Firebacks

655mm tall

  1. 399

    bridgewater_collection 10.jpg
    750 x 655 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; ovolo-moulded edging with inverted fleur-de-lys at top; lion passant guardant, with rose to the left and thistle above tail; date split between legs; single horizontal plank-line.

    Notes: The boldness of the figuration suggests association with firebacks possibly cast at Brede Furnace in the same period.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1 6 5 6

    Manufactured: in 1656 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:.

  2. 826

    burwash,_little broadhurst farm.jpg
    910 x 655 mm

    Description: Canted rectangular shape with moulded edging (top and sides) overlain by a length of twisted rope repeated six times; central vertical line formed of twisted rope, crossed with rope upper centre, with rope laid in a diamond pattern around the cross; lower centre, two irregular v-shapes formed of rope, one on each side of the vertical; shield shaped stamp with a fleur de lys repeated twice each side, upper left and right.

    Notes: The twin V arrangement may have apotropaic significance and the cross above them having a Christian symbolism; the base board appears to have had a moulded edge, with rope lengths applied over part of the moulding after the board had been pressed into the casting bed; a sketch of this fireback was made by J. Starkie Gardner c.1891 and is in his collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Archive of Art and Design (AAD/2014/8).

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

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

  3. 843

    ilkley,_old manor house.jpg
    665 x 655 mm

    Description: Canted rectangular shape; double fillet edging (top and sides) with alternating roses and diamonds between the fillets; pictorial scene of Adam and Eve, both naked, taking fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, between them, around which is entwined the serpent.

    Notes: Boldly sculpted, stylised figures; the serpent is shown with a human face.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the late 16th to early 17th century possibly in the Lorraine area of France.

    Current location: Old Manor House, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, England.

    (part of the Bradford Museums and Art Galleries museum group)

  4. 519

    penshurst_10.jpg
    850 x 655 mm

    Description: Rectangular; Ionic pilasters at sides, architrave on top; English Stuart royal shield, garter, crown, motto and supporters; date below and either side of garter.

    Notes: One of several firebacks, all of the same date, but varying in size, framing style and moulding; all have stylistic features in common and will have been the work of the same pattern maker, who was also responsible for carving royal coats of arms in three West Country churches. A plaster cast of a fireback of this design is displayed as the royal arms in St George's church, near Abergele in north Wales.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: HONI SOIT QVI MAL Y PENSE / 16 18 / DIEV ET MON DROIT

    Arms: English Stuart royal (James I)

    Manufactured: in 1618 possibly in the Forest of Dean area of England.

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

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

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2017, 'Church Armorials and Firebacks: Evidence of an Early 17th-Century Woodcarver', Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, 135, pp. 213-223.