Firebacks

695mm tall

  1. 996

    goudhurst,_chequer tree farmhouse.jpg
    905 x 695 mm

    Description: Quasi-rectangular shape (42.5mm wider at the bottom); border formed of strips carved with an undulating vine (top and sides); successive rows of repeated stamps: (from top) 18 'hops' or 'grape bunches' in line, horizontal fillet with line of beads below, line of vine strips, 5 'swans' in line with 'hops'/'grape bunches' at top and bottom of gaps, line of vine strips, line of beads with horizontal fillet below, 17 'hops'/'grape bunches' in line, and line of vine strips (partially obscured by what appears to be the repeated pressing of finger tips into the casting sand to form an extension at the base).

    Notes: One of a series of firebacks incorporating the use of the undulating vine strip, and the 'swan' stamp. This may be a recasting produced by the firm of Charles Wayte & Cheverton, formerly of Edenbridge, Kent, as a similar back was illustrated in their catalogue.

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

    Current location: in private hands, Goudhurst, Kent, England.

  2. 938

    hennell_01.jpg
    850 x 695 mm

    Description: Rectangular with three-facetted arch; fillet edging; shield, crown and lion supporters of the French royal house of Valois.

    Notes: The arms date to before 1589 when the House of Valois was succeeded by the House of Bourbon. Lion supporters on the French royal arms are not common.

    Arms: France Royal

    Manufactured: in the late 16th century in France.

    Current location: in private hands, Ewhurst, Surrey, England.

  3. 343

    ightham_mote 02.jpg
    860 x 695 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; no edging; initials evenly spaced around arch; date split between top corners.

    Inscription: W S / 18 24

    Manufactured: in 1824 in England.

    Current location: Ightham Mote, Ightham, Kent, England.

    Museum number: NT/IGH/M/27 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  4. 437

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 077a.jpg
    960 x 695 mm

    Description: Sub-rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); centre, straight length of twisted material (rope or metal) stamped eight times to form an octagram, and twice on each side to form saltires.

    Notes: The octagram has magical symbolism, allegedly providing protection against evil.

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

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.038 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Mercer, H. C., 1961, The Bible in Iron (3rd ed. Doylestown, The Bucks County Historical Society).

    Citation: Schubert, H. R., 1957, History of the British Iron and Steel Industry (London, Routledge), pp. 256-264.

  5. 440

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 080.jpg
    780 x 695 mm

    Description: Rectangle joined to low arch with cyma recta curves; ovolo-moulded edging (top and sides); grid of twelve rectangles (4 columns of 3) with twisted rope borders; initials in arch, date in top line of rectangles.

    Notes: A fireback cast specially to mark the 60th anniversary of the Sussex Archaeological Society, and donated to the society by Mr John Every.

    Inscription: S.A.S. / 1926

    Manufactured: in 1926 at Phoenix Foundry, Lewes furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.093 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

  6. 788

    westerham,_squerryes court 02.jpg
    565 x 695 mm

    Description: Rectangular central panel bearing an anchor with coiled rope between two fleurs de lys, below which are two roses; this arrangement is repeated alongside; above, a semicircular arch contains the initials between two roses as in the central panel, with the date above; where the arch meets the central panel there is an arc across each corner; The top and sides panels are edged with simulated twisted rope.

    Notes: This reduced version of the Armada fireback demonstrates how individual panels can be omitted or repeated.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1588 / IFC

    Manufactured: in 1588 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Squerryes Court, Westerham, Kent, England.

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

  7. 800

    withyham_rectory 02.jpg
    1115 x 695 mm

    Description: Rectangular; plain plate with shield, supporters, ducal coronet, motto and garter of the Duke of Dorset: Quarterly, Or and gules, a bend vair.

    Notes: Almost certainly the arms of Lionel Sackville KG (1688-1765), created first duke of Dorset in 1720; many different firebacks exist, all with precisely the same armorial stamp.

    Inscription: HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE / AUT NUNQUAM TENTES, AUT PERFICE [Either do not attempt, or complete]

    Arms: Lionel Sackville, 1st Duke of Dorset

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in the Weald area of England.

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