Firebacks

Manufactured at Robertsbridge furnace

  1. 58

    enniskillen,_florence court 01.jpg
    726 x 745 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto edging; a pheon (a downward-pointing arrow head barbed on the inner edge), the badge of the Sidneys, within a wreath, an earlís coronet above; the date on either side of the coronet.

    Notes: The badge is of the Sidneys, Earls of Leicester. The date is most likely to be 1626 as the Earldom was not conferred upon Robert Sidney until 1618 and he died in 1626. A recast plate.

    Inscription: 16 [?]26

    Arms: Badge of Sidney family, Earls of Leicester

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 17th century possibly at Robertsbridge furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Florence Court, Enniskillen, Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.

    Museum number: NT/FLO/M/1078 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  2. 923

    heathfield,_manor farm 03.jpg
    360 x 1065 mm

    Description: Rectangular; overlapping laurel leaf edging with flange on right edge; top, seated figure of a monarch with a casket at his left side and the back of a throne behind; centre, bust of a classical male figure facing to the right, surrounded by a circlet of overlapping laurel leaves; bottom, ornamental pedestal on a legged stand, floral fronds issuing from the top, between two flower heads, and descending symmetrically to the bottom.

    Notes: Not a fireback, but a left side fireplace back plate. It had a circular aperture in the centre into which, in this instance, a medallion and bust were inserted, the same being inserted into an elaborate rococo fireback.

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 18th century possibly at Robertsbridge furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

  3. 428

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 064.jpg
    1085 x 1255 mm

    Description: Rectangular, with low curved top and stepped concave corners; suspended floral-chain border on top and sides; alternate small and large rings along the bottom; plain panel at base. Arms of Webster, baronet, of Battle: Azure, on a bend argent, cotised Or, between two demi-lions ermine, a rose gules, barbed and seeded proper, between two boarsí heads couped sable.

    Notes: Sir Thomas Webster was created baronet in 1703; he was succeeded by his son, Whistler, in 1750. A pair of matching, cast-iron side plates form a set with this fireback.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Arms: Webster of Battle

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

    Current location: Barbican House, High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 39.52/LH000.986 (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).

  4. 452

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 092.jpg
    695 x 805 mm

    Description: Circular wreathed medallion, bearing the right-facing head of a man in classical dress, carried by two naked, kneeling male figures, between them a scallop shell; above the medallion a lionís face surmounted by a flame; the medallion is surrounded by floral scrolls.

    Notes: The wooden pattern would have had a circular aperture (the frame of which is just discernible) for the reception of the medallion; the same pattern was used to cast a fireback bearing the arms of George Worge, and the stamp of the profile was used on an accompanying fireplace side plate.

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 18th century possibly at Robertsbridge furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: LH000.998 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Dawson, C., 1903, 'Sussex Iron Work and Pottery', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 46, pp. 1-54.

  5. 511

    penshurst_01.jpg
    940 x 710 mm

    Description: Rectangular with semi-circular protrusions on the top and sides; cavetto edging; a pheon (a downward-pointing arrow head barbed on the inner edge), within a wreath, an earlís coronet above; the date on either side of the coronet; the initials on left and right sides; a fleur de lys in each bottom corner.

    Notes: The wreathed pheon and coronet are cast from a different pattern to the 1626 and 1630 plates.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 47 / R L

    Manufactured: in 1647 possibly at Robertsbridge furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Penshurst Place, Penshurst, Kent, England.

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

  6. 757

    va_33.jpg
    680 x 870 mm

    Description: Oval armorial bearings carried by two naked, kneeling male figures, between them a scallop shell; above the shield a lionís face surmounted by a crest of a lionís head erased; the shield is surrounded by floral scrolls. The arms are of Worge impaling Collier: Worge - gules, a fess ermine, cotised argent, in chief three lionís heads erased of the last; Collier - argent, on a chevron azure, between three unicorns courant couped gules, as many oak sprigs fructed proper.

    Notes: George Worge (1705-65), of Starrís Green, Battle, steward of the Battle Abbey estate, married Elizabeth Collier (d.1767) of Hastings in 1729. This deeply detailed fireback might have been cast in a closed mould; it had a circular aperture in the centre into which, in this instance, an armorial was placed; the same armorial is on a fireback, dated 1762, at Great Dixter, Northiam, Sussex.

    Arms: Worge impaling Collier (George Worge)

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 18th century possibly at Robertsbridge furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 686.1899 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

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

  7. 588

    winchester_museum store 01.jpg
    905 x 740 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with semi-circular protrusions at the sides; cavetto-moulded edging; a pheon (a downward-pointing arrow head barbed on the inner edge) within a wreath, an earlís coronet above; the date on either side of the coronet; the initials on left and right sides; a fleur de lys in each bottom corner.

    Notes: The detail of the wreath differs from that on the 1626 plate.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 30 / R L

    Manufactured: in 1630 possibly at Robertsbridge furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Winchester Museums Store, Unit F2, Bar End Industrial Estate, Winchester, Hampshire, Winchester, Hampshire, England.

    Museum number: WINCM:LH 5704 (part of the Winchester Museums museum group)