Firebacks

Edging: fillet

233 results

  1. 327

    horsham_museum 05.jpg
    560 x 810 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped central panel with open-bud edging; pictorial: Venus in her chariot drawn by doves, with her child, Cupid; a heron flies away to the left; above are swagged curtains and a pair of tassels, below is a landscape; arched rectangular shaped border with fillet edging, a scallop shell top centre with symmetrical arrangement of vine and acanthus leaves and tendrils; the monogram, SHR, bottom centre; above is a symmetrical design of scrolled floral tendrils.

    Notes: The design is derived from a personification of the planet, Venus, in 'Planetarum effectus et eorum in signis zodiaci', by Marten de Vos (1585); the flying heron has been copied from a print by Wenceslaus Hollar c.1658. The theft, in 1699, from a Thames-side warehouse of several firebacks, including '6 of Venus in a Chariot with Doves' may refer to this type (Post Boy 11-14 Nov. 1699).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: SHR

    Manufactured: in the late 17th century in England.

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

    (part of the Horsham Museum museum group)

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

  2. 328

    horsham_museum 06.jpg
    450 x 700 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead edging; pictorial scene of a figure in Roman dress, holding a large sword, and holding the head of a bearded man in his left hand; below to the left, a naked, decapitated body; above the winged face of a putto between mirrored, scrolled foliage; arched rectangular border with fillet edging; flowers in chain under the arch and down the sides; at the bottom, swirled foliage; on top, a crown between fruit triads.

    Notes: Perseus holding the severed head of the Medusa; possibly adapted from a drawing by Crispijn de Passe the elder (1564-1637). Similarities in the design and execution of the pattern suggest a common source with contemporary English firebacks.

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in England.

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

    (part of the Horsham Museum museum group)

  3. 53

    horst,_ephrata,_pa,_1_oct_2022,_lot_691.jpg
    394 x 610 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped central panel, bead on fillet edging, narrow-necked urn with flowers issuing therefrom; arched rectangular shaped border with fillet edging and symmetrical floral swags; on top, stylised fish with floral accessories; at bottom, two looped 'W' figures between split date in bottom corners. A faint plankline, slightly inclined from the vertical and more evident on a later casting, can be seen slightly left of centre.

    Notes: The second smallest of five flower vase designs in this series. All incorporate the looped 'W' motif which may be intended to identify the pattern maker. A clear vertical plankline left of centre. Horst Auctioneers, Ephrata, PA, USA, 1 Oct 2022. lot 691 ($400).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 17 24

    Manufactured: in 1724 in England.

    Current location:, not known.

  4. 337

    huddington_court 05.jpg
    713 x 630 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped; ovolo moulded edging (top and sides); central stamp of a carved bracket figure of a bearded man in a loincloth and cap; date and monogram in arch, split by figure, ‘T’ elevated; rhyme in capitals across centre, letters carved on strips, split by figure; date and initials as individual stamps.

    Notes: The twin miseries of a smoky house and a scolding wife are mentioned several times in literature. The dress of the figure suggests work as a miner, possibly linking this back with the Forest of Dean. Variants exist without date or initials, or with other dates. A version of this fireback with the date 1660, instead of 1658, was noted at Bellamy's Farm, Longney, Gloucestershire in 1912 (Notes and Queries, 11th ser., 6 (Sep 1912), p.230.).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1658 LTB; ·FROM ·A·-·SMOKY ·LIFE·/ AND·A SCOVL DING·WIFE·/ALL MEN THAT-DOE·ME·SE/ TAKE·PETIE- AND·DELIVER ME

    Manufactured: in 1658 possibly at Tintern Furnace in the Forest of Dean area of Wales.

    Current location: in private hands, Huddington, Worcestershire, England.

    Citation: Chambers, L. H., 26 Sep 1912, 'Fireback: Relic of 1660', Notes and Queries, 11th series, 6, p. 230.

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

  5. 341

    hurstpierpoint,_danny.jpg
    912 x 1110 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped central panel with ’nutshell,’ paternost edging on a broad fillet; figure of Neptune/Poseidon holding a trident in his right hand, standing on a pedestal in the centre of a circular fountain, with two hippocampi, water issuing from their mouths; in front, a mermaid swims in waves, her arms raised; behind, blasts of wind issue from clouds; arched rectangular border with fillet edging; symmetrical design of seashells suspended from chains of pearls; bottom centre, the monogram between swirled plant tendrils; on top, symmetrical floral swirls.

    Notes: Although very similar in size and design to a fireback in the 1724 series, this is not based on a design by Daniel Marot; instead it may have been inspired by the design for a fountain by Jean Lepautre (1618-82) published in a set of 12 etchings by Jean Le Blond in 1650. Almost certainly the 'iron chimney back' purchased by Henry Campion, of Danny, from John Legas for two guineas in 1731; another example, presumably from the same source, is at The Vine, near Basingstoke, Hampshire.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: SHR

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century possibly at Gloucester Furnace, Lamberhurst in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Danny House, Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex, England.

    Citation: Brent, C. & J., 2013, Danny House (Chichester, Phillimore), pp. 58-9.

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

  6. 981

    ickenham,_swakeleys house.jpg
    ~720 x ~990 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; fillet edging; broad, fillet-edged central panel with pictorial landscape and battle scene; on top, above a cone of laurel leaves, a crown supported by two putti, each holding a plant stem; on each side, a flower and fruit festoon suspended on a ribbon from a ring; at the bottom , inscription on a scroll.

    Notes: The pictorial scene is alleged to be the Siege of Namur of 1695 in which British and Dutch forces, under the leadership of William III, defeated the French forces of Louis XIV, however details of the scene more closely resemble those seen in images of the Siege of Vienna in 1683, an iconic victory of the Christian powers over the Ottoman Turks.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: NON[...]ROSEDARMIS / N ANNO 1695 L

    Manufactured: in 1695 possibly in the Siegerland area of Germany.

    Current location: Swakeley's House, Ickenham, Middlesex, England.

    Citation: Godfrey, W. H., 1933, Survey of London Monograph 13, Swakeleys, Ickenham (London, HMSO).

  7. 344

    ightham_mote 03.jpg
    560 x 810 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel, with bead-and-pellet edging; pictorial, standing female figure in classical dress, facing to the left, holding a snake in her right hand, a bunch of flowers at lower left; the initials located in bottom corners; arched rectangular border, fillet edging, containing swirled foliage, with a putto in the top corners; on top, two perched bird facing each other, with swirled foliage descending behind them.

    Notes: The figure is of Sapientia, or Wisdom, based closely on an engraving, one of a set entitled 'The Virtues' by Hendrik Goltzius c.1593; a small number of firebacks bear the initials, GK; it is not known to whom they refer, but dated ones are of 1700.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: G K

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in the Siegerland area of Germany.

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

    Museum number: 825381 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  8. 1117

    isleworth,_london road, 02.jpg
    305 x 530 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped central panel, bead edging, narrow-necked urn with swagged decoration and gadrooned base, flowers issuing therefrom; arched rectangular shaped border with fillet edging and symmetrical floral festoons; on top, mirrored plant fronds descending from a small mask; at the bottom, an indistinct cartouche and a probable letter 'W' between swirled foliage.

    Notes: Small firebacks of this type and period might have been cast at one of the London foundries and used for attaching to the rear of dog grates. The initial 'W' probably denotes the pattern maker.

    Inscription: W

    Manufactured: in the late 17th to early 18th century possibly in the London area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Isleworth, London, England.

  9. 1108

    islington,_criterion auctions.jpg
    540 x 810 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; Greek Key border with fillet edges; in high relief, in front of swagged drapery, the shield of, quarterly, France quartering England, Scotland and Ireland, surrounded by a Garter, and surmounted by a ducal coronet; below, the inscription in capitals.

    Notes: The use of the Greek Key design as a border is believed to be unique for an English fireback. Although somewhat indistinct, the use of the Stuart royal arms and the ducal coronet can be explained by the fact that the fireback was one of a group cast for the 2nd Duke of Richmond, whose father, the 1st duke, was the illegitimate son of Charles II and Louise de Kéroualle. The Richmond arms were differenced from the Stuart royal arms by the addition of a bordure compony (the detail of which is not distinct on this casting). Sowley Furnace, near Beaulieu in Hampshire, was owned in 1732 by John, 2nd Duke of Montagu, and was let to Miles Troughton. A similar, but larger, variant of this fireback, dated 1731, is at Goodwood House, the seat of the Dukes of Richmond. Criterion Auctions, Islington, 7 Jan 2019, lot 128 (£50).

    Inscription: HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE / SOWLEY MDCCXXXII

    Arms: Duke of Richmond

    Manufactured: in 1732 at Sowley Furnace, Beaulieu in the New Forest area of England.

    Current location:, not known.

  10. 355

    kenilworth_castle.jpg
    860 x 850 mm

    Description: Rectangular joined to pediment by symmetrical scrolls; fillet edging with embattling inside; shield, helm, crest, supporters and mantling of the city of Bristol; date split by bottom of shield; inscription in an oval cartouche below shield.

    Notes: Both '3's in the date are a substitution, with another casting suggesting an original date of 1614 or 1624. The pattern-maker was also responsible for carving royal coats of arms in three West Country churches and a small number of series of firebacks in the first quarter of the 17th century.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 33 / [ARMES] BRISTOLL

    Arms: City of Bristol

    Manufactured: in 1633 possibly in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: Kenilworth Castle, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, England.

    Museum number: 88278827 (part of the English Heritage museum group)

    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.

    Citation: Russell, A. J., 1978, 'The Fireback in Willey Farmhouse, Chaldon', Local History Records, 17 (The Bourne Society), pp. 8-9.