Firebacks

641mm tall

  1. 1080

    boston,_museum of fine arts.jpg
    686 x 641 mm

    Description: Cast-iron fireback consisting of a panel with an arched top and scrolled ears. Decorated with reliefs, foliate borders at the sides, and in the centre with a coat of arms consisting of a shield, three castles separated by a chevron with an open compass, and with crest of a bird with a leafed branch in its beak, all elaborated with foliage. Motto along arched crest; motto in scroll below arms; maker’s name along bottom.

    Notes: The arms are essentially those of the Premier Grand Lodge of England, granted in 1717, differenced by the motto; the Massachusetts Lodge was founded in 1733; the blazon is an adaptation of the arms of the Worshipful Company of Masons. Joseph Webb was a Boston ironmonger and chandler; his 1765 trade card was designed by fellow Freemason Paul Revere, who may also have cast the fireback.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: THE • FREE • MASONS • ARMS / FOLLOW • REASON / SOLD • BY • JOSEPH • WEBB • BOSTON

    Arms: Massachusetts Grand Lodge of Freemasons

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 18th century probably at (Boston) North End furnace in the Massachusetts area of United States of America.

    Current location: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.

    Museum number: 1982.618 (part of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts museum group)

  2. 150

    hastings_033.jpg
    1016 x 641 mm

    Description: Rectangular with pentagonal arch; stepped fillet edging; six fleurs de lys - three in line at base of arch, two near top corners of rectangle, one in middle of rectanngle.

    Notes: Other firebacks based on the same shape but with different edging suggests the use of a common base board, but with the edging and other decoration varied to order.

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

    Current location: Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Hastings, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 908.175 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

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