Firebacks

550mm tall

  1. 1121

    buxted,_old popeswood cottage.jpg
    1110 x 550 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; cavetto-moulded edging; central abstract arrangement in low relief of a horizontally positioned oval surrounded by four separated spandrels forming a rectangular shape over all; at each side, on a raised rectangular field, a stylised bud or cone of helical form, within a calyx above a semi-circular base, one mirroring the other. A deep plankline is evident half way up the left plant.

    Notes: An excrescence on the right side may have been caused by iron being poured from a ladle disturbing the casting sand. There are no parallels for this fireback design. The central abstract arrangement may be associated with a formal plan of a garden parterre, the stylised plants continuing that theme.

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 17th century in the Weald area of England.

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

  2. 1075

    hereford,_the_old_house_01a.jpg
    490 x 550 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto-moulded edging (top and sides); English Stuart Royal arms, garter, supporters, crown and motto; altered date above crown.

    Notes: This design, which probably dates from 1619, has been used to cast composite firebacks with a variety of altered dates ranging from 1629 to 1662.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1639 [illegible Garter and royal mottoes]

    Arms: English Stuart royal

    Manufactured: in 1639 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: Black and White House Museum, The Old House, High Town, Hereford, Herefordshire, England.

  3. 1038

    herstmonceux_castle.jpg
    1105 x 550 mm

    Description: Canted rectangular shape; edging formed of lengths of cross-cut dowel (top and sides); inscription across upper centre probably formed of thumb prints; the last digit of the date may be an incomplete 5 rotated left.

    Notes: A crudely executed fireback; the cross-cut dowel used for the edging has not been noted on any other fireback.

    Inscription: 16 wo 15[?]

    Manufactured: in the early 17th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Herstmonceux Castle, Herstmonceux, East Sussex, England.

  4. 373

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 008.jpg
    1140 x 550 mm

    Description: Rectangular, edged with twisted leather lengths on top and sides; three stamps of a ballock dagger (390mm) with hollow-ground cruciform blade, point down, arranged vertically; between each, two short lengths of twisted leather, arranged in a cross; at either end, the same short lengths of dowel arranged in an inverted V.

    Notes: The dagger dates from c1575-1625. The probable use of twisted leather is hitherto unknown. The grouping of three daggers may also have apotropaic significance in relation to the Trinity.

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

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.035 (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).

  5. 415

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 049.jpg
    340 x 550 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead-and-pellet edging on a broad fillet; figure of Hera/Juno, a sceptre in her right hand, with a peacock below to her left, clouds above left; arched rectangular border with fillet edging; symmetrical arrangement of wire-work swirls; on top, two mirrored serpents.

    Notes: Similarities in the design and execution of the pattern suggest the work of the pattern-maker identified as N. Said to have been cast by Thomas Prickett (1727-95) at Gloucester Furnace, Lamberhurst.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century probably at Lamberhurst furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: LH000.948 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Dawson, C., 1903, 'Sussex Iron Work and Pottery', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 46, pp. 1-54.

    Citation: Phillips, C. T., 1894, 'Interesting additions to the museum', Sussex Archaeological Collections,39, pp. 214-5.

  6. 421

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 056.jpg
    950 x 550 mm

    Description: Rectangular; flanged edge; central pictorial panel illustrating Mordecai arriving before King Ahasuerus, Haman hanging from the gallows behind; two floral side panels, at the top of each a monogram within a cartouche: on the left KS, on the right H?D.

    Notes: Stoveplate; the scene illustrates a scene from Esther 7: 10 and 8: 1.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: KS H[?]D

    Manufactured: in the late 16th to early 17th century possibly in the Eifel area of Germany.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.040 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

  7. 1005

    lostwithiel,_deja vu antiques.jpg
    330 x 550 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel within double fillet foliate edging; pictorial scene of a crudely modelled clothed female figure holding a wand? in the right hand; indistinct pictorial element to bottom right; arched rectangular border with fillet edging containing repeated swirled decoration; on top, two mirrored sea monsters.

    Notes: A crude pastiche of the 'Dutch' style of fireback; the central figure may be Hera with a peacock. Formerly at the Raleigh Trevelyan estate, St Cadix, Cornwall.

    Inscription: WHC[?]

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in England.

    Current location: Deja Vu Antiques, 31 Fore Street, Lostwithiel, Cornwall, England.

  8. 550

    pet-m-92.jpg
    390 x 550 mm

    Description: Rectangular; flanged edging; rectangular upper panel with cyma recta edging; pictorial scene of Jesus sitting at the well with the woman of Samaria, inscription along the bottom edge; lower inset rectangular panel with date in relief.

    Notes: The inscription reads: From the maiden of Samaria - John 4

    Inscription: VOM FROWLEIN VON SAMARIA JOH 4 / 1649

    Manufactured: in 1649 possibly in the Eifel area of Germany.

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

    Museum number: NT/PET/M/92 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  9. 707

    tonbridge,_12 estridge way.jpg
    850 x 550 mm

    Description: Rectangular; astragal moulding on top and side edges; symmetrical layout of date and initials; date split between left and right sides, initials in middle.

    Notes: One of a series of backs dating to the 1730s and 40s using the same set of letters and numerals.

    Inscription: 17 IF 43

    Manufactured: in 1743 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Tonbridge, Kent, England.

  10. 791

    whiligh_1.jpg
    ~600 x ~550 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto-moulded edging; central, two handled, gadrooned vase with swirled, fruited vines issuing from the neck, and a bird on each side perched within the vines; out of the neck, a nave human figure with arms outstretched, grasping vines on each side.

    Notes: The figure emerging from the vase has a symbolism which has yet to be explained; more than one version of this fireback exists.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 17th century in the Weald area of England.

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