Firebacks

Edging: cavetto

126 results

  1. 1021

    sutton,_greenhill 02b.jpg
    870 x 500 mm

    Description: Rectangular; cavetto-moulded edging; shield mounted on a strap-work cartouche, helm, crest, motto scroll and elaborate swirled mantling.

    Notes: The arms of the Ironmongers' Company; blazon: Argent, on a chevron gules, between three gads of steel azure, three swivels or; crest: two talbots combatant encoupled together or. The true crest of the company has two salamanders (originally 'scaly lizards') rather than talbots, and it has been noted on other firebacks that salamanders are not always represented as amphibians; Samuel Lyne, in his Heraldry Display'd (1741), described the crest as 'two talbots', etc. The motto scroll is blank, indicating that the pattern was an armorial panel with a painted, rather than a carved, motto. A variant of the same fireback has the date 1660 and initials GI (Country Life, 8 March 1946, p. 450; 29 March 1946, p.588). Reeman Dansie auction, Colchester, 13 Apr 2016, lot 1224; Bellman's auction, Wisborough Green, 13 Oct 2021, lot 588.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Arms: Worshipful Company of Ironmongers

    Manufactured: in the mid 17th century in England.

    Current location: Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England.

  2. 909

    taddington_manor 04.jpg
    617 x 910 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto-moulded edging;lower centre, crowned bust of King William III above a cartouche, orange branches, with leaves and fruit on each side; above, a putto blowing a trumpet; initials on each side of cartouche; date split between bottom corners.

    Notes: A finely detailed image of King William III, the orange branches representing the Dutch House of Oranje; the significance of the date and the initials is not known. It is possible that the bust of the king, the date, initials and the surrounding branches were carved on a separate pattern which was added to an otherwise simple mould comprising an arched rectangular border and the trumpet-blowing putto before casting.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 96 / AC AL

    Manufactured: in 1696 in England.

    Current location: in private hands, Taddington, Gloucestershire, England.

  3. 703

    tiverton_castle 03.jpg
    838 x 675 mm

    Description: Rectangular; cavetto moulded edging; pictorial scene of the siege of Bethulia, with Judith placing the severed head of Holofernes into the bag held by her maid; in the lower panel are the top parts of four knightly figures.

    Notes: The design is after one by the pattern-maker, Philipp Soldan, and derived from a woodcut of an engraving by Israhel van Meckenhem; it illustrates scenes from the Apocryphal book of Judith.

    Manufactured: in the late 16th century in the Eifel area of Germany.

    Current location: Tiverton Castle, Tiverton, Devon, England.

    Citation: Driesch, K. von den , 1990, Handbuch der Ofen-, Kamin- und Takenplatten im Rheinland (Cologne, Rheinland-Verlag).

  4. 704

    tiverton_castle 04.jpg
    770 x 1060 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead edging; pictorial figure of a winged child holding a thunderbolt in his right hand and a sceptre in his left hand, on a ground of clouds; arched rectangular border with astragal and cavetto moulded edging; two cornucopiae, flowers and leaves tumbling from them and hanging suspended down the sides; on top, two sea serpents.

    Notes: The figure is of Zeus/Jupiter as a child.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 [...]

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

    Current location: Tiverton Castle, Tiverton, Devon, England.

  5. 1189

    unknown_106_525x500.jpg
    525 x 500 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. A copy.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

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

    Current location:, English.

  6. 714

    unknown_15 600 x 690 somerset.jpg
    600 x 690 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; cavetto moulded edging (top and sides); single horizontal fillet below canted corners and vertical fillet parallel to each side, dividing the fireback into two side panels, two top corner panels, top panel and main central panel; corner panels, lion passant stamp, left facing in right corner, right facing in left corner; top panel, date between fleurs-de-lys; side panels, suspended vine stamp repeated each side; centre panel, flower stamp in each top corner.

    Notes: The lion stamps and design elements (canted shape, vertical and horizontal divisions) are identical to those on similar firebacks dated to the first decade of the 18th century, and indicate a common source.

    Inscription: 1699

    Manufactured: in 1699 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location:, Somerset, England.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., Autumn 2020, 'A Series of Distinctive Firebacks', Base Thoughts, Newsletter of the Antique Metalware Society, pp. 7-8.

  7. 819

    unknown_32 760x660.jpg
    760 x 660 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto moulding (top and sides); date in top corners; shield, supporters, coronet and motto of the Barony of Bergavenny.

    Notes: The arms are those of William Nevill, 16th Baron Bergavenny, of Kidbrooke Park, Forest Row, Sussex; the arms have been modified by the omission of the motto below the compartment.

    Inscription: 17 37

    Arms: William Nevill, 16th Baron Bergavenny

    Manufactured: in 1737 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Greenham, Somerset, England.

  8. 908

    unknown_62 520 x 570.jpg
    520 x 570 mm

    Description: Quasi arched rectangular shape with detached pediment above symmetrical ‘horns’ within arcs; cavetto-moulded edging; shield with helm, crest and mantling; initials split by crest.

    Notes: Blazon: quarterly 1st lion rampant (poss. Lewis, descendant of Gwaethfoed); 2nd a chevron between three fleurs de lys (descendant of Einon ap Collwyn); 3rd three chevronels (descendant of Iestyn ap Gwrgan); 4th as 2nd (but possibly different tinctures); crest: a lion rampant; the initials suggest the arms may be of a member of a cadet branch of the Lewis family.

    Inscription: T L

    Arms: Possibly a member of the Lewis family

    Manufactured: in the late 16th to early 17th century in Wales.

    Current location: Ty-r-ash, Brecon Road, Crickhowell, Powys, Wales.

  9. 253

    unknown_65 762 x 686.jpg
    762 x 686 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto moulded edging; garter enclosing Stuart royal arms, with supporters, crown and motto; date split either side of garter buckle; rectangular extension panel at bottom.

    Notes: An altered casting from a 1641 original, the last part of the date having disproportionate numerals; often copied. Probably an original casting.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: C R / HONI SOIT QVI MAL Y PENSE / 16 64 / DIEV ET MON DROIT

    Arms: English Stuart royal

    Manufactured: in 1664 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).

  10. 983

    unknown_83 622x749.jpg
    622 x 749 mm

    Description: Arched shape; cavetto-moulded edge; Tudor royal shield, crown, garter (with inscription anti-clockwise) and supporters (dragon and greyhound); crowned rose on left, and crowned portcullis on right side of crown; the supporters stand on a horizontal fillet, to the bottom right of which is the end of an illegible inscription.

    Notes: There are several firebacks with the Tudor royal arms that were probably produced in the Spanish Netherlands, perhaps illustrating the association between England and Spain through the marriage of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon. The firebacks differ in several small details, such as the form and rotation of the Garter motto, the style of the crown, the positioning of the supporters in relation to the Garter, and the form and size of the crowned rose and portcullis.

    Inscription: HONI SOIT QVI MAL I PENSE / [illeg.]

    Arms: Tudor royal

    Manufactured: in the mid 16th century in the Wallonia area of Luxembourg.

    Current location:.