Firebacks

685mm tall

  1. 157

    1944-24-073.jpg
    420 x 685 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped central panel with paternost bead edging; figure holding a bow in his left hand and a lyre in his right hand, a quiver suspended from his belt, on an undulating ground with small trees, and suspended swags of drapery above; Arched rectangular shaped border with fillet edging, and symmetrical flowers and swirled tendrils; initials at bottom centre; on top, symmetrical pattern of swirled leaves and tendrils.

    Notes: The figure is Apollo, personifying the Sun, one of a set of 'Eight Deities' engraved by Hendrick Goltzius (1592), after Polidoro da Caravaggio; the fireback is one of a large group bearing the same initials, which probably denotes the pattern maker. Other groups may have been the work of the same carver or workshop. The execution is rather crude.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: SHR

    Manufactured: in the late 17th to early 18th century in England.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.73 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

  2. 1056

    beaulieu,palace_house 01.jpg
    920 x 685 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; moulded fillet edging (top and sides); top line, 'daisy' plant stamp repeated three times, spaced evenly, with 'SOWLY' in a block, a ducal coronet above, between the left two, and '1721' in individual numerals, a ducal coronet above, between the right two; a swirling foliage stamp repeated down each side, a 'daisy' plant below each; initials 'I' and 'B' separately in bottom corners.

    Notes: Sowley was the iron furnace in Hampshire owned in 1721 by the 2nd duke of Montagu, whose coronet is seen in the decoration, and operated by John White of Monmouth. The swirled foliage stamp is seen on other firebacks identified by the letters 'IB' between 1703 and 1721, probably indicating the same founder.

    Inscription: SOWLY 1721 / I B

    Manufactured: in 1721 at Sowley furnace in the New Forest area of England.

    Current location: Palace House, Beaulieu, Hampshire, England.

  3. 1057

    beaulieu,palace_house 02.jpg
    1000 x 685 mm

    Description: Rectangular; moulded fillet edging (top and sides); left justified text in upper case, in two lines: Tunc bonus est ignis cum pendet stiria tignis (Then fire is good when icicles hang from the eaves); below left, 'SOWLY' in a block; below right, '1721' in individual numerals; a swirling foliage stamp repeated down each side; initials 'I' and 'B' separately in bottom corners.

    Notes: The source of the inscription is 'A Dictionarie in English and Latine for Children' by William Clark (London, Thomas Purfoot, 1602), p. 13. Sowley was the iron furnace in Hampshire owned in 1721 by the 2nd duke of Montagu and operated by John White of Monmouth. The swirled foliage stamp is seen on other firebacks identified by the letters 'IB' between 1703 and 1721, probably indicating the same founder.

    Inscription: TUNC BONUS EST IGNIS / CUM PENDET STIRIA TIGNIS / SOWLY 1721/ I B

    Manufactured: in 1721 at Sowley furnace in the New Forest area of England.

    Current location: Palace House, Beaulieu, Hampshire, England.

  4. 1169

    monmouth,_unknown_930x685.jpg
    930 x 685 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; cyma reversa moulded edging (top and sides); top centre, initials EHA in triad; date split each side of initials.

    Notes: Well formed and well spaced letters and numbers.

    Inscription: 17 EHA [triad] 51

    Manufactured: in 1751 in England.

    Current location: Monmouth, Gwent, Wales.

  5. 649

    rochester_06.jpg
    475 x 685 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead edging; pictorial scene of the young Bacchus, a cup and bunch of grapes in his hands, seated on a barrel, surrounded by grape vines and buches, the date below the barrel, initials below, left and right; arched rectangular border with fillet edging; undulating vine design all round; on top, indistinguishable shape between two seated figures.

    Notes: The seated figures on top suggest an English pastiche of the Dutch style of design.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1701 / A [?] AL

    Manufactured: in 1701 in England.

    Current location: Eastgate House, High Street, Rochester, Kent, England.

    Museum number: A3492 (part of the Rochester Guildhall Museum museum group)

  6. 775

    va_50.jpg
    565 x 685 mm

    Description: Arched rectangle; ovol-moulded edging; pictorial scene of a begowned figure waving to figures standing beneath a portico with a sun behind, other figures opening a door to his left, above which is the shape of the man in the moon; blottom left, a computer; bottom right, a painter's palette.

    Notes: A farewell gift to William Vaughan, Reader in Art History at University College, London (later professor of the History of Art at Birkbeck College).

    Inscription: WILLIAM VAUGHAN / 1972 UNIVERSITY 1986 / COLLEGE

    Manufactured: in 1987 in England.

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

    Museum number: M.15-1994 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

  7. 1061

    withyham,_rectory cottage.jpg
    801 x 685 mm

    Description: Triple-facetted arched rectangular shape; ovolo-moulded edging (top and sides); bottom centre, a vertical distaff or spindle repeated twice; to each side a fillet-edged oval containing the initials S and W; above, either side of the distaffs, two more ovals perpendicular to the first two, with the date split between them; above each distaff, an oval rotated as at the bottom, the initials I T split between them; at the base, a blank rectangular panel.

    Notes: An unusual shaped fireback. It was recorded by J. Starkie Gardner in one of his scrapbooks (Victoria and Albert Museum, Archive of Art and Design (AAD/2014/8)), marked '[?]Warris Westerham Kent'; subsequently it was at Skipreed, Chiddingstone Hoath, Kent.

    Inscription: I T / 16 63 / S W

    Manufactured: in 1663 possibly in the Weald area of England.

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