Firebacks

25 results

  1. 972

    bristol,_red lodge museum 02a.jpg
    760 x 924 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with ovolo-moulded edging and extensions to sides and top; central shield bearing arms with lion rampant supporters and motto scroll beneath; above, a marquesal coronet; date (over-pressed) in extension above main panel; inserted initials (slightly over-pressed) on either side of coronet.

    Notes: The arms are of the family of Pierrepont, marquesses of Dorchester and later dukes of Kingston-upon-Hull, of Thoresby Hall, Nottinghamshire (blazon: argent semi of cinquefoils gules, a lion rampant sable), with the motto: Pie Repone Te (Place yourself piously), a pun on the name, Pierrepont. The original casting must have dated to between 1706 and 1715, during the marquisate, with the unidentified initials added to a subsequent casting which, in turn, is likely to have pre-dated the addition of the dated extensions which have obliterated 'Dutch'-style dolphins known to have surmounted the original.

    Inscription: 1722 / I H / PIE REPONE TE

    Arms: Pierrepont, Marquess of Dorchester

    Manufactured: in 1722 in England.

    Current location: Red Lodge, Park Row, Bristol, England.

    Museum number: NX420 (part of the Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives museum group)

  2. 247

    chawton_house 01.jpg
    1185 x 870 mm

    Description: A modified recasting of a variant of the ‘Armada’ fireback, with changed initials, a single anchor panel, and the addition of plain base and borders, the latter each with a twisted rope saltire, upper middle.

    Notes: It is likely that an original four-panel fireback has been used to recast a copy with additional side and base panels. A second fireback at the house, identical but for being 1% smaller all round, has a full-width extension on top bearing four symmetrical rope saltires, the outer two larger than the inner two; the saltires may have apotropaic significance. The reduction in size of the common elements due to shrinkage suggests the first example was used to make the second. It is alleged that John Knight, who built Chawton House, was rewarded with a fireback for contributing £50 to the Crown at the time of the Armada emergency; given that a great many of the gentry and aristocracy made similar contributions, this story is improbable. It seems likely that this putative original was used to make these two subsequent copies.

    Inscription: 1588 / IK

    Manufactured: in 1588 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Chawton House, Chawton, Hampshire, England.

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

  3. 67

    frant,_lightlands 01.jpg
    892 x 875 mm

    Description: Pediment and frieze resting on fluted Tuscan pilasters; plain podium base; rectangular central panel with double fillet edge divided into four with central panel containing initials; date in tympanum; narrow rectangular panels on each side from base to cornice.

    Notes: An early example of the use of classical architectural elements in an English fireback.

    Inscription: 1568 ER

    Manufactured: in 1568 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Frant, East Sussex, England.

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

  4. 403

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 037.jpg
    >710 x 745 mm

    Description: Fragment; arched rectangular shape with rounded corners; ovolo within fillet moulding all round; oval Tudor royal shield with garter surrounding, topped with a royal crown; dragon and (missing)greyhound supporters; initials split by crown; inscription on a fillet between legs of supporters, behind garter finial; motto on an Ionic plinth at bottom; rectangular side panels with twisted rope edging top and side; a short length of turned dowel stamped four times, diagonally, on each panel; a circular disc with concentric grooves in top left corner.

    Notes: A variant of a fireback in the Victoria & Albert Museum, differentiated by the addition of the grooved disc.

    Inscription: E R / HONY SOIT QUE ... / Made in Sussex by J... / DU ET MOV...

    Arms: Tudor royal - Edward VI

    Manufactured: in the mid 16th century possibly at Pounsley furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: LH000.916 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

  5. 425

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 060.jpg
    560 x 630 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead-and-pellet edging; S-scroll, two-handled, gadrooned vase with tulip stems, flowers and leaves; arched rectangular border with fillet edging and suspended flower bunches; two symmetrical, coiled serpents on top; narrow, curved shouldered side panels with beads in oval depressions.

    Notes: This is a shortened version of a much-copied fireback. Normally there is a bottom panel.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the late 17th century in England.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.091 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

  6. 449

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 089.jpg
    1535 x 860 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto edging; armorial; Stuart English royal arms within a circular garter; crown, motto and supporters (crowned lion and unicorn); initials separated by crown; left rectangular extension panel with double ovolo-moulded edging; top, putto face above initials in triad, with flower head below; right rectangular extension panel with double ovolo-moulded edging; top, putto face above date, with flower head below.

    Notes: A widely copied armorial fireback with extension panels of a style associated with other date and initial firebacks; the central fireback measures 1080 x 860mm.

    Inscription: [central fireback] C [R missing] / ..I SOI T·QVI·MAL·Y· ...SE; [left panel] IRM [triad]; [right panel] 1686

    Arms: English Stuart royal

    Manufactured: in 1686 in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: LH000.951 (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).

  7. 481

    maresfield,_putmans farm 01.jpg
    478 x 445 mm

    Description: Rectangular; cavetto edging all round; seated lion on right, its tail rising above its back and its head turned to face the viewer; a seated sheep on the left; at the bottom, a plain rectangular extension panel; date split across top.

    Notes: Intended to represent the saying, ‘The lion shall lie down with the lamb’, a popular misquotation of Isaiah 11: 6.

    Manufactured: in 1679 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Maresfield, East Sussex, England.

  8. 866

    new_york, met museum 01.jpg
    692 x 597 mm

    Description: Rectangular with a sinuous arch and three simulated loops, one top centre, the other two to each side; two-handled flower vase with gadrooned upper surface and acanthus bas-relief below, trailing fruited vines issuing from top descending through handles to base; lion’s mask at top; date split either side of vase base; ball on each shoulder of the plate; broadened side edges.

    Notes: The simulated loops are seen on a small number of other firebacks, suggesting a common pattern-maker; a variation on a design typical of this period.

    Inscription: 16 77

    Manufactured: in 1677 possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000, Fifth Avenue, New York, New York, United States of America.

    Museum number: 08.81.1 (part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art museum group)

  9. 1161

    panxworth,_norfolk_reclamation_02.jpg
    750 x 1030 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead-and-pellet edging (top and sides); on a ground between two plants, their flowers upstanding, a gadrooned flower vase with two, scrolled handles, tulips and other flowers issuing from the narrow neck; arched rectangular border with fillet edging; mirrored descending flower swags; along a rectangular bottom panel with fillet edging a symmetrical arrangement of swirled foliage; on top, two mirrored sea serpents; at the sides, a narrow vertical extension bordered with a fillet and with bead infill; at the base, a plain extension panel.

    Notes: The presence of tulips suggest a Dutch origin for the pattern of this fireback, although the presence of several examples in England suggest that it was produced there rather than on the Continent. One of several very similar designs, varied by the forms of the vases, the style of the flowers and by their dimensions.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the late 17th century in England.

    Current location: Norfolk Antique and Reclamation Centre, Woolsleys Farm, Salhouse Road, Panxworth, Norfolk, England.

  10. 510

    penhurst,_church farm 03.jpg
    605 x 835 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with astragal and fillet edging; to the left, Æneäs carrying his father, Anchises; to the right, an arched gateway and portcullis beneath battlements with flames rising therefrom; above left, clouds; far left, a tree; arched rectangular border with fillet edging; trailing convolvulus leaves surround the central panel; plain rectangular extensions to the bottom and each side; on top, mirrored, swirled foliage.

    Notes: Many of the early illustrated editions of Ovid’s Metamorphoses show Æneäs escaping from burning Troy, with his father on his back, most of them with an archway in the background.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: TAN

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century at Ashburnham furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Penhurst Manor, Penhurst, East Sussex, England.

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

    Citation: Whistler, R. F., 1888, 'Penhurst: being some account of its Iron Works, Manor House, Church, etc.,' Sussex Archaeological Collections, 36, pp. 1-18.