Firebacks

440mm tall

  1. 208

    bray,_ockwells manor 03.jpg
    1420 x 440 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; twisted rope edging (top and sides); quasi-symmetrical arrangement of four fleurs-de-lys in star, top centre, two fleurs each side along top edge, single fleurs beneath outer top fleurs; short rope length in vertical and inverted ‘V’ shapes each side between top fleurs; ?dagger handle irregularly positioned centre left and right.

    Notes: The style and shape of the fleurs-de-lys is unique to a particular series of firebacks, suggesting the same source; the 'V' shapes may have apotropaic significance. A sketch of this fireback was made by J. Starkie Gardner c.1891 and is in his collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Archive of Art and Design (AAD/2014/8).

    Manufactured: in the mid 16th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Cox Green, Berkshire, England.

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

  2. 78

    guildford_museum 03.jpg
    715 x 440 mm

    Description: Sub-rectangular; twisted rope edging; lengths of twisted rope arranged to form two 'V' shapes and an 'I' overlapping to forma possible monogram.

    Notes: The 'monogram' comprises different length pieces of rope and may have an apotropaic significance, the double 'V' referring to the Virgin Mary.

    Manufactured: in the 16th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Guildford Museum, Guildford, Surrey, England.

    Museum number: G.488 (part of the Guildford 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.

  3. 124

    hastings_014.jpg
    600 x 440 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; twisted rope edging (top and sides); top centre, crowned Tudor royal shield; fleur de lys on each side and below; slanting, inverted 'V' of twisted rope on each side of lower fleur.

    Notes: One of a large series of firebacks incorporating Tudor heraldic stamps; the 'V' shapes may have apotropaic significance.

    Arms: Tudor royal arms of England

    Manufactured: in the mid 16th century in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 904.32 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

  4. 1118

    isleworth,_london road, 03.jpg
    675 x 440 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); initials in top corners; below the initials, a saltire formed of possibly two straight lengths of twisted rope.

    Notes: The saltire is likely to have an apotropaic purpose; the hollows in the risers of the letter 'H' and the end of the left line of the saltire may have been formed by gas bubbles in the molten iron during casting.

    Inscription: N H

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

    Current location: in private hands, Isleworth, London, England.

  5. 1046

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 108.jpg
    795 x 440 mm

    Description: Sub-rectangular shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides); two crosses between two saltires, all formed of straight lengths of twisted rope and irregularly arranged.

    Notes: A poorly cast, and probably early, fireback.

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 16th century in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: LH000.917 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

  6. 750

    va_26.jpg
    445 x 440 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto edging; crowned rose with symmetrical leaves; date split across top; initials split across bottom.

    Notes: The hooked ‘1’ and ‘IM’ suggests a common pattern-maker with other firebacks bearing those features.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 50 / I M

    Manufactured: in 1650 possibly at Brede furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: M.113-1953 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2012, 'Pre-Restoration Iron Firebacks', Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, 20, pp. 2-15

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2014, 'A Seventeenth-Century Sussex Woodcarver: The Evidence of Cast Ironwork', Regional Furniture, 28, pp. 39-48

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