Firebacks

500mm tall

11 results

  1. 1291

    ahrweiler,_ahrgau_museum.jpg
    ~600 x ~500 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; astragal with cavetto-moulded edging; decoration in three vertical sections each divided by a fillet; central section: three ostrich feathers within a coronet and a motto scroll - ICH DIEN (I serve); at the top, the date split either side of the uppermost feather; at the bottom, initials - SG - split either side of the quills; left panel: on a pedestal, an arrangement of musical and scientific instruments and books below a floral swag with a central rose; right panel: on a palisade, a triumph of martial arms - cannon, drum, shield, spear, flag etc. - beneath a floral swag and handful of arrows.

    Notes: The three ostrich feathers within a coronet and the motto, Ich Dien, are the badge of the Prince of Wales. Probably a fireback in honour of Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, oldest son and heir of King James VI of Scotland, I of England, with the date added to commemorate his death in 1612. The initials are likely to be those of the pattern maker.

    Inscription: 16 12 / ICH DIEN / S G

    Manufactured: in 1612 in the Eifel area of Germany.

    Current location: not known.

    Museum number: RBA 37533 (part of the Ahrgau-Museum, Ahrweiler museum group)

  2. 1088

    brightwells,_leominster 27 jul 2016 lot 694.jpg
    ?900 x ?500 mm

    Description: Canted rectangular shape; cavetto-moulded edging (top and sides); across the top, double star stamp repeated nine times; below and top centre, date between initials in triad; below date, large hollow fleur-de-lys stamp repeated three times in a line between two triads of stylised fleur-de-lys stamps, with one of the same stamps in each bottom corner; lower centre, woodblock stamp repeated three times in a line.

    Notes: The initials 'IIA' in triad probably relate to a couple whose surname initial was 'I' or 'J'; a fireback, dated 1659, with some of the same stamps is at the Dean Heritage Centre, Soudley, Gloucestershire, and another, dated 1667, has been noted at Upper End Farm, Hope Mansell, Herefordshire. Brightwells Auctioneers, Leominster, 27 Jul 2016, lot 694 (£480 inc. grate).

    Inscription: IIA [triad] 1668 IIA [triad]

    Manufactured: in 1668 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: not known.

  3. 1124

    cirencester,_the pedestal 01.jpg
    920 x 500 mm

    Description: Canted rectangular shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides); initial in each top corner, the S angled to the right.

    Notes: Initial letters are in high relief. The Pedestal Auction, Cirencester, 4 Mar 2019, lot 155 (£240).

    Inscription: W S

    Manufactured: in the 17th century in England.

    Current location:, not known.

  4. 1114

    crowborough,_luxford house 05.jpg
    895 x 500 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and two-thirds down sides); rope length across each top corner.

    Notes: The twisted rope lengths are particularly well defined.

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

    Current location: in private hands, Crowborough, East Sussex, England.

  5. 372

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 007.jpg
    920 x 500 mm

    Description: Rectangular with canted top corners; twisted rope edging all round except on bottom; three impressions of two circular wafering irons: the central one with invected edge, a heart surmounted by a cross beneath which scroll-work is arranged symmetrically, inscription around edge; the two outer stamps comprise a central motif of four hearts arranged in a cross shape, their points facing the centre, within two concentric bands decorated with lace-like patterns. Above each of the two outer stamps is a simple four-pointed cross shape formed from short lengths of twisted rope.

    Notes: The use of wafering irons or butter prints as stamps in casting firebacks is infrequent. Formerly part of the J. H. Every collection.

    Inscription: ...N:YOU:NOT: REIVE:MY:HERT:IS:YOURES / [?]1562

    Manufactured: in 1562 in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.048 (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).

    Citation: Hughes, G. B., 21 Apr 1955, 'Old English Firebacks', Country Life, 117, pp. 1056-60.

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

    Citation: Hughes, G. B., Sep 1929, 'Old English Firebacks in the Collection of Mr John H. Every', Old Furniture, 8, pp. 28-32.

  6. 946

    lindfield,_woodsland farm 02.jpg
    832 x 500 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; twisted rope edging (top and sides); initials in triad to left of date (7 reversed), all between two twisted rope saltires.

    Notes: The distinctive form of the number '5' has been seen on another fireback indicating a common source.

    Inscription: RAE [triad] 1657

    Manufactured: in 1657 in the Weald area of England.

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

  7. 615

    ripley_027.jpg
    855 x 500 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); two irregularly spaced crosses formed of short, thick twisted lengths of rope.

    Notes: The crosses may have been formed by twisting thinner rope around a short length of dowel, and are likely to have Christian significance.

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

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

  8. 660

    rolvenden,_hole park 03.jpg
    840 x 500 mm

    Description: Rectangular; plain plate; central, vertical cross-hilt dagger stamp; left side, fleur de lys stamp repeated five times, irregularly arranged in three rows, two above and below and one in the middle; right side, fleur de lys stamp repeated six times, four in a star above two in a row.

    Notes: The dagger (length approx. 35cm), seen on two other firebacks (no. 595 and no. 1100), may have beeen of Italian manufacture. The form of the fleurs-de-lys identifies this fireback as one of the ‘Royal’ series, a large group bearing heraldic stamps.

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

    Current location: Hole Park, Rolvenden, Kent, England.

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

  9. 1021

    sutton,_greenhill 02b.jpg
    870 x 500 mm

    Description: Rectangular; cavetto-moulded edging; shield mounted on a strap-work cartouche, helm, crest, motto scroll and elaborate swirled mantling.

    Notes: The arms of the Ironmongers' Company; blazon: Argent, on a chevron gules, between three gads of steel azure, three swivels or; crest: two talbots combatant encoupled together or. The true crest of the company has two salamanders (originally 'scaly lizards') rather than talbots, and it has been noted on other firebacks that salamanders are not always represented as amphibians; Samuel Lyne, in his Heraldry Display'd (1741), described the crest as 'two talbots', etc. The motto scroll is blank, indicating that the pattern was an armorial panel with a painted, rather than a carved, motto. A variant of the same fireback has the date 1660 and initials GI (Country Life, 8 March 1946, p. 450; 29 March 1946, p.588). Reeman Dansie auction, Colchester, 13 Apr 2016, lot 1224; Bellman's auction, Wisborough Green, 13 Oct 2021, lot 588 (£220).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Arms: Worshipful Company of Ironmongers

    Manufactured: in the mid 17th century in England.

    Current location:, not known.

  10. 1258

    tetbury,_31_long_street_870x500.jpg
    ~870 x 500 mm

    Description: Broken and fragmentary; canted quasi-rectangular shape, with sides inclined; twisted rope edging; top centre, date with initials below separated by a fleur-de-lys; seven fleurs-de-lys down each side, pints perpendicular to rope edging; a fleur beneath each initial, possibly other fleurs and another initial missing in between.

    Notes: The fleurs-de-lys are of a distinctive form apparently unique to this series of firebacks.

    Inscription: 1628 / S G

    Manufactured: in 1628 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: 31 Long Street, Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England.