Firebacks

Edging: bead

  1. 216

    brighton_museum 08.jpg
    620 x 878 mm

    Description: Rectangular with plait-effect border and a column of beads down each side; pictorial scene of a male figure in gown and full-bottom wig, holding a fool’s cap in his right hand, standing behind a seated male figure, bald and bearded, with the papal triple crown falling off his head; he is seated at a desk on which are two books; behind him and to the right, three books are on a small shelf. Above the figures, a longer shelf, the width of the plate, supports other books and papers, together with the figure of a dog, from whose mouth a scroll issues bearing an unreadable inscription. On top, two putti hold hands in front of a flaming grenade.

    Notes: The design is copied from a cartoon of c.1672 showing Titus Oates, the instigator of the Popish Plot, presenting a fool’s cap to the Pope.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

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

    Current location: Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Brighton, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: HA105014 (part of the Brighton Museum museum group)

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

  2. 35

    chichester,_16 priory road.jpg
    ? x ? mm

    Description: 'Dutch' style; arched rectangular shaped with bead edging; figures of a man and woman walking, in dress of the mid-17th century, a page holding the woman's train. followed by a man holding a parasol, and by a horse; they pass between the bases of two columns; above is foliage and clouds. On top are two serpents and three pomegranates arranged symmetrically.

    Notes: The pictorial scene is based on an engraving c.1642 of Friedrich Wilhelm, Elector of Brandenburg, and his wife, Luise Henriette of Oranje-Nassau, by Mathias Czwiczek; one of series of firebacks depicting allegories of the four continents.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the mid 17th century .

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

  3. 154

    hastings_037.jpg
    432 x 597 mm

    Description: Rectangular central panel with bead edging; a phoenix, with wings displayed, rising from the flames; rectangular border with bead edging, flowers and leaves festooned from a central flower; initials split either side of a flower at the base; on top, symmetrical swirled leaves.

    Notes: Although similar to 'Dutch' types made in north Germany, this is probably an English design. A fireback bearing a phoenix was one of three designs ordered by Trubshaw's, ironmongers of London and Birmingham, from George Sitwell's furnace at Foxbrooke, Derbyshire, in the 1660s.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: R (or B) G

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

    Current location: Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Hastings, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 952.51.16 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

    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: Riden, P., 1985, George Sitwell's Letterbook, 1662-66 (Derbyshire Record Society vol. 10).

  4. 417

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 051.jpg
    515 x 660 mm

    Description: Rectangular central panel with top arch, bead edging; pictorial scene of a a kneeling man in a wide-brimmed hat reaching up the skirt of a milk maid, who in fending him off, leans forward, tipping the milk from the bucket on her head over the man; acanthus leaves over the top arch; side border with bead edging extending over shoulders of plate, surmounted by a floral vase each side; on top a floral vase between leaves.

    Notes: The poor definition indicates this a recast plate.

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in England.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.081 (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: Lloyd, N., 1925, 'Domestic Ironwork I', Architectural Review, 58, pp. 58-67.

  5. 446

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 086a.jpg
    575 x 760 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular; bead edging; pictorial scene of Venus, naked and kneeling, and Adonis, standing, holding a spear in his left hand, with Cupid to the left, and a hound to the right; pomegranates on top and on each shoulder of the plate, with two symmetrical, descending serpents.

    Notes: Based on the painting of Venus and Adonis by Peter Paul Rubens.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 17th century in the Siegerland area of Germany.

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

    Museum number: LH000.971 (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).

  6. 609

    ripley_018.jpg
    620 x 870 mm

    Description: Rectangular with plait-effect border and a column of beads down each side; pictorial scene of a male figure in gown and full-bottom wig, holding a fool’s cap in his right hand, standing behind a seated male figure, bald and bearded, with the papal triple crown falling off his head; he is seated at a desk on which are two books; behind him and to the right, three books are on a small shelf. Above the figures, a longer shelf, the width of the plate, supports other books and papers, together with the figure of a dog, from whose mouth a scroll issues bearing an unreadable inscription. On top, two putti hold hands in front of a flaming grenade.

    Notes: The design is copied from a cartoon of c.1672 showing Titus Oates, the instigator of the popish Plot, presenting a fool’s cap to the Pope.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the late 17th century in England.

    Current location: Mark Ripley Forge & Fireplaces, Northbridge Street, Robertsbridge, East Sussex, England.

  7. 774

    va_49.jpg
    495 x 745 mm

    Description: Arched shape with bead edging; from top, large bead with four pairs of small beads in a cross shape, text with pellet surrounded by eight beads on each side of 'G', and at bottom.

    Notes: Made by, and bearing the initials of Eric Gill and his wife, Mary, in 1930.

    Inscription: E&M / G / MCM / XXX

    Manufactured: in 1930 at Loosley Row foundry furnace possibly in the Chilterns area of England.

    Current location: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington & Chelsea, Greater London, England.

    Museum number: M.4-1983 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)