Description: Arched rectangular shaped; astragal edging (top and sides); mainly symmetrical vine arrangement, emerging from a vase, some fronds ending in an eagle’s head, other in leaves; at top of arch, initials ‘HB’ split by date (reversed) with an additional ‘I’; below, initials ‘AIS’ (reversed).
Notes: Two planklines; ‘HB’ refers to Henry Bell, who acquired Rake Manor, Witley, in 1592. ‘AIS’ refers to Anthony Smith, his nephew and heir, and his wife, Joan (née Hore); the form of the date is confused by the addition of an ‘I’, and the somewhat clumsy arrangement of the inscription suggests that it was added to the otherwise foliate pattern priot to casting. The letter 'H' seems to belong to a different character set
Copies of this fireback are known.
Inscription: H I0361B / AIS
Current location: Rake Manor, Witley, Surrey, England.