Description: Canted rectangle; ovolo edging (top and sides); symmetrically arranged, initials separated by overpressed, fillet edged stamp bearing letters WF surmounted by a bent arm holding a battleaxe issuing from a chapeau; beneath are two shields bearing the arms of Fowle.
Notes: The shield and crest stamps relate to William Fowle (1568-1634) and are those used on iron grave slabs in Wadhurst and Frant churches and in Maidstone museum, as well as on other firebacks. The initials have not been identified. The fireback was formerly in Riverhall, Wadhurst, built by William Fowle. Other similar castings with the same set of initials have been noted.
Inscription: EC DT / WF
Arms: William Fowle, of Frant and Wadhurst
Current location: in private hands, Frant, East Sussex, England.
- Attached to series:
- Fowle series
Description: Canted rectangle; ovolo moulded edging (top and sides); seven shields of Ayloffe impaling Sulyard - two rows with three on top and four on the bottom; two parallel vertical cuts for the insertion of firedogs.
Notes: Ayloffe: sable, a lion rampant Or, collared gules, between three crosses formy of the second; Sulyard: argent, a chevron gules between three pheons inverted sable. William Ayloffe (c1535-1584) of Hornchurch, Essex, Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench, married (c1560) Jane, dau. of Sir Eustace Sulyard, of Runwell, Essex. There is a large number of variants using the same shields.
Arms: Ayloffe impaling Sulyard (William Ayloffe of Bretons, Hornchurch)
Current location: Mark Ripley Forge & Fireplaces, Northbridge Street, Robertsbridge, East Sussex, England.
Description: Rectangular; reversed cavetto-moulded edge on top and sides; pictorial scene depicting Abraham about to sacrifice Isaac; Abraham is on the left, holding the top of Isaac’s head with his left hand, his right hand holding a sword; in the middle stands a pyre; above and to the right an angel emerges from the clouds, while below a ram stands beside a bush; the inscription is above and to the left.
Notes: The scene is drawn from Genesis 22: 11; And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham”: and he said, “Here am I”. The subject and the naïve figuration is similar to a fireback incorporating two other Old Testament scenes, and may be the work of the same pattern maker.
Inscription: ABRAHAM ABRAHAM [Genesis 22: 11]
Current location: Rottingdean Grange, Rottingdean, East Sussex, England.
(part of the Rottingdean Preservation Society museum group)
Description: Rectangular; cavetto-moulded edge; a snake rises from a fire and bites the middle finger of the hand of a sleeved left arm that descends from a top right corner cloud; left and right, ‘S’ scrolls appear strapped to the edge of the fireback; the date, top left of centre; initials, bottom right corner.
Notes: An illustration of the New Testament episode (Acts 28: 3) when St Paul, shipwrecked in the island of Malta, was putting sticks on a fire and a viper bit him. The distinctive shape of the ‘1’ in the date and the initials, ‘IM’, together with the ‘S’ scrolls, parallel such features in other firebacks. The design is an adaptation of an illustration in 'Devises Heroiques' by Claudius Paradin (1557) which was translated into English by Geoffrey Whitney as 'The Book of Emblemes' (1586).
Copies of this fireback are known.
Inscription: 1649 / IM
Current location: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington & Chelsea, Greater London, England.
Museum number: M.119-1984 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)