640mm tall

  1. 918

    bonhams_chester 20 nov 1013 lot 240 565x905.jpg
    690 x 640 mm

    Description: Rectangular with complex quasi-arched rectangular top; ovolo moulded edging; shield with Royal arms of France in a swirled cartouche, initials IT top centre; above, an English crown; below to right and left, a prancing stag.

    Notes: The combination of the English crown and French arms is common and may relate to the marriage of Charles I and Princess Henrietta Maria of France in 1625; although the framing of the pattern is very similar to others of the same basic design, the style suggests a different pattern maker. A variant of an otherwise identical fireback, with the addition of the date and initials. Bonhams sale, Chester, 25 July 2013, lot 257.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: IT / 16 [?]1

    Arms: France modern

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

    Current location:.

  2. 913

    890 x >640 mm

    Description: Rectangular with an arched rectangular style arch linked by symmetrical concave curves; ovolo moulding (top and sides); shield, helm, crest and mantling of the Fuller family. A number 7, the only visible part of the date seen on other castings is in the top right corner of the shield.

    Notes: A carved armorial on a plain, edged base board; the arms of the Fullers of Brightling Park, Sussex: Argent, three bars and a canton gules; the crest; Out of a ducal coronet Or, a lion’s head argent; the Fullers were iron masters and gun founders in the first half of the 18th century, operating Heathfield furnace, where it is likely that this fireback was cast.

    Inscription: [1] 7 / [4] [7]

    Arms: Fuller, of Brightling, Sussex

    Manufactured: in 1747 probably at Heathfield Furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

  3. 811

    990 x 640 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; twisted rope edging (top and canting only); centre top, date (written as 1018); below to left and right, initials.

    Notes: It has been suggested that the initials IR relate to King James I but the lack of any other royal decoration makes this unlikely.

    Inscription: 1618 / IR IR

    Manufactured: in 1618 possibly in the Shropshire area of England.

    Current location: 50, Church Street, Broseley, Shropshire, England.

    Citation: Calcutt, V., Autumn 2021, 'Cast iron fire-back from East Shropshire', Base Thoughts, Newsletter of the Antique Metalware Society, p. 10.

    Citation: Callcut, V., Nov 2004, 'Shirlot (or Shirlett?) Hearth Iron', Newsletter of the Broseley Local History Society, pp. 8-9.

    Citation: Randall, J., 1879, Broseley and its Surroundings (Madeley, The Salopian and West-Midland Journal), pp. 98-99.

  4. 39

    805 x 640 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular shaped with cavetto canted top corners; fillet edging; two V-shaped arrangements of laths, one inverted and superimposed over the other, in centre of plate; date split on either side; initials in triangular arrangement above laths.

    Notes: The shape of the fireback is very similar to firebacks at Knole, Sevenoaks, of similar date, and may be the product of the same furnace; the 'X' shapes may have apotropaic significance.

    Inscription: 17 RSL 28

    Manufactured: in 1728 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Cranbrook Museum, Cranbrook, Kent, England.

    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. 191

    helston,_godolphin house 01.jpg
    770 x 640 mm

    Description: Arched rectangle; cavetto moulded edging; Tudor royal shield, Garter and crown, with crowned lion and dragon supporters; motto along bottom; Tudor rose to left of crown, portcullis to right.

    Notes: This painted fireback is reputed to have been a gift from King Henry VIII to the second Sir William Godolphin, who was present at the Siege of Boulogne in 1544 with a party of Godolphin tin miners.

    Copies of this fireback are known.


    Arms: Tudor royal (Elizabeth I)

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

    Current location: Godolphin House, Helston, Cornwall, England.

    Museum number: 169480 (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).

  6. 1104

    isleworth,_london road, 01.jpg
    930 x 640 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; plain edging (top and sides); full-height impression of a fireback of arched rectangular shape and ovolo edging; date in arch; below arch, two parallel straps, each with a buckle at the top; initials T above R to the left of centre, and P above T to the right.

    Notes: The side edging of the original fireback has been erased before casting. A variant of the 1642 series of firebacks bearing the Pelham buckle badge and the initials TP, believed to relate to Sir Thomas Pelham (1597-1654). It is not known to whom the initials RT relate; their style suggests they are contemporary with the original fireback. A larger fireback has been created by impressing either the original pattern of the Pelham fireback or a casting from it into a plain rectangular mould, and modifying it by removing the side moulding. It is unclear whether the additional initials, RT, had already been added to the 'pattern' or were added to this casting.

    Inscription: 1642 / T P / R T

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

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

  7. 873

    welshpool,_powis castle 01.jpg
    660 x 640 mm

    Description: Arched shape; fillet edging; shield, supporters, earl's coronet and motto.

    Notes: The arms are those of William Herbert (1626-96), created 1st Earl of Powis in 1674, impaled with those of his wife, Lady Elizabeth Somerset, whom he had married in 1654. He was created Marquess in 1687, so the fireback dates from between 1674 and 1687. The blazon: Party per pale azure and gules three lions rampant argent armed and langued or (Herbert), quarterly 1st and 4th England 2nd and 3rd France Modern (Somerset); Supporters: Dexter: A Panther rampant guardant Argent spotted of various colours fire issuing out of the mouth and ears ducally gorged Azure; Sinister: A Lion rampant Argent ducally gorged Gules; Motto: Ung je serviray (One I will serve).

    Inscription: Ung iay serviray

    Arms: William Herbert, 1st Earl of Powis

    Manufactured: in the late 17th century .

    Current location: Powis Castle, Welshpool, Powys, Wales.

    (part of the National Trust museum group)

    Citation: Anon., 1907, 'Armorial iron fire back', Montgomeryshire Collections, 34, p. 212.

    Citation: Powis, Earl of, 1940, 'Notes on the Gates, Terraces and Firebacks at Powis Castle', Montgomeryshire Collections, 46, 2, pp. 194-195.