830mm tall

  1. 238

    cardiff,_st fagans 15.jpg
    612 x 830 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped central panel with bead-and-pellet edging on a wide fillet; crowned figure, holding a sceptre in his right hand, sitting in a chariot drawn to the left by two, caparisoned horses with ostrich feather head-dresses; the whole upon a three-arched bridge with keystones and a string course, waves beneath; above, swagged drapery with two tassels hanging from the centre; arched rectangular shaped border with fillet edging, symmetrical, descending oak leaf and acorn branches, with a looped 'W' in each shoulder; inscription at base; on top, symmetrical scrolled plant tendrils and berries. A single central vertical plankline.

    Notes: One of a series produced in the same year. All incorporate the looped 'W' motif which may be intended to identify the pattern maker. The design is derived from a personification of Europe, one of a set of playing cards entitled Jeu de la Géographie, designed by Stefano della Bella for Louis XIV. The inscription translates as 'God is our strength'.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 17 DVW Ydyw Ein Cadernid 24

    Manufactured: in 1724 in England.

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

    Museum number: F81.233 (part of the Welsh National History Museum museum group)

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

  2. 928

    610 x 830 mm

    Description: Carved wooden fireback pattern. Arched rectangular central panel with astragal and fillet edging; Phaëton riding Apollo’s chariot across the skies, the sun to the left behind clouds, a lion on ground below, between two trees; arched rectangular border with fillet edging; trailing convolvulus leaves surround the central panel.

    Notes: The illustration upon which the design has been based has not been identified, save that it figures in book II of Ovid's Metamorphoses. The convolvulus border is a common feature of this series of firebacks; given to the Sussex Archaeological Society by the Earl of Ashburnham.

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in England.

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

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

    Citation: Baines, J. M., 1958, Wealden Firebacks (Hastings Museum).

    Citation: Whistler, R. F., 1888, 'Penhurst: being some account of its Iron Works, Manor House, Church, etc.,' Sussex Archaeological Collections, 36, pp. 1-18.

  3. 548

    679 x 830 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead edging; female figure, a crown above her head, holding two snakes; arched rectangular border with fillet edging; top centre, knot of ribbon with festoons of pomegranates suspended therefrom via a ring on each shoulder of the plate; at the bottom, two crossed palm fronds; on top, symmetrical arrangements of swirled foliage; on each side, a plain rectangular panel with fillet edging.

    Notes: Possibly the allegorical figure of Democracy; the form of the palm fronds and the swirled foliage on top suggest a common pattern-maker with the TAN series and the Mayfield 'Dutch' series.

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in England.

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

    Museum number: NT/PET/M/102 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  4. 806

    salfords,_picketts farmhouse.jpg
    1076 x 830 mm

    Description: Rectangle with curved shoulders and low arch joined with concave curves; fillet and ogee moulded edging; central Tudor royal shield surrounded by garter, with crown above and lion and dragon supporters; royal initials either side of crown; lower right, inclined rectangular stamp of a dog; extended variant.

    Notes: On clearer examples the garter motto has ‘EQVI’ instead of ‘HONI’, making it meaningless; possibly ‘EQVI’ was a mis-transcription of ‘HONI’; the crown is distinctly continental in form; a much-copied fireback.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: E R [Garter motto illegible]

    Arms: Tudor royal - Elizabeth I

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century in England.

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

  5. 798

    withyham_church a.jpg
    840 x 830 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with canted top corners; astragal-and-fillet and cavetto moulded strip on each side, angled at top; raised central square panel bearing main inscription in sans-serif characters justified to left (2s formed like Zs); irregular arrangement of small ‘serrated’ square stamps repeated 29 times in two vertical groups of 12 on each side of the inscription panel (6 on the outside, side to side, 6 on the inside, roughly corner to corner); 2 squares, side to side, below each side of the arch, above the inscription panel; 1 square at top of arch between non-matching initials.

    Notes: The inscription is the same as on the iron plate above the grave of Richard Gray in Withyham church; another fireback, said to have the same inscription, was formerly at Wolvesey Palace, Winchester, and later in Winchester Museum, but is now missing; the moulding strips are likely to have been derived from furniture. Frances Ashbie and Richard Graye's godson, Richard, the son of William Ashbie, were among the beneficiaries of Richard Graye's will and the initials, IA, on the fireback may relate to another member of that family. The fireback was noted at Sompting, near Lancing, West Sussex, in the 1820s.


    Manufactured: in 1582 probably at Hamsell Furnace, Rotherfield in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: St Michael's church, Withyham, East Sussex, England.

    Citation: Arnold, F., 1871, 'Withyham Monumental Slab', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 23, pp. 320-1.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., Autumn 2011, 'A memorial fireback from Withyham, East Sussex', Wealden Iron Research Group Newsletter 54, p. 9.