Firebacks

545mm tall

  1. 292

    flaxley_abbey 02.jpg
    755 x 545 mm

    Description: Rectangular; cavetto-moulded edging; top centre, date, above initials; two low-relief fleurs de lys down each side from top corners, and central fleur below and between the initials.

    Notes: The initials may relate to William Boevey who was owner of Flaxley furnace from 1683-92. Another fireback with the same date and initials, and more fleurs, is also known.

    Inscription: 1685 / W B

    Manufactured: in 1685 at Flaxley furnace in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: Flaxley Abbey, Flaxley, Gloucestershire, England.

    Citation: Bick, D. E., Sept 1985, 'Firebacks', Period Homes Magazine, pp. 21-4.

  2. 435

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 075.jpg
    1206 x 545 mm

    Description: Rectangular (damaged top left corner); plain plate; centre top, a circle of twisted rope enclosing a shield, indented at the top, charged with a bird upon a branch; on each side, a cross of twisted rope above two splayed lengths of rope.

    Notes: The rope design is likely to be apotropaic; the heavily pitted reverse of this fireback shows the use of poor quality iron cast at a relatively low temperature; the bird shield stamp has been seen on another fireback with clear French provenance.

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 16th century in France.

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

    (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).

  3. 835

    unknown_33 330x545.jpg
    330 x 545 mm

    Description: Rectangular central panel with fillet edging; poorly modelled standing figure possibly of Diana, goddess of hunting, holding a bow in her left hand and an arrow in her right hand, on a low plinth; border with fillet edging along sides and bottom, with mirrored vine tendril and leaves on each side; date split either side of leaves at bottom; on top, symmetrical swirled foliate arrangement.

    Notes: A characteristic small fireback from the period of the changeover to coal-fired domestic heating.

    Inscription: 17 33

    Manufactured: in 1733 in England.

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