Firebacks

780mm tall

  1. 914

    abinger,_goddards.jpg
    1180 x 780 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides) with fillet edging at bottom; cast of a 1598 fireback within a recessed panel, the arch of the original fireback being overlaid with twisted rope and diagonal lengths of rope laid alongside. The original fireback is described as follows: Composite of three elements; central panel has a complex ‘knot’ pattern with a fillet edge; side panel, repeated on either side of the central panel, contains a vase of flowers, possibly stylised thistles, within an arched frame and fillet edge; arched panel above, also with fillet edge, contains the date and inscription; the spandrels of the side panels, and the arched top panel, contain a series of circular motifs comprising concentric rings deepening towards the centre.

    Notes: The central fireback measures 795mm wide by 735mm high and is from a different casting to that seen at Linchmere, Sussex.

    Inscription: 1598 / IM IB

    Manufactured: in the late 16th to early 17th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Goddards, Abinger Common, Abinger, Surrey, England.

  2. 627

    ashbourne_660x780.jpg
    660 x 780 mm

    Description: Arched shape; cavetto moulded edge; double-headed eagle displayed, a Holy Roman Imperial crown above; in front, a quartered shield; a flaming pillar on each side, a motto scroll entwining each.

    Notes: The shield bears the arms of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (reigned 1519-1556), king of Spain and nephew of Katherine of Aragon, Queen of England; the pillars are a symbolic representation of the Pillars of Hercules at the Strait of Gibraltar. Some variants of this fireback do not include a date.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: PLVS OVLTRE [Further Beyond]

    Arms: Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor

    Manufactured: in 1552 possibly in the Eifel area of Germany.

    Current location: Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England.

  3. 313

    handcross,_nymans 08.jpg
    1150 x 780 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto moulded edging; date top centre within arch.

    Notes: Plain elegant fireback from a late series, probably cast in the south east of England.

    Inscription: 1853

    Manufactured: in 1853 in England.

    Current location: Nymans, Staplefield Road, Handcross, Slaugham, West Sussex, England.

    (part of the National Trust museum group)

  4. 110

    hastings_001.jpg
    540 x 780 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped central panel with fillet and bead edging, Neptune/Poseidon, holding a trident in his right hand, sitting in a scallop shell drawn by four mythical sea horses, behind are two mermaids; arched rectangular shaped border with ovolo egg and dart edging; above, two symmetrical dolphins with a clam shell between.

    Notes: Typical type of fireback produced in Germany by Dutch pattern makers; the central panel was made separately for intsertion into different borders; this border is a relatively simple type.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 17th century possibly in the Siegerland area of Germany.

    Current location: Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Hastings, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 952.51.36 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

    Citation: Lloyd, N., 1925, 'Domestic Ironwork I', Architectural Review, 58, pp. 58-67.

  5. 176

    hastings_museum 063b.jpg
    >1010 x 780 mm

    Description: Probably rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); two (originally probably three) panels divided by vertical twisted rope, each containing a rounded shield with fillet edge with 'ihs' (the 'h' crossed), between two cartouche-style shields with fillet edge, bearing a cross rising from two concentric rings.

    Notes: The overtly religious symbolism may indicate a pre-Reformation or Marian date. The christogram, 'ihs', derived from the first three letters of 'IESUS' in Greek, was first noted in England in the 14th century. The cross rising from the rings may be intended to indicate christian dominion over the globe. Possibly as much as the right third of the fireback is missing. The fireback is believed to have been in Robertsbridge Abbey.

    Inscription: ihs

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

    Current location: Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, h, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 914.38 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

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

  6. 189

    hatfield_house 02.jpg
    965 x ?780 mm

    Description: Rectangular with an ogee arch; twisted rope edging (top and sides); line of small fleursd e lys areound the top and sides, inside the edging; Tudor rose inside each top sorner (overstamped on the left); below each rose a cross of twisted rope with fleur de lys terminals, and fleurs in each quadrant; top centre, a Tudor royal shield within an oval garter - HONE SOVT QUEY MAL Y PENSE - with greyhound and lion supporters, and crown above; cross of small fleurs inclined to each side of the crown; inverted 'Y' shape in twisted rope below each supporter, a fleur at the top end of each.

    Notes: A oft-used achievement of arms; twisted rope with fleur de lys terminals are seen on other firebacks from the same source.

    Inscription: HONE SOVT QUEY MAL Y PENSE

    Arms: Tudor royal (prob. Henry VIII)

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

    Current location: in private hands, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England.

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

  7. 441

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 081.jpg
    695 x 780 mm

    Description: Sub-rectangular; edged with a repeated length of helically-turned dowel (top and sides); apparently random arrangement of same piece of dowel repeated ten times, including a saltire and cross.

    Notes: Apart from the Christian significance of the cross, the other arrangements of rope lengths may be apotropaic in their purpose, the double V being a possible invocation of the Virgin. The blemishes at the base are caused by the casting sand being disturbed by the pouring of the metal.

    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: LH000.799 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Dawson, C., 1903, 'Sussex Iron Work and Pottery', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 46, pp. 1-54.

    Citation: Easton, T. & Hodgkinson, J. S., 2013, 'Apotropaic Symbols on Cast-Iron Firebacks', Jnl. of the Antique Metalware Soc., 21, pp. 14-33.

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

    Citation: Starkie Gardner, J., 1898, 'Iron Casting in the Weald', Archaeologia, 56, 1, pp. 133-164.

  8. 989

    unknown_88 650x780.jpg
    650 x 780 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with fillet edging; within an arched rectangular border alternating repeated acanthus leaves, and a floral cartouche, a heart-shaped shield of the royal arms of France, surmounted by a royal crown and within splayed olive branches.

    Arms: France Royal

    Manufactured: in the late 17th century in France.

    Current location:.

  9. 753

    va_29.jpg
    680 x 780 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; parallel astragal and fillet edging; four panels divied by fillets, an orb with a cross at the intersection; top left, naked female figure holding scales in her right hand, a scroll bearing an inscription above her and to her left and right; top right, a naked female figure holding a hawk in her right hand and leading two dogs with her left hand, a scroll bearing an inscription above her and to her left and right; bottom left, a clothed female figure, at her feet a fox attacking a serpent, a scroll bearing an inscription above her and to her left and right; bottom right, a clothed female figure, at her feet hounds chasing and attacking another animal, a scroll bearing an inscription above her and to her left and right.

    Notes: The figures (clockwise from top left) probably represent Justice and Vigilance (both naked), Indifference and Perfidy (both clothed).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: ..T IS V EN SCHADE DAT TROV IS LICHTER DAN PLVME / ICH JAG OM DIE VINDE OFT ICH TROV KOND FINDEN / TROV IS DOET ONTROVE VERDT VERFAVLEN / ONTOVE LOEPT OVER ..AL

    Manufactured: in the late 16th century possibly in the Wallonia area of Belgium.

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

    Museum number: 142.1898 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

    Citation: Driesch, K. von den , 1990, Handbuch der Ofen-, Kamin- und Takenplatten im Rheinland (Cologne, Rheinland-Verlag).