880mm tall

  1. 1206

    960 x 880 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides); top, centred, text in five lines uppercase with the letter 'U' represented as 'V'.

    Notes: Apart from the word 'Bunces' the text is an expanded transcription of the entry in the Domesday Book for Birch Grove, south of East Grinstead. Allegedly it was the author, Rudyard Kipling, who suggested to the then owner of that property that the text be used to decorate a fireback.


    Manufactured: in the early 20th century in England.

    Current location: in private hands, Horsted Keynes, West Sussex, England.

  2. 402

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 036.jpg
    760 x 880 mm

    Description: Rectangular with pediment and frieze resting on fluted Tuscan pilasters; plain podium base; rectangular central panel with double fillet edge divided into four with central panel containing initials; date in tympanum.

    Notes: An early example of the use of classical architectural elements in an English fireback. Formerly part of the J. H. Every collection.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: [1]568 / ER

    Manufactured: in 1568 in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.062 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

  3. 596

    1070 x 880 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with base plinth; astragal and fillet edging (top and sides) with overlapping leaf pattern; mirrored wave pattern on plinth; shield, supporters, motto scroll and coronet of the 1st Earl of Ashburnham; the arms are Ashburnham (quarterly Ashburnham, Holland, Kenn and Vaughan) impaling Barry.

    Notes: John, 1st Baron Ashburnham married Lady Jemima Grey in 1724, and was elevated to the Earldom in 1730. A sketch of an example of this fireback was made by J. Starkie Gardner c.1891 and is in his collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Archive of Art and Design (AAD/2014/8).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Arms: John, 1st Earl of Ashburnham

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 18th century probably at Ashburnham Furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Citation: Denny, H., 1937, 'Iron Fire-back', Sussex Notes and Queries, 6, 6, p. 189.

  4. 700

    ticehurst,_pashley manor.jpg
    1190 x 880 mm

    Description: Cavetto-canted rectangle with central pediment; cyma-reversa moulded edging; central pedimented panel, fillet edged, with shield, helm, crest and mantling of the May family; on either side, an incised floral pattern of a stem and six branches, rising from a rectangular, low-relief panel of two images of horsemen; above, the inscription in low relief.

    Notes: The arms of May: Gules, a fess between eight billets Or; crest: Out of a ducal coronet Or, a lion’s head gules bezanty; the same armorial stamp appears to have been used on an unnamed iron graveslab in Ticehurst church. The initials are probably those of Susanna May (c1653-1718), heir to Pashley, in Ticehurst, who had married her distant cousin, Sir Robert May, in 1686. The May family had been involved in the iron industry in the 16th and early 17th centuries, but were no longer active a century later. Incised decoration on firebacks is uncommon, the decoration probably having been incised into the pattern board.

    Inscription: 17S M02

    Arms: May of Pashley, Ticehurst

    Manufactured: in 1702 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Ticehurst, East Sussex, England.

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

  5. 965

    unknown_76 820x880 nicolas pierre de besset de la chapelle milon.jpg
    820 x 880 mm

    Description: Upon a moulded base plinth, wide scrolled side double fillets with foliage about the scrolls and suspended bell flowers in chain above; central foliate cartouche behind an oval shield surmounted by a viscomte's coronet; on top, an arch rising from horizontal moulding on each side.

    Notes: Blazon: Azure, a chevron Argent between three estoiles Or, all surmounted by a bar of the second; characteristic of designs illustrated by architects such as Daniel Marot; the texturing on the shield indicates the azure tincture. See Carpentier p. 234, fig. 644.

    Arms: Besset de la Chapelle

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

    Current location:.

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

  6. 761

    910 x 880 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular; astragal edging with simiulated ribbon pattern; inscription on a banner in arch; crowned roundel bearing the arms of France between two angel supporters carrying trumpets; below, a triumph of arms; on the bottom, a plain extension panel.

    Notes: The motto, translated, reads 'Alone against all'; other firebacks bear the motto, 'Victorieux contre tous' (Victorious against all).

    Inscription: SEVL CONTRE TOVS

    Arms: France modern

    Manufactured: in the late 17th century in France.

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

    Museum number: M.3-1918 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

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