762mm tall

  1. 941

    fawley_court  01.jpg
    914 x 762 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; scalloping within wide fillet edging; shield, knight's 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; the fess appears to be erroneous) and Warnecombe (sable, on a fess dancetty argent between three bezants each charged with an escallop of the field as many lions rampant argent armed and langued gules). 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 seen on firebacks from Flaxley Furnace, Gloucestershire.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 20

    Arms: Kyrle quartering Abrahall and Warnecombe

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

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

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

  2. 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:, not known.

  3. 698

    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’.

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in England.

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

  4. 768

    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. c1565) 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. The disparity between the worn surface of the armorial panel and the greater clarity of the extensions indicates that the extended casting was made using an already well-used armorial fireback and therefore at a substantially later date.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

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

    Arms: Tudor royal - Probably Henry VIII

    Manufactured: in the late 16th century in 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).

  5. 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: not known.