Firebacks

490mm tall

  1. 25

    burwash,_batemans 03.jpg
    410 x >490 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular shape with arch decorated with floral swirls and an urn on each shoulder; three female figures: Aphrodite on the left, Hera in the centre on a plinth with two peacocks behind her, and Athena on the right; a double tassel hangs above Hera’s head.

    Notes: The figures are the participants in the Judgement of Paris, the outcome of which precipitated the Trojan War.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in England.

    Current location: Bateman's, Burwash, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 761070 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  2. 29

    burwash,_batemans 07c.jpg
    897 x 490 mm

    Description: Rectangular; cavetto moulded edging; initials in top left corner; date in top right corner.

    Notes: The style of lettering and numerals is reminiscent of those seen on firebacks associated with the Sidneys, Earls of Leicester, and may suggest a common source.

    Inscription: IB 1695

    Manufactured: in 1695 possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Bateman's, Burwash, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 761128 (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).

  3. 245

    charlton_mackrell, lytes cary.jpg
    470 x 490 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped with narrow shoulders; fillet edging; date in individual numerals across arch.

    Notes: A larger version is different in the spacing of the numerals and the proportions of the plate. For another casting of this fireback see J. Every Collection catalogue #20 (Sussex Archaeological Society library, Barbican House, Lewes, Sussex).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1658

    Manufactured: in 1658 possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Lytes Cary Manor, Charleton Mackrell, Somerset, England.

    Museum number: 254606 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  4. 70

    godalming_museum 01.jpg
    730 x 490 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; simulated twisted rope edging (top & sides); symmetrical arrangement of fleurs de lys (two types - 2 and 1), diamond shapes (2) and cross-cut squares (4) includes the monogram in which the letters I and F are separated by a small, hollow diamond stamp, the M being above; interspersed symmetrical arrangement of raised spots (8).

    Notes: The initials, as with other triple-lettered forms, in which the middle letter is set apart from the other two, may relate to a married couple where their surname initial is M. Another example seen has shown that the pattern was formed of five angular, uneven-sized planks battened together.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1613 / M / I F

    Manufactured: in 1613 in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: B980.400 (part of the Godalming Museum museum group)

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

  5. 398

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 032.jpg
    755 x 490 mm

    Description: Rectangular; cyma curve and fillet edging; crowned Tudor rose within a pediment resting on Tuscan pilasters and pedestals.

    Notes: The rose and crown are more finely modelled than other versions.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

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

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

    Museum number: LH000.942 (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).

  6. 455

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 095a.jpg
    800 x 490 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; twisted rope edging (top and sides); a rope saltire in each top corner.

    Notes: The edging is made from the same, short lengths of rope as the saltires.

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

    Current location: Hall Place, Bexley, Kent, England.

    Museum number: 1944.24.049 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society 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.

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

  7. 1068

    panxworth,_norfolk reclamation 01a.jpg
    430 x 490 mm

    Description: Arched shape with forward-facing 'wings', which splay outwards towards the base, curved to follow the shape of the main panel; central panel with stylised tree decoration surmounted with a scallop shell between six 'leaves' (one damaged).

    Notes: This small, but unusual, casting was probably cast in an open box mould as the upcast (reverse) side of the casting shows evidence of being sand-treated. Only a very small number of such castings are known. Depth 200mm.

    Manufactured: in the late 17th to early 18th century in England.

    Current location:, not known.

  8. 650

    rochester_07.jpg
    415 x >490 mm

    Description: Damaged; top missing; arched rectangular central panel with bead edging; with tassel at top; three nude female figures: on top, Juno/Hera with a peacock, to the left Venus/Aphrodite, the young cupid/Eros at her feet, to the right Minerva/Athena with spear and shield; border with fillet edging; two suspended festoons of fruit and leaves; date and monogram in rectangular panel below central panel; rectangular panel at the bottom, with the inscription, PALLAS VND VENVS.

    Notes: The three goddesses are those whose beauty was the subject of the Judgement of Paris. The composition is copied from an engraving by Adriaen Collaert (c1560-1618). Examples of this fireback have been recast in England, the opportunity being taken to insert an English inscription in place of the customary date and pattern maker's monogram.

    Inscription: 16 NDW 97 / PALLAS VND VENVS

    Manufactured: in 1697 in the Siegerland area of Germany.

    Current location: Eastgate House, High Street, Rochester, Kent, England.

    Museum number: A3493 (part of the Rochester Guildhall Museum museum group)

  9. 693

    stawley,_cothay manor 02.jpg
    765 x 490 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; twisted rope edging (top and sides); a shield repeated five times, each bearing three arrows palewise, points down, with a molet (star) above the middle arrow, two over three.

    Notes: Three arrows form the arms of several families, so identification of the arms is not possible without the associated colouring. The star is likely to be a mark of cadency, granted to a third son. Four rivets along the base may relate to earlier repair. The fireback was formerly at Chisenbury Priory, Wiltshire. A variant with three shields (W 740mm x H 480mm) was lot 530 at Brettells auction, Newport, Salop, 1 March 2022 and again as lot 457 on 2 May 2023.

    Arms: Not known

    Manufactured: in the late 16th to early 17th century in England.

    Current location: Cothay Manor, Stawley, Somerset, England.

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

  10. 860

    terry_sparks 02a.jpg
    695 x 490 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; fillet edging (top and sides); top centre, initials, above date, between repeated fleur-de-lys stamp; from top corners to bottom corners, repeated V-shape pattern formed of stamped short fillets, with an L-shape inserted between the top two Vs on each side.

    Notes: The fleurs de lys are of a distinctive style seen on a small group of firebacks.

    Inscription: RH / 1662

    Manufactured: in 1662 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: not known.