Firebacks

297 results

  1. 1291

    ahrweiler,_ahrgau_museum.jpg
    ~600 x ~500 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; astragal with cavetto-moulded edging; decoration in three vertical sections each divided by a fillet; central section: three ostrich feathers within a coronet and a motto scroll - ICH DIEN (I serve); at the top, the date split either side of the uppermost feather; at the bottom, initials - SG - split either side of the quills; left panel: on a pedestal, an arrangement of musical and scientific instruments and books below a floral swag with a central rose; right panel: on a palisade, a triumph of martial arms - cannon, drum, shield, spear, flag etc. - beneath a floral swag and handful of arrows.

    Notes: The three ostrich feathers within a coronet and the motto, Ich Dien, are the badge of the Prince of Wales. Probably a fireback in honour of Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, oldest son and heir of King James VI of Scotland, I of England, with the date added to commemorate his death in 1612. The initials are likely to be those of the pattern maker.

    Inscription: 16 12 / ICH DIEN / S G

    Manufactured: in 1612 in the Eifel area of Germany.

    Current location: not known.

    Museum number: RBA 37533 (part of the Ahrgau-Museum, Ahrweiler museum group)

  2. 10

    alfriston_clergy house.jpg
    1280 x 540 mm

    Description: Rectangular; rope edging (top and sides); central Tudor royal shield with encircling garter (motto reversed: HONE SOVT QVEY … PEN), separate greyhound and lion supporters, separate crown; a bird, repeated in each top corner, its wings displayed and inverted and its head facing behind and to the left, standing on a scroll; a fleur de lys repeated in the bottom corners; inside the birds is a repeated stamp, half of one similar to a stamp on a fireback in Hastings Museum.

    Notes: The particular form of the Tudor arms and supporters is encountered on other firebacks, as are the distinctive style of fleurs de lys and the birds (probably swans, a Lancastrian icon). The plain scroll upon which the bird is perched suggests that there might have been a painted inscription on it originally and that the stamp had not been made specifically for the decoration of firebacks but was, perhaps, redundant from interior domestic decoration. Formerly at Framfield, East Sussex.

    Arms: Tudor royal (prob. Henry VIII)

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 16th century possibly at Pounsley Furnace, Framfield in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: The Clergy House, Alfriston, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 200044 (part of the National Trust museum group)

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

  3. 1128

    amerongen,_21 nederstraat 03 460x520x210.jpg
    460 x 520 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched shape with forward-facing 'wings', which splay outwards towards the base; the 'wings' curve to follow the shape of the main panel but curl outwards at the top; central panel with pictorial image of, to the right, a shepherd holding a musical pipe, his right foot upon a log, upon which a dog, to the left, sits holding the shepherd's crook; top centre, a crown, on either side of which, on the curled upper parts of the 'wings', is an inward facing sheep.

    Notes: This small, but unusual, casting was probably cast in an open box mould as the upcast (reverse) side of the casting shows evidence of being sand-treated. Only a very small number of such castings are known. Depth 210mm

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

    Current location: 21 Nederstraat, Amerongen, Utrechtse Heuvelrug, Netherlands.

  4. 1135

    amerongen,_21 nederstraat 06 495x555.jpg
    495 x 555 mm

    Description: Arched shape; fillet edging; top centre, date; decorative Tudor royal shield, crown, garter (motto clockwise but reversed) and supporters (dragon and greyhound); a rose to the left and a portcullis (grid of 6) to the right side of crown; the supporters stand on a horizontal compartment which, on similar firebacks, often contains the date.

    Notes: There are several firebacks with the Tudor royal arms that were probably originally produced in the Spanish Netherlands, perhaps illustrating the association between England and Spain through the marriage of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon. The firebacks differ in several small details, such as the form and rotation of the Garter motto, the style of the crown, the positioning of the supporters in relation to the Garter, and the form and size of the rose and portcullis.

    Inscription: 15 70 / HONY SOYT QVI MAL Y PENSE

    Arms: English royal Tudor

    Manufactured: in 1570 possibly in the Wallonia area of Luxemburg.

    Current location: 21 Nederstraat, Amerongen, Utrechtse Heuvelrug, Netherlands.

  5. 1231

    amsterdam,_rijksmuseum_bk-nm-10837.jpg
    590 x 730 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; ovolo-moulded edging; shield, Garter, crowned helm and mantling of the English royal arms to 1603 with crowned lion and griffon supporters standing on separate rectangular cartouches containing the word 'ANNO' and the date '1662'; above the mantling are the initials 'I R'

    Notes: The date appears to have been altered from 1602. The initials 'I R' for Jacobus Rex (James I of England) are inappropriate for the date in both its original and its altered form; also the griffon supporter on the sinister side is incorrect, a dragon being correct for the arms of Elizabeth I in 1602. There is a vertical plankline left of centre.

    Inscription: I R / HONI SOIT QVI MAL I PENSE / ANNO 1662

    Arms: English Tudor royal

    Manufactured: in 1662 possibly in the Ardennes area of Belgium.

    Current location: Rijksmuseum, Museumstraat, Amsterdam South, North Holland, Netherlands.

    Museum number: BK-NM-10837 (part of the Rijksmuseum museum group)

  6. 1288

    arc_reclamation_1060x750.jpg
    1060 x 750 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with rounded corners; ovolo within fillet moulding all round; oval Tudor royal shield with garter surrounding, topped with a royal crown; dragon and greyhound supporters; initials split by crown; inscription on a fillet between legs of supporters, behind garter finial; motto on an Ionic plinth at bottom; two rectangular side panels with twisted rope edging top and side.

    Notes: The supporters are those of Henry VII or Henry VIII, but the initials suggest the fireback dates from the reign of Edward VI (1547-53). John Harvo (d. c1565) was a gunfounder who has been identified as occupying Pounsley furnace, Framfield, Sussex, possibly from as early as 1547; the fireback may have been cast originally during the reign of Henry VIII (1509-47), with the initials added to an early casting using the original pattern. The detail on the armorial back is good, showing little wear, so the casting was probably made not long after the original armorial fireback. The rivets are modern.

    Inscription: E R / HONY SOIT QVE MAL Y PAYNCE / Made in Sussex by John Harvo / DV ET MOVN DROI

    Arms: Tudor royal - Probably Henry VIII

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

    Current location: not known.

  7. 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: ‘1’s in top corners, ‘6’s 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 (see no. 851) is one of the Stapled Scroll series; composite firebacks (where the impression of one or more other firebacks are used as part of the decoration) are uncommon in England but less so in France.

    Inscription: 16 61 / IBM [triad]

    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).

  8. 897

    arigna.jpg
    737 x 559 mm

    Description: Steeply canted rectangle; no edging; upper centre, square formed of twisted rope lengths inside which are what appear to be two lions passant in pale with a circle and two short sloping lines in inverted V form above; on either side of the square is an O and an R; below the square three lengths of twisted rope extend to the bottom edge, the central one vertically and the the outer two sloping away from the centre; along the bottom is the date, each numeral separated by one of the rope lengths.

    Notes: Alleged to be a representation of the arms of the O'Rourke family, who held sway in Cavan and Leitrim, the initials said to be of Owen O'Rourke. Noted in a cottage at Arigna, County Roscommon.

    Inscription: O O R / 1 6 8 8

    Arms: O'Rourke

    Manufactured: in 1688 possibly at Drumshanbo Furnace in the Leitrim area of Ireland.

    Current location: not known.

    Citation: Lindsay, J. S., 1927, Iron & Brass Implements of the English House (London, The Medici Society).

    Citation: Meehan, J., 1906, 'The Arms of the O'Rourkes: a metal casting from County Leitrim seventeenth-century foundries', Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 36, 2, pp. 123-142.

  9. 1139

    arms-of-nicolas-de-massenbach-and-francoise-dhelmstadt-1710_980x990.jpg
    980 x 990 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; fillet edging to a rounded frame with sections of acanthus leaves at the corners and at the top of the arch, and blank campartments in between; astragal and fillet inside edging; arched rectangular inscription scroll suspended with faux ribbon from the top of the arch; below, a coronet over a large baroque cartouche containg two oval shields: Massenbach - azure two bars or, d'Helmstadt - argent a crow sable; on either side, lion rampant reguardant supporters; four vertical planklines.

    Notes: A finely executed carving. Nicolas de Massenbach (1659-1722) and Francoise d'Helmstadt (d.1729) were married at Ourches-sur-Meuse, in Lorraine, in 1695.

    Inscription: NDM 1710 FDH

    Arms: Nicolas de Massenbach and Francoise d'Helmstadt

    Manufactured: in 1710 in France.

    Current location:, not known.

    Citation: Palasi, P., 2014, Plaques de Cheminées Héraldiques (Paris, Éditions Gourcuff-Gradenigo).

  10. 627

    ashbourne_660x780.jpg
    660 x 780 mm

    Description: Arched shape; cavetto moulded edge; double-headed eagle displayed, a Holy Roman Imperial crown above; in front, a quartered shield; a flaming pillar on each side, a motto scroll entwining each.

    Notes: The shield bears the arms of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (reigned 1519-1556), king of Spain and nephew of Katherine of Aragon, Queen of England; the pillars are a symbolic representation of the Pillars of Hercules at the Strait of Gibraltar. Some variants of this fireback have a different date (e.g. see no. 1267) or none at all.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: PLVS OVLTRE [Further Beyond]

    Arms: Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor

    Manufactured: in 1592 possibly in the Eifel area of Germany.

    Current location: Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England.