Firebacks

762mm tall

  1. 236

    cardiff,_st fagans 13.jpg
    610 x 762 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with rounded corners; ovolo within fillet moulding all round; oval Tudor royal shield with garter surrounding, topped with a royal crown; dragon and greyhound supporters; initials split by crown; inscription on a fillet between legs of supporters, behind garter finial; motto on an Ionic plinth at bottom.

    Notes: The supporters are those of Henry VII or Henry VIII, but the initials suggest the fireback dates from the reign of Edward VI (1547-53). John Harvo (d.1562) was a gunfounder who has been identified as occupying Pounsley furnace, Framfield, Sussex, possibly from as early as 1547; the fireback may have been cast originally during the reign of Henry VIII (1509-47), with the initials added to an early casting using the original pattern. Probably an early copy.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: E R / HONY SOIT QUE MAL Y PAYNCE / Made in Sussex by John Harvo / DV ET MOVN DROI

    Arms: Tudor royal Edward VI

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

    Current location: National History Museum, St Fagans, Glamorgan, Wales.

    Museum number: 51.96/1 (part of the Welsh National History Museum museum group)

  2. 941

    fawley_court  01.jpg
    914 x 762 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; scalloping within wide fillet edging; shield, helm, crest and mantling; date split either side of armorial

    Notes: The arms are of Kyrle (vert, a chevron between three fleurs de lys or; crest: on a mount vert a hedgehog or) of Much Marcle, Herefordshire, quartered with ?Abrahall (azure three hedgehogs or, though differenced by a fess) and another identified arms. The second part of the date appears to have been altered by hand for the present casting as the style of lettering for the final two numerals is crude compared with the first two. Sir John Kyrle may have operated the iron furnace at Whitchurch, between Monmouth and Ross on Wye; the style of the carving is the same as on two other firebacks in the same county. It is apparent, from another example, that this fireback has either been broken and repaired, or deliberately reduced in height. Originally the mantling of the helm extended further down, ending in tassels on each side, making the height of the fireback approximately equal to its width. An early photograph of the Fawley fireback, taken by Alfred Watkins, the Herefordshire antiquarian, shows the division of the two parts more clearly (Herefordshire Record Office, AW339b). A copy of the original, un-reduced fireback has been noted with the date 1685 in the distinctive numerals also seen on firebacks from Flaxley Furnace, Gloucestershire.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 20

    Arms: Kyrle quartering Abrahall and another

    Manufactured: in 1620 possibly at Whitchurch furnace in the Herefordshire area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Fawley, Herefordshire, England.

    Citation: Second Field Meeting 25th June 1918, Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club, 1918, p. xvi.

  3. 175

    hastings_062.jpg
    1067 x 762 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular with 5-facetted arch; cyma recta moulded edging (top and sides); in the centre, an oval Tudor royal shield on a cartouche surrounded by a garter, a crown above, separating the initials, ER, all on a larger cartouche.

    Notes: An example at Chiddingstone in Kent has additional circular, crowned armorial stamps, linking it to firebacks dating fron 1589.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: E / HONI SOIT QVI MAL Y PENCE / R

    Arms: Tudor royal (Elizabeth I)

    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: 914.11 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

  4. 1127

    heathfield,_best demolition 914x762x.jpg
    914 x 762 mm

    Description: Plain rectangle; no edging; top centre, date between two six-pointed stars.

    Notes: Characteristic of the last firebacks cast at Ashburnham Furnace, Sussex. One of a small series of firebacks cast in the early-19th century for farms on the Ashburnham estate.

    Inscription: * 1812 *

    Manufactured: in 1812 at Ashburnham furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:, England.

  5. 698

    sulgrave_manor.jpg
    483 x 762 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with nutshell edging on a broad fillet; pictorial scene of a figure in a chariot drawn by birds, above a ground, and with clouds over; arched rectangular border with fillet edging; alternating acanthus leaves with swirled tendrils; on top, two mirrored sea serpents.

    Notes: Similarities in the design and execution of the pattern suggest the work of the pattern-maker identified as N (below).

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in England.

    Current location: Sulgrave Manor, Sulgrave, Northamptonshire, England.

  6. 768

    va_44.jpg
    1073 x 762 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with rounded corners; ovolo within fillet moulding all round; oval Tudor royal shield with garter surrounding, topped with a royal crown; dragon and greyhound supporters; initials split by crown; inscription on a fillet between legs of supporters, behind garter finial; motto on an Ionic plinth at bottom; two rectangular side panels with twisted rope edging top and side; a short length of turned dowel stamped four times, diagonally, on each panel.

    Notes: The supporters are those of Henry VII or Henry VIII, but the initials suggest the fireback dates from the reign of Edward VI (1547-53). John Harvo (d.1562) was a gunfounder who has been identified as occupying Pounsley furnace, Framfield, Sussex, possibly from as early as 1547; the fireback may have been cast originally during the reign of Henry VIII (1509-47), with the initials added to an early casting using the original pattern.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: E R / HONY SOIT QUE MAL Y PAYNCE / Made in Sussex by John Harvo / DU ET MOUN DROI

    Arms: Tudor royal - Edward VI

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

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

    Museum number: 685.1899 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

    Citation: Faraday, L., Feb 1939, 'Sussex Firebacks in the Victoria and Albert Museum', Sussex County Magazine, 13, 2, pp. 100-103.

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

  7. 1055

    wilkinsons_26 feb 2017 lot 272 610x762.jpg
    610 x 762 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with small triangular protrusions in each top corner; fillet edging (top and sides); top centre, date stamp, over-pressed on right side; top corners, single fleur-de-lys stamp; below date, initials in triad.

    Notes: The fleur-de-lys is of a distinctive form; the small triangular protrusions are not seen on other firebacks. Wilkinson's, Doncaster, auction 26 Feb 2017 lot 272. A fireback with the same date stamp is at Newark Park, Ozleworth, Gloucestershire.

    Inscription: 1634 / RCS [triad]

    Manufactured: in 1634 in England.

    Current location:, England.