Firebacks

1060mm tall

  1. 1218

    geddington,_boughton_house_05.jpg
    660 x 1060 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; no edging; shield of the 2nd Duke of Montagu surrounded by the Garter and surmounted by a ducal coronet.

    Notes: One of five firebacks at Boughton House, Northamptonshire, cast with the ducal arms and the Garter having a diameter of 59cm. Fifty firebacks were cast for the house between 1743 and 1748 by Richard Ford, probably at Nibthwaite Furnace, but also possibly at Newland furnace, both then in north Lancashire. The arms are blazoned: Quarterly, 1st & 4th: Argent, three fusils conjoined in fess gules, a bordure sable (Montagu); 2nd & 3rd: Or an eagle displayed vert beaked and membered gules (Monthermer); on an escutcheon of pretence, Sable a lion rampant Argent a canton Argent charged with a cross Gules (Churchill); John, 2nd Duke of Montagu married Mary, daughter and co-heiress of John, 1st Duke of Marlborough.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: HONI.SOIT.QUI.MAL.Y.PENSE

    Arms: Montagu quartering Monthermer with Churchill in an escutcheon of pretence - John Montagu, 2nd Duke of Montagu, KG

    Manufactured: in the mid 18th century probably at Newland Furnace in the Furness area of England.

    Current location: Boughton House, Geddington, Northamptonshire, England.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., Spring 2022, 'The Boughton House Firebacks', Base Thoughts, Newsletter of the Antique Metalware Society, pp. 10-11.

  2. 1203

    milton_common,_three_pigeons_03.jpg
    805 x 1060 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead on fillet edging; central shield of the Dutch house of Orange impaling English royal Stuart, surmounted by a crown and supported by two putti; above, a maske with two descending grape bunches; below, two more putti seated on scrolls and cornucopiae; a drapery swag and bow in each top corner; arched rectangular border with cavetto-moulded edging and canted top corners; on each side, a Corinthian column and entablature on a pedestal, the columns with floriate decoration; below, a symmetrical swirled design; above the arch, from a scallop shell on each shoulder, two serpents rising towards a third scallop on top.

    Notes: The arms are of William IV Prince of Orange (1650-1702) impaling those of his wife, Mary, Queen of Great Britain. Note, these are not the royal arms of William III and Mary II as joint sovereigns, but as Prince and Princess of Orange. William and Mary married in 1677 and Mary died in 1694, so the fireback dates from between 1689, when Mary became Queen, and 1694. A fireback of the same design with the arms of Louis XIV of France is illustrated by Elling and Winkler-Borck, p.213; it has the initials AD in the cartouche above the arch, not visible on this casting.

    Arms: William of Orange

    Manufactured: in the late 17th century possibly in the Siegerland area of Germany.

    Current location: Lassco, Three Pigeons, Milton Common, , Great Milton, Oxfordshire, England.

    Citation: Elling, W. & Winkler-Borck, S., 1992, Ofen- und Kaminplatten (Vreden, Hamaland-Museum).

  3. 516

    penshurst_07.jpg
    815 x 1060 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead-and-pellet edging; on a ground between two plants, 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.

    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 here rather than on the Continent.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the late 17th century in 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).

  4. 557

    pet-m-49.jpg
    750 x 1060 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead edging; pictorial scene of Venus, naked and kneeling, and Adonis, standing, holding a spear in his left hand, with Cupid to the left, and a hound and a quiver of arrows below to the right; arched rectangular border with fillet edging; at top of arch, grape bunches; at each side, a festoon of fruit suspended on a ribbon from a lion's head; at the bottom, an oval cartouche between flowers; on top, an urn from which descends a dolphin on each side of the arch.

    Notes: The scene is based on the painting (c.1635) of Venus and Adonis by Peter Paul Rubens; the same central panel is known with several different borders.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 17th century in the Siegerland area of Germany.

    Current location: Petworth House, Petworth, West Sussex, England.

    Museum number: NT/PET/M/49 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  5. 641

    ripley_061.jpg
    905 x 1060 mm

    Description: Rectangular with arched top; astragal moulded edging (top and sides); top centre, shield, supporters, coronet and motto of the 1st Baron Ashburnham: (1st & 4th) gu. a fess between six mullets ar. (Ashburnham), (2nd) az. a lion rampant between eight fleurs de lys ar. (Holland), (3rd) erm. three crescents gu. (Kenn); on an escutcheon of pretence a chevron between three boys heads couped at the shoulders each entwined around the neck with a snake (Vaughan). Supporters: two greyhounds sa. their faces, breasts, and feet ar. collared and lined or; below left and right, a monogram of B and J with a baron’s coronet above.

    Notes: John Ashburnham, who married Bridget Vaughan in 1677, was created baron in 1689. he died in 1710.

    Inscription: LE ROY ET L’ESTAT

    Arms: John, 1st Baron Ashburnham

    Manufactured: in the late 17th to early 18th century probably at Ashburnham Furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Mark Ripley Forge & Fireplaces, Northbridge Street, Robertsbridge, East Sussex, England.

  6. 931

    rotterdam_01.jpg
    915 x 1060 mm

    Description: Carved wooden fireback pattern. Arched rectangular shaped central panel with top corners cavetto canted, bead-and-pellet edging on a wide fillet; hanging drapery with central tassels over three low-arched cubicles, the two outer smaller than the centre, with Tuscan columns and overlapping scales behind; on a plinth of overlapping scales with a scallop shell behind, the standing figure of Neptune/Poseidon, holding a trident in his right hand; water issues from by his feet and from the waves below him disport two ‘sea horses’ and three dolphins; arched rectangular shaped border with top corners cavetto canted, fillet edging: suspended symmetrical beads with tassel ends decorated with sea shells; at the bottom, between looped 'W' figures, the inscription separating halves of the date along the bottom; above, a central scallop shell with symmetrical floral scrolls on each side. Two vertical planklines left and rright of centre.

    Notes: From a design in 'Nouveaux livres de ...Statues [etc.]' (La Haye & Amsterdam 1702-5), by Daniel Marot. The inscription, translated from the Welsh as 'GOD He is our strength', is a paraphrase of Psalm 46: 1; an identical inscription and date is found on several firebacks. All incorporate the looped 'W' motif which may be intended to identify the pattern maker.

    Inscription: 17 DVW Ydyw Ein Cadernid 24

    Manufactured: in 1724 in England.

    Current location: Historisch Museum, Korte Hoogstraat 31, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

    Museum number: 35437 (part of the Historisch Museum, Rotterdam museum group)

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

  7. 704

    tiverton_castle 04.jpg
    770 x 1060 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead edging; pictorial figure of a winged child holding a thunderbolt in his right hand and a sceptre in his left hand, on a ground of clouds; arched rectangular border with astragal and cavetto moulded edging; two cornucopiae, flowers and leaves tumbling from them and hanging suspended down the sides; on top, two sea serpents.

    Notes: The figure is of Zeus/Jupiter as a child.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 [...]

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 17th century in the Siegerland area of Germany.

    Current location: Tiverton Castle, Tiverton, Devon, England.