Firebacks

Manufactured at Waldron Furnace

  1. 966

    beecroft_gallery 015a.jpg
    ~810 x ~600 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; ovolo moulded edging; date in arch; below arch two parallel, vertical straps, each with a buckle at the top; initials left and right of centre; roughly symmetrical arrangement of four stamps repeated: rectangular stamp with deer three times down centre, one outside each buckle and one beyond each strap end; circular food mould stamp outside centre of each strap, beyond stag stamp outside buckle and at edge beyond strap end; 'rabbit' stamp at edge beyond food mould stamp outside each buckle and outside each strap end; rectangular stamp with 'dog' outside each initial and six times below strap ends.

    Notes: The buckles suggest a connection with the Pelham family; the initials may relate to Sir Thomas Pelham, Bt. (1597-1654) who owned and operated ironworks at Waldron in Sussex. From the drawing the seven 'deer' stamps appear to be the same as those seen on two other examples of this fireback. The food mould stamp (centre left and right) appears to be one seen repeated on at least one other fireback. Drawing of a fireback at Huggetts Farm, Waldron, Sussex, by Edward Hughes, of Heathfield, Sussex; J. Starkie Gardner collection, Victoria & Albert Museum, Archive of Art and Design (AAD/2014/8).

    Inscription: 1642 / T P

    Manufactured: in the mid 17th century probably at Waldron Furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:.

    Citation: Gardner, J. S., 1898, 'Iron Casting in the Weald', Archaeologia, 56, 1, pp. 133-164.

  2. 149

    bridgewater_collection 09 (hastings 032).jpg
    813 x 633 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; ovolo moulded edging; date in arch; below arch two parallel, vertical straps, each with a buckle at the top; initials left and right of centre; rectangular stamp with bird, four times across top; larger rectangular stamp with unidentified animal, twice below initials.

    Notes: The buckles suggest a connection with the Pelham family; the initials may relate to Sir Thomas Pelham, Bt. (1597-1654) who owned and operated ironworks at Waldron in Sussex. This is one of a few examples of a copy of a casting of the original pattern to which additional stamps had been added.

    Inscription: 1642 / T P

    Manufactured: in the mid 17th century possibly at Waldron Furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, John's Place, Bohemia Road, Hastings, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 952.51.61 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

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

  3. 217

    brighton_museum 09.jpg
    805 x 646 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; ovolo edging; date in arch; below arch, two parallel straps, each with a buckle at the top; initials left and right of centre; rectangular stamp with bird, four times across top.

    Notes: The buckles, the date and the initials all appear to be separate stamps but attached to the base board before being impressed to form the mould, as they are identically positioned on all castings. The buckles suggest a connection with the Pelham family; the initials may relate to Sir Thomas Pelham, Bt. (1597-1654) who owned and operated ironworks at Waldron and Crowhurst in Sussex. This would appear to be a casting of the original pattern.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1642 / T P

    Manufactured: in 1642 probably at Waldron Furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Brighton, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: HA105912 (part of the Brighton Museum museum group)

    Citation: Lindsay, J. S., 1927, Iron & Brass Implements of the English House (London, The Medici Society).

  4. 394

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 028.jpg
    845 x >730 mm

    Description: Rectangular, with arched rectangular extension on top; double astragal edging (top & sides); shield, helmet, crest and mantling of the Pelham family: quarterly, 1st and 4th, Azure, three pelicans vulning themselves proper; 2nd and 3rd, Gules, two broken belts palewise the buckles upwards argent; the crest: a peacock in pride argent.

    Notes: The arms may be those of Sir Nicholas Pelham (1517-59) or of one of his two sons, Sir John (d. 1580) or Sir Thomas (c1540-1624); the latter was created a Baronet in 1611. As there is no evidence of the augmentation of a baronet on the arms, the fireback probably predates the creation of the baronetcy. Formerly part of the J. H. Every collection.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Arms: Sir Nicholas, Sir John or Sir Thomas Pelham

    Manufactured: in the early 17th century possibly at Waldron Furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.054 (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).

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2013, 'A Pope family fireback', Wealden Iron, Bulletin of the Wealden Iron Research Group, 33, pp. 27-31.

  5. 733

    va_09.jpg
    1020 x 650 mm

    Description: Rectangular with canted top corners and a triangular extension from the top edge; twisted rope edges to all sides except bottom; a circular wafering iron or butter mould stamp, incorporating a square design with a fleur-de-lys on each side, repeated thrice, one at the apex and one below each of the canted corners; two inverted ‘V’ rope shapes overlapping to make an ‘M’ below top stamp.

    Notes: The inverted double 'V' may be apotropaic, invoking the protection of the Virgin Mary; the circular stamp has also been noted on a Pelham-associated fireback of 1642 (no. 1204) which may suggest that it was a product of one of the family's ironworks.

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

    Current location: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington & Chelsea, Greater London, England.

    Museum number: 895.1901 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

    Citation: Easton, T. & Hodgkinson, J. S., 2013, 'Apotropaic Symbols on Cast-Iron Firebacks', Jnl. of the Antique Metalware Soc., 21, pp. 14-33.

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

    Citation: Page, S. & Wallace, M. (eds.), 2018, Spellbound (Oxford, Ashmolean Museum), p. 72.

  6. 991

    waldron,_star inn.jpg
    1060 x 705 mm

    Description: Rectangular with fillet edging (top and sides) formed from separate strips, possible from furniture; date split by letters in triad; number '1' has a central knob.

    Notes: The initials are believed to relate to Thomas and Mary Manser, who occupied the Star Inn, Waldron, East Sussex, in the seventeenth century.

    Inscription: 16 TMM 94

    Manufactured: in 1694 probably at Waldron Furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: The Star Inn, Waldron, East Sussex, England.

    Citation: Russell, S., Parker, R. & Chidson, V., 2000, Waldron: Portrait of a Sussex village (Horam, Tartarus Press).

  7. 1204

    worth,_saxon_road_03a.jpg
    805 x 645 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; ovolo moulded edging; date in arch; below arch two parallel, vertical straps, each with a buckle at the top and six prong holes; initials left and right of centre; in top corners, rectangular framed stamp with inset bird; top centre, to left and right of buckle, circular 'butter mould' stamp with stylised fleur-de-lys design, the left one angled top to left; between each initial and strap, rectangular framed stamp with inset deer with antlers, and star in top left corner; below this, adjacent to each strap end, a circular stamp with symmetrical pattern; to left and right of this, a rectangular stamp with an unidentified animal, possibly a dog..

    Notes: The buckles, the date and the initials all appear to be separate stamps but attached to the base board before being impressed to form the mould, as they are identically positioned on all castings. The buckles suggest a connection with the Pelham family; the initials may relate to Sir Thomas Pelham, Bt. (1597-1654) who owned and operated ironworks at Waldron in Sussex. The fleur stamp and, in particular, the circular stamp with the symmetrical pattern bear striking similarities to stamps seen on other firebacks. This would appear to be a casting of the original pattern with the addition of five pairs of stamps. The same stamps, and others, are seen in greater profusion on a fireback formerly at Huggetts Farm, Waldron, Sussex and drawn by Edward Hughes, of Heathfield, in a scrapbook of images compiled by J. Starkie Gardner. Nicholson's auction, Fernhurst, 3 Jul 2021, lot 100.

    Inscription: 1642 / T P

    Manufactured: in 1642 probably at Waldron Furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Worth, West Sussex, England.