Firebacks

925mm tall

  1. 13

    ardingly_rivers farm 01.jpg
    1360 x 925 mm

    Description: Rectangular; composite: complex (cavetto/cyma recta/ovolo) moulded edging (top and sides), derived from domestic carpentry; two firebacks used as patterns: on the left, rectangular with mirrored floriate scrolled top, simulated overlapping tile edging at sides, with fillet bottom edge, a mythical salamander in the form of a dog with an arrow-shaped tongue, standing among flames, a stapled scroll inside the left and right edges; on the right, arched rectangular with fillet edging indented on the inner side, surrounding a circular clock face with Roman numerals, each interspaced with a bead, and a button outside each quarter, a triangular design of swirled foliage in each bottom spandrel; initials in triad between firebacks; below, stamp formed of a talbot statant guardant upon a wreath; date split: 1s in top corners, 6s above initials; bottom third of fireback plain.

    Notes: The talbot crest, which in this instance has been over pressed and shows the shape of the backing, is seen on other firebacks indicating a common source; the 'salamander' fireback is part of the Stapled Scroll series; composite firebacks (where other firebacks are used as patterns) are uncommon in England.

    Inscription: 16 61 / IBM

    Manufactured: in 1661 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Ardingly, West Sussex, England.

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

  2. 423

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 058.jpg
    635 x 925 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead edging; standing female figure, classically dressed, holding a child in her arms, another child holding a wreath, seated to her left, and a putto standing to her right; arched rectangular border with fillet edging; mask top centre with descending floral bunches on ribbons, with a cartouche centre bottom; on top, two symmetrical descending serpents.

    Notes: The figure represents Charity, one of a several iconic figures portrayed on firebacks of this period.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

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

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

    Museum number: LH000.947 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)