Firebacks

450mm tall

  1. 949

    gardner,_beecroft gallery 01.jpg
    ~900 x ~450 mm

    Description: Rectangular; low-relief moulded edging along top, then down sides; double-looped 'lens' pattern stamp repeated six times across the top, inside the edging and, rotated, three times down each side; becapped human figure stamp, with his left arm raised to his head and his right arm akimbo, repeated in each top corner; between these, 'IE' monogram with continuous loop between the letters repeated five times, two in line above and three below, the centre one slightly raised; the date between the top two; a lifting handle on each side.

    Notes: Said to have been at Horsham, Sussex; on another fireback, at Upper Beeding in Sussex, cast with the same stamps, and also dated 1617, the monogram stamp is clearly carved on a 'renaissance' shield, indicating that in this instance the stamps were not impressed as deeply. Drawing by J. Lewis André in the J. Starkie Gardner Collection, Victoria & Albert Museum, Archive of Art and Design (AAD/2014/8). Possibly the fireback referred to by Lewis André in 1882 as belonging to a Miss Alman, of East Street, Horsham (Sussex Archaeological Collections XXXII, p.76).

    Inscription: IE 1617 IE / IE IE IE

    Manufactured: in 1617 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:.

  2. 166

    hastings_049.jpg
    910 x 450 mm

    Description: Rectangular; plain plate with three stamps of an iron firedog with a twisted design on the neck, a primitive face on the terminal and a shield bearing initials RW.

    Notes: The letters RW are said to relate to Richard Woodman, ironmaster and Protestant martyr, who resided at Cralle Place, and who operated Cralle furnace. A near-identical firedog was discovered at Bridge Cottage, Uckfield, Sussex.

    Inscription: RW

    Manufactured: in the mid 16th century probably at Cralle furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 909.94 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

    Citation: Butterfield, W. R., 1916, 'Old Wealden Firebacks', The Connoisseur, 46, pp. 197-209.

    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).

  3. 186

    hastings_070.jpg
    610 x 450 mm

    Description: Plain rectangle with cavetto moulded edging (top and sides); pediment with same moulding.

    Notes: Three identical backs, but with various stamps, indicate that this fireback came from the same source as a distinct series of Tudor heraldic backs.

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

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

    Museum number: 952.51.47 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

  4. 338

    huddington_court 06.jpg
    607 x 450 mm

    Description: Rectangular with pediment; ovolo moulded edging inside top of pediment and inside top and sides of rectangle; centre top, four-petal rose and crown with fleur de lys below; at either end, stamps made from two parts of a wreath (the middle section missing) enclosing a fleur de lys.

    Notes: The wreaths from which the stamps have been disassembled can be seen complete on two other firebacks, and the rose and crown is a common stamp on a large series of early firebacks.

    Inscription: ?I T

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

    Current location: in private hands, Huddington, Worcestershire, England.

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

  5. 375

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 010.jpg
    1035 x 450 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); central rope carbuncle with eight arms, with a rose between each of the top six pairs of arms; a fleur-de-lys repeated six times in two triads (2-1) in each top corner; a letter ‘E’ rotated clockwise repeated 8 times along the top between the fleurs and roses, and twice down each side; four additional ‘E’s, one to the left of the carbuncle and three to the right.

    Notes: All the stamps can be seen on other firebacks associating them with the same source; The ‘E’s are identical to those seen on the John Harvo armorial fireback.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century possibly at Pounsley furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.076 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Hughes, G. B., May 1940, 'Old English Firebacks', Apollo, 31, 185, pp. 117-120.

  6. 559

    pet-m-53.jpg
    715 x 450 mm

    Description: Arched rectangle with crude scalloping around the edges; elaborate strapwork frame, a bunch of grapes hanging from the top, and the head and forelegs of a goat climbing through.

    Notes: The strapwork, a distinctive feature of Elizabethan design, was probably derived from redundant furniture.

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

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

    Museum number: NT/PET/M/53 (part of the National Trust museum group)

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

  7. 689

    slaugham,_furnace pond cottage 01.jpg
    615 x 450 mm

    Description: Rectangular with pediment; ovolo moulded edging inside top of pediment and inside top and sides of rectangle; centre top, four-petal rose and crown with three fleurs-de-lys below; at either end, stamps made from two parts of a wreath (the middle section missing); in the pediment a cross.

    Notes: The wreaths from which the stamps have been disassembled can be seen complete on two other firebacks, and the rose and crown is a common stamp on a large series of early firebacks.

    Inscription: I T

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

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