Firebacks

585mm tall

  1. 921

    heathfield,_manor farm 01.jpg
    970 x 585 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; twisted rope edging (top and sides); central arrow-shaped design formed of three repeated rope lengths.

    Notes: The arrow design probably has an apotropaic (evil-averting) purpose, perhaps intended as the initials VV for 'virgo virginum'.

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

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

  2. 380

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 015.jpg
    950 x >585 mm

    Description: Plain edged, damaged rectangular plate; a buckle stamp repeated eight times in alternate horizontal and vertical pairs in four columns.

    Notes: The buckle closely resembles that used to decorate glazed bricks on the walls of Laughton Place, Sussex, built by Sir William Pelham in 1534.

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

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

    Museum number: LH000.912 (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).

  3. 448

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 088a.jpg
    1025 x 585 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); fleur de lys arranged in a pattern of 20, in three rows: 7-6-7.

    Notes: A type of fleur-de-lys used on firebacks possibly cast at Pounsley Furnace.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century possibly at Pounsley furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.039 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

  4. 515

    penshurst_06.jpg
    1135 x 585 mm

    Description: Rectangular; rope edging (top & sides); in centre, Tudor shield, garter, crown and supporters (greyhound and lion); date top left.

    Notes: The armorial achievement is seen on other firebacks and was formed from four separate stamps (one example has the shield and garter inverted); the supporters are consistent with the date; the style of the numerals is uncharacteristic of the period. The same date in identical form is on a similar fireback at Groombridge Place, Speldhurst, Kent.

    Inscription: 1579 / HONE SOVT qVEY MAL Y PENSE

    Arms: Tudor royal

    Manufactured: in 1579 possibly at Pounsley furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Penshurst Place, Penshurst, Kent, England.

  5. 560

    petworth_042.jpg
    830 x 585 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular shape with symmetrical double fillet rococo edging; high relief pictorial battle scene with mounted knights carrying lances and pennants.

    Notes: The battle scene may have been inspired by more than one classical portayal of a battle in history; likely sources are 'The Defeat of the Pisans at the Tower of St Vicenzo' by Giorgio Vasari and 'Alexander the Great's crossing of the Granicus' by Charles Le Brun. An engraving by Daniel Kellerthaler (1574-1648) has a similar frame enclosing an unidentified cavalry conflict.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the late 18th to early 19th century in England.

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

    Museum number: NT/PET/M/54 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  6. 470

    taddington_manor 02c.jpg
    1085 x 585 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); central Tudor royal shield with encircling garter (motto reversed), separate greyhound and lion supporters, separate crown; rectangular bordered stamp with an animal facing to the right, repeated once above and on each side of the armorial; bold fleur-de-lys stamp repeated once on each side of the armorial below the other stamp; all irregularly positioned.

    Notes: The armorial and fleurs-de-lys are seen together on a plate at Alfriston Clergy House; the animal stamp may be the same as on a 1642 Pelham buckle fireback.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Arms: Tudor royal (prob. Henry VIII

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 16th century possibly at Pounsley furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Taddington, Gloucestershire, England.

    Citation: Lloyd, N., 1925, 'Domestic Ironwork I', Architectural Review, 58, pp. 58-67.

  7. 766

    va_42.jpg
    525 x 585 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; ovolo-moulded edging; shield and dolphin crown of the dauphin of France, encircled by the Ordre d'Esprit and the Ordre de St Michel; dolphins in the bottom corners, separating digits of the date.

    Notes: The 24th Dauphin was Louis, son of Louis XV and father of Louis XVI.

    Inscription: 1 7 5 0

    Arms: Dauphin of France (24th Dauphin)

    Manufactured: in 1750 in France.

    Current location: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington & Chelsea, Greater London, England.

    Museum number: M.625-1926 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

  8. 1042

    west_hoathly, manor house 02.jpg
    995 x 585 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); top centre, twisted rope saltire between two food moulds used as stamps, comprising two concentric discs with a hatched design and enclosing four hearts arranged in a cross; below the saltire another food mould stamp; in the top corners, a twisted rope saltire with a double V design below each, the open ends facing inwards; below each of the upper pair of food mould stamps, an inverted twisted rope V.

    Notes: The food mould stamps can be seen on another fireback dated to 1562; the rope Vs and saltires have an apotropaic, or evil averting, purpose.

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

    Current location: Manor House, North Lane, West Hoathly, West Sussex, England.

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