Firebacks

27 results

  1. 1244

    birmingham,_aston_hall.jpg
    1060 x 670 mm

    Description: Cavetto-canted arched rectangular shape with rectangular extension panels; cavetto-moulded edging, with astragal on wide fillet edging on the extension panels; central panel, crown, shield and Garter of the Tudor royal arms but with crowned lion and unicorn supporters, all within an undulating vine border; extension panels comprise a single letter (W on left, H on right) above an inward-facing seated squirrel.

    Notes: The royal arms are a hybrid of the Tudor and Stuart achievement, quite crudely modelled. The initials and squirrels both relate to the Holte family who lived at Aston Hall, which was built between 1618 and 1623. The difference in the condition of the armorial and the extensions suggest that the armorial was significantly older than the extensions. The bottom 190mm of the fireback is concealed below, behind the grate placed in front of it.

    Inscription: W / HONY SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE / H

    Arms: English Tudor royal with Stuart lion and unicorn supporters

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

    Current location: Aston Hall, Aston, West Midlands, England.

    (part of the Birmingham Museums Trust museum group)

    Citation: Crouch, J. & Butler, E., 1900, The Apartments of the House (London, At the Sign of the Unicorn), p. 192.

  2. 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 Henry Pierrepont, marquess of Dorchester and earl 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. Confusingly, the marquisate of Dorchester was created twice for members of the same family. In 1645 it was created for Henry Pierrepont, 2nd earl of Kingston-upon-Hull, becoming extinct on his death without surviving male issue in 1680. It was created again for Evelyn Pierrepont, the 5th earl of Kingston in 1706 who was subsequently elevated to the dukedom of Kingston in 1715. The original casting may therefore have dated to between 1645 and 1680 or between 1706 and 1715. The unidentified initials were added to a subsequent casting which, in turn, could 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)

  3. 247

    chawton_house 01.jpg
    1185 x 870 mm

    Description: A modified recasting of a variant of the ‘Armada’ fireback, with initials changed to IK, a single anchor panel, and the addition of a 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; the saltires may have apotropaic significance. A second fireback at the house cast in the 19th century is identical but for being 1% smaller all round, and has a full-width extension on top bearing four symmetrical rope saltires, the outer two larger than the inner two. The first example was used to make the second.

    Inscription: 1588 / IK

    Manufactured: in the 17th century 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).

  4. 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).

  5. 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: Similar to a fireback in the Victoria & Albert Museum, but differentiated by the twisted rope edging of the side panel and the addition of the grooved disc. The disparity between the worn surface of the armorial panel and the greater clarity of the extensions indicates that the extended casting was made using an already well-used armorial fireback and therefore at a substantially later date.

    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, Framfield 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)

  6. 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. Formerly part of the J. H. Every collection.

    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)

  7. 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).

  8. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. 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, Woolseys Farm, Salhouse Road, Panxworth, Norfolk, England.