Firebacks

241 results

  1. 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 frequently encountered; the birds (probably swans, a Lancastrian icon) are also seen on other firebacks, as is the distinctive style of fleurs de lys; the combined use of these three groups of stamps suggests a common source.

    Arms: Tudor royal (prob. Henry VIII)

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

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

    Museum number: NT/ALF/M/1 (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).

  2. 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.

  3. 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 Luxembourg.

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

  4. 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 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).

  5. 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:.

    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.

  6. 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:, France.

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

  7. 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 do not include a date.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: PLVS OVLTRE [Further Beyond]

    Arms: Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor

    Manufactured: in 1552 possibly in the Eifel area of Germany.

    Current location: Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England.

  8. 14

    ashburnham,_furnace.jpg
    1270 x 1010 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; plain plate. Crowned capital ‘A’ between ‘W’ and ‘R’; divided date at top extremities of plate; single six-pointed star below ‘A’.

    Notes: Earl’s coronet denotes the Earl of Ashburnham, furnace owner; ‘WR’ denotes William Rummins, furnace founder; 1813 - the furnace was blown out finally in late February 1813. Similar to, but narrower than the fireback at Church Farm, Penhurst (in private hands), and uses the same cipher and numbers. One of a small series of firebacks cast in the early-19th century for farms on the Ashburnham estate; this example was formerly at Great Sprays Farm, Penhurst.

    Inscription: W A R / 18 13

    Manufactured: in 1813 at Ashburnham furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

  9. 842

    atcham_01.jpg
    447 x 524 mm

    Description: Arched shape; cavetto-moulded edging invected on the inner edge; Tudor rose surmounted by a royal crown; monogram in bottom right corner.

    Notes: The monogram, RN, is associated with the invected cavetto moulding; a recasting, replicating an earlier crack.

    Inscription: RN

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 17th century in England.

    Current location: English Heritage Store, Atcham Business Park, Atcham, Shropshire, England.

    Museum number: EH ASC 4490 (part of the English Heritage museum group)

  10. 200

    baynards_park 01 jpg.jpg
    ?1870 x ?1020 mm

    Description: Composite; rectangular with semi-circular arches in middle (large) and ends (small) of top edge; rope on all edges except bottom; central panel effectively comprises an arched fireback form with Tudor royal arms (temp. Elizabeth I) with date above, and, below, letters G M, made from rope with fleur de lys terminals between two coronets surmounted by lions; below this are fronds with roses. On either side of this panel are placed the Anne Forster inscription panels; above each of these is a rose and crown with lion and dragon supporters, beneath which are three fleurs de lys. Along the base of the inscription panels and the central panel are single rows of ‘pineapple’ shapes, beneath which are repeated trailing vine decoration from impressed wooden strips across the entire width of the fireback; 35 in all.

    Notes: Formerly at Baynard's Park, Ewhurst, Surrey; GM probably refers to Sir George More, who built Baynards Park after buying the estate in 1587, and who moved to Loseley in 1604. The central coat of arms has been noted on two other firebacks, dated 1588 and 1595. The rose and crown stamps have been noted on a fireback in Haslemere Museum, and on examples illustrated by Lower (all of which bear the date 1582 and the initials IA). The association of these stamps and the particular form of rope lettering, with the Anne Forster inscription and the ‘pineapple’ shapes, both of which have been linked with other stamps from Pounsley furnace, suggests that they, too, were part of the stock of those works.

    Inscription: 15 93 / GM / HER : LIETH : ANE : FORST/ R : DAVGHTER : AND : / HEYR : TO : THOMAS : / GAYNSFORD : ESQVIER / DECEASED : XVIII : OF: / IANVARI : 1591 : LEAVYNG / BEHIND : HER II : SONES : / AND : V : DAVGHTERS [twice]

    Arms: Tudor royal

    Manufactured: in 1593 possibly at Pounsley furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2018, 'The Anne Forster Firebacks', Surrey Archaeological Collections, 101, 99-114.

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

    Citation: Manning, O. and Bray, W., 1809, History of Surrey Vol. II (London, John White), p. 369n.