mm

    Description: Rectangular with a central rectangular extension; twisted rope edging; fleur-de-lys stamp with twisted band repeated three times at top; ?rose stamp repeated five times in line below fleurs, some over pressed, central rose above others; cabled anchor stamp repeated twice, either side of central rose; initials below central rose; ?cow and dog stamps each repeated twice alternately in line below initials; eight rivets from later repair.

    Notes: None of the stamps is known from any other fireback; cabled anchor may suggest a connection with a seaport.

    Inscription: HI

    Manufactured: in the early 17th century in England.

    Current location: Wilberforce House, High Street, Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire, England.

    (part of the Hull Museums museum group)

  6. 347

    ightham_mote  06.jpg
    1195 x 688 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and 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: The worn appearance of the central arms, compared with the clarity of the date, suggests that 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 lengths extending only three-quarters of the way down the sides.

    Inscription: 1583

    Arms: Tudor royal

    Manufactured: in 1583 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Ightham Mote, Ightham, Kent, England.

    Museum number: NT/IGH/M/10 (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).

  7. 345

    ightham_mote 04.jpg
    945 x 680 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); from top, crowned Tudor royal shield (stamp overpressed) above crowned shield bearing initials, KH in Lombardic lettering, above a fleur de lys (stamp overpressed); to left, diagonal lion passant guardant sinister; to right, diagonal lion passant; at base, single ‘imp’ figure, arms to side, moving left but facing right, between two pairs of ‘imp’ figures (separately stamped), one moving left, right arm raised, the other moving right, right arm raised.

    Notes: One of the ‘Royal’ series.

    Arms: Tudor royal arms of England

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

    Current location: Ightham Mote, Ightham, Kent, England.

    Museum number: NT/IGH/M/45 (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).

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

    Inscription: E 1641 M

    Manufactured: in 1641 probably at Elmbridge (Newent) furnace in the Forest of Dean area of England.

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

    Museum number: NT/BAD/M/15 (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).