Firebacks

Edging: astragal with cavetto

  1. 932

    arms_of theodore agrippa daubigne (anjou) carpentier p229 690x870.png
    690 x 870 mm

    Description: Carved wooden fireback pattern. Canted arched rectangular shape with cavetto-moulded astragal edging; coronet in arch; oval shield with a crowned lion lion rampant, supported two griffons reguardant, the whole within a cartouche, the bottom of which terminates in two swirls between which is a human mask.

    Notes: Theodore Agrippa d'Aubigné (1552-1630) was a French poet and writer.

    Arms: Theodore Agrippa d'Aubigné

    Manufactured: in the early 17th century in France.

    Current location:, U. S. A..

    Citation: Carpentier, H., 1912, Plaques de Cheminées, Paris.

  2. 291

    flaxley_abbey 01.jpg
    760 x 955 mm

    Description: Rectangular; astragal with cavetto-moulded edging (top and sides); date top centre; initials evenly-spaced below date; low-relief fleur de lys stamp repeated three times down each side, and in triangular arrangement below initials.

    Notes: The initials may relate to William Boevey who was owner of Flaxley furnace from 1683-92. Another fireback with the same date and initials, and fewer fleurs, is also known.

    Inscription: 1685 / W B

    Manufactured: in 1685 at Flaxley furnace in the Forest of Dean area of England.

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

    Citation: Bick, D. E., Sept 1985, 'Firebacks', Period Homes Magazine, pp. 21-4.

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

  3. 292

    flaxley_abbey 02.jpg
    755 x 545 mm

    Description: Rectangular; cavetto-moulded edging; top centre, date, above initials; two low-relief fleurs de lys down each side from top corners, and central fleur below and between the initials.

    Notes: The initials may relate to William Boevey who was owner of Flaxley furnace from 1683-92. Another fireback with the same date and initials, and more fleurs, is also known.

    Inscription: 1685 / W B

    Manufactured: in 1685 at Flaxley furnace in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: Flaxley Abbey, Flaxley, Gloucestershire, England.

    Citation: Bick, D. E., Sept 1985, 'Firebacks', Period Homes Magazine, pp. 21-4.

  4. 396

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 030.jpg
    700 x 660 mm

    Description: Cavetto-canted rectangle with arched top; astragal and cavetto edging (top and sides); pictorial; back-to-back figures of a bearded man and a woman in a poke bonnet, both dressed in tunics, their arms raised, respectively left and right; they are chained to a vertical pole; below, flames issue from vertically stacked logs, while smoke rises above them; the physical proportions of the figures are naïve, the man’s eyes being over-large, as are the hands of both.

    Notes: The design is a free adaptation of an illustration from The Book of Martyrs by John Foxe (1563), a recasting of a back originally noted at Brick Cottage, Burwash, Sussex, in 1871. This may be the design of fireback referred to in an enquiry printed in the St James's Chronicle, or British Evening Post, of 9 August 1788, which described it as 'having two Bishops burning at Stakes thereon' at a house in Warwickshire. At an auction sale in 2017 the same design of fireback was interpreted as the burning of Bishops Latimer and Ridley in 1555. Protestants were burnt to death at several Wealden locations as well as elsewhere in the south-east of England during the reign of Mary I, notably at Canterbury and Lewes. The subject of the fireback should regarded as symbolic rather than commemorating any individual martyrs.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

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

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

    Museum number: LH000.903 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

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

    Citation: Dawson, C., 1903, 'Sussex Iron Work and Pottery', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 46, pp. 1-54.

    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: Paine, C., Aug 2013, 'Mystery of the Two Martyrs', Sussex Past and Present, 130, 6-7.

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