Firebacks

810mm tall

  1. 278

    ellesborough,_chequers 03.jpg
    600 x 810 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with fillet edging; mirrored drapery swags emanating from two wings, and terminating in elongated tassels hung from hooks; date split by wings; initials split at bottom corners.

    Notes: A simple design with space for further personalised decoration.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 87 / C S

    Manufactured: in 1687 possibly in the Siegerland area of Germany.

    Current location: Chequers, Ellesborough, Buckinghamshire, England.

  2. 327

    horsham_museum 05.jpg
    560 x 810 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped central panel with open-bud edging; pictorial: Venus in her chariot drawn by doves, with her child, Cupid; a heron flies away to the left; above are swagged curtains and a pair of tassels, below is a landscape; arched rectangular shaped border with fillet edging, a scallop shell top centre with symmetrical arrangement of vine and acanthus leaves and tendrils; the monogram, SHR, bottom centre; above is a symmetrical design of scrolled floral tendrils.

    Notes: The design is derived from a personification of the planet, Venus, in 'Planetarum effectus et eorum in signis zodiaci', by Marten de Vos (1585); the flying heron has been copied from a print by Wenceslaus Hollar c.1658. The theft, in 1699, from a Thames-side warehouse of several firebacks, including '6 of Venus in a Chariot with Doves' may refer to this type (Post Boy 11-14 Nov. 1699).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: SHR

    Manufactured: in the late 17th century in England.

    Current location: Horsham Museum, Causeway, Horsham, West Sussex, England.

    (part of the Horsham Museum museum group)

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

  3. 344

    ightham_mote 03.jpg
    560 x 810 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel, with bead-and-pellet edging; pictorial, standing female figure in classical dress, facing to the left, holding a snake in her right hand, a bunch of flowers at lower left; the initials located in bottom corners; arched rectangular border, fillet edging, containing swirled foliage, with a putto in the top corners; on top, two perched bird facing each other, with swirled foliage descending behind them.

    Notes: The figure is of Sapientia, or Wisdom, based closely on an engraving (one of a set entitled 'The Virtues') by Hendrik Goltzius c.1593; a small number of firebacks bear the initials, GK; it is not known to whom they refer, but dated ones are of 1700.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: G K

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in the Siegerland area of Germany.

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

    Museum number: NT/IGH/M/33 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  4. 1108

    islington,_criterion auctions.jpg
    540 x 810 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; Greek Key border with fillet edges; in high relief, in front of swagged drapery, the shield of, quarterly, France quartering England, Scotland and Ireland, surrounded by a Garter, and surmounted by a ducal coronet; below, the inscription in capitals.

    Notes: The use of the Greek Key design as a border is believed to be unique for an English fireback. The arms are indistinct but appear to be the Stuart arms of the reign of Queen Anne before the union with Scotland in 1707, which were anachronistic by 1732. Also, the superposition of a ducal coronet in place of the royal crown is unusual. Sowley Furnace, near Beaulieu in Hampshire, was owned in 1732 by John, 2nd Duke of Montagu, and was let to Miles Troughton. Criterion Auctions, Islington, 7 Jan 2019.

    Inscription: HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE / SOWLEY MDCCXXXII

    Arms: Stuart royal (1707-14) France/England, Scotland and Ireland

    Manufactured: in 1732 at Sowley furnace in the New Forest area of England.

    Current location: Criterion Auctions, 53, Essex Road, Islington, London, England.

  5. 854

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 105.jpg
    >690 x 810 mm

    Description: Sub-rectangular fragment; undulating vine tendril strip repeated twice vertically from left edge with a bird stamp repeated three times between, interspersed with a grape cluster stamp repeated seven times; vine tendril stamp repeated twice horizontally at right angles to rightmost vertical strip, three bird stamps between strips and two above, interspersed with seven grape cluster stamps.

    Notes: This fragment incorporates common elements from a large series of firebacks.

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

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

    Museum number: LH000.924 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

  6. 574

    petworth_053.jpg
    610 x 810 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with arch and bead edging within a similarly shaped cavetto-moulded border and pomegranates on to and on the ach shoulder of the plate; pictorial representation of the king of Sweden mounted on a horse.

    Notes: The king would be Gustav II. There is a companion fireback bearing the image of Prince Fredrik Henrik of Oranje.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: DIE KONINCK VON SWEDEN

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

    Current location: Petworth House, Petworth, West Sussex, England.

    Museum number: NT/PET/M/65 (part of the National Trust museum group)

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

  7. 904

    unknown_63 560x810.jpg
    560 x 810 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped central panel with five-bead and open pellet edging; pictorial: regal figure in his chariot drawn by two horses, a sceptre in his right hand; above, a putto descends from swagged curtains and a pair of tassels; below is a landscape with a cornucopia; arched rectangular shaped border with fillet edging, a scallop shell top centre with symmetrical arrangement of ivy and acanthus leaves and tendrils; the initial, N, in a cartouche bottom centre, between symmetrical oak fronds, leaves and acorns; above is a symmetrical design of scrolled floral tendrils terminating in sea monsters.

    Notes: Very similar in design and execution to firebacks of the SHR and EB series, suggesting designs emanating from the same source and with a a similar inspiration. The figure in the chariot may be an allegory of the Sun.

    Inscription: N

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in England.

    Current location: in private hands, Amerongen, Utrecht, Netherlands.

  8. 765

    va_41.jpg
    815 x 810 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular; fillet edging with darts on the inside; circular arms of France within the chains of the Ordre d'Esprit and the Ordre de St Michel, with crown above, all resting on a framework compartment, with olive leaf sprays on each side ofn the shield.

    Notes: Typical form of the arms of France of the period of Louis XIV.

    Arms: France modern

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

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

    Museum number: M.1132-1926 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

    Citation: Carpentier, H., 1912, Plaques de Cheminées, Paris.