Firebacks

870mm tall

  1. 932

    arms_of theodore agrippa daubigne (anjou) carpentier p229 690x870.png
    690 x 870 mm

    Description: Carved wooden fireback pattern. Canted arched rectangular shape with cavetto-moulded astragal edging; coronet in arch; oval shield with a crowned lion lion rampant, supported two griffons reguardant, the whole within a cartouche, the bottom of which terminates in two swirls between which is a human mask.

    Notes: Theodore Agrippa d'Aubigné (1552-1630) was a French poet and writer.

    Arms: Theodore Agrippa d'Aubigné

    Manufactured: in the early 17th century in France.

    Current location:, U. S. A..

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

  2. 247

    chawton_house 01.jpg
    1185 x 870 mm

    Description: A modified recasting of a variant of the ‘Armada’ fireback, with changed initials, a single anchor panel, and the addition of plain base and borders, the latter each with a twisted rope saltire, upper middle.

    Notes: It is likely that an original four-panel fireback has been used to recast a copy with additional side and base panels. A second fireback at the house, identical but for being 1% smaller all round, has a full-width extension on top bearing four symmetrical rope saltires, the outer two larger than the inner two; the saltires may have apotropaic significance. The reduction in size of the common elements due to shrinkage suggests the first example was used to make the second. It is alleged that John Knight, who built Chawton House, was rewarded with a fireback for contributing £50 to the Crown at the time of the Armada emergency; given that a great many of the gentry and aristocracy made similar contributions, this story is improbable. It seems likely that this putative original was used to make these two subsequent copies.

    Inscription: 1588 / IK

    Manufactured: in 1588 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Chawton House, Chawton, Hampshire, England.

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

  3. 465

    little_horsted, college farm 03.jpg
    1020 x 870 mm

    Description: Rectangular with three-faced arch; ogee moulded edging; top centre, overlapping, crossed staples arranged diagonally, each pointing to a bottom corner.

    Notes: The crossed staple is the badge of the Nevill family, and this fireback came from Eridge Park, the seat of the Marquess of Abergavenny.

    Manufactured: in the 18th century possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Little Horsted, East Sussex, England.

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

  4. 1073

    mathern,_moynes court 04.jpg
    465 x 870 mm

    Description: Arched; twisted rope edging; date at top; initials in triad below date.

    Notes: An unusually tall fireback in proportion to its height, probably specifically related to its early use with a coal fire.

    Inscription: 1648 / TMH [triad]

    Manufactured: in 1648 possibly at Laytons (Tintern) furnace in the Forest of Dean area of Wales.

    Current location: in private hands, Mathern, Monmouthshire, Wales.

  5. 609

    ripley_018.jpg
    620 x 870 mm

    Description: Rectangular with plait-effect border and a column of beads down each side; pictorial scene of a male figure in gown and full-bottom wig, holding a fool’s cap in his right hand, standing behind a seated male figure, bald and bearded, with the papal triple crown falling off his head; he is seated at a desk on which are two books; behind him and to the right, three books are on a small shelf. Above the figures, a longer shelf, the width of the plate, supports other books and papers, together with the figure of a dog, from whose mouth a scroll issues bearing an unreadable inscription. On top, two putti hold hands in front of a flaming grenade.

    Notes: The design is copied from a cartoon of c.1672 showing Titus Oates, the instigator of the popish Plot, presenting a fool’s cap to the Pope.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the late 17th century in England.

    Current location: Mark Ripley Forge & Fireplaces, Northbridge Street, Robertsbridge, East Sussex, England.

  6. 757

    va_33.jpg
    680 x 870 mm

    Description: Oval armorial bearings carried by two naked, kneeling male figures, between them a scallop shell; above the shield a lion’s face surmounted by a crest of a lion’s head erased; the shield is surrounded by floral scrolls. The arms are of Worge impaling Collier: Worge - gules, a fess ermine, cotised argent, in chief three lion’s heads erased of the last; Collier - argent, on a chevron azure, between three unicorns courant couped gules, as many oak sprigs fructed proper.

    Notes: George Worge (1705-65), of Starr’s Green, Battle, steward of the Battle Abbey estate, married Elizabeth Collier (d.1767) of Hastings in 1729. This deeply detailed fireback might have been cast in a closed mould; it had a circular aperture in the centre into which, in this instance, an armorial was placed; the same armorial is on a fireback, dated 1762, at Great Dixter, Northiam, Sussex.

    Arms: Worge impaling Collier (George Worge)

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 18th century possibly at Robertsbridge furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 686.1899 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

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