Firebacks

13 results

  1. 37

    cowbeech,_court horeham.jpg
    850 x 670 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped; cavetto moulded edging; male figure in dress of the period, right hand on hip, left hand holding reins, astride a prancing horse; date and inscription (letter 'N' reversed) follow inside top edge.

    Notes: Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax of Cameron (1612-1671), commander of the New Model Army, which probably prompted the epithet, conqueror. 1649 was the year of Charles Iís execution, to which Fairfax was opposed.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1649 LD FAIRFAX COVNQVIROR

    Manufactured: in 1649 in England.

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

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

  2. 1025

    crowther_04.jpg
    ~1000 x ~807 mm

    Description: Quasi-rectangular shape; top, crowned robed statuary figure holding a book, repeated three times, interspersed with a naked child statuary figure playing a flute; bottom, shield and coronet to left, small shield, helm and crest to right, all between a crude dog figure repeated on each side; the whole plate dotted randomly with a repeated small gadrooned bead stamp.

    Notes: The figures are from wall-mounted statuary. The shield and coronet are those of the Duchy of Lorraine prior to 1538; blazon: Quarterly, 1. barry of eight gules and argent (Hungary) impaling azure semy-de-lis Or a label gules (Naples); 2. argent a cross potent and four crosslets Or (Jerusalem) impaling Or four pallets gules (Aragon); 3. azure semy-de-lis Or a bordure gules (Valois-Anjou); 4. azure crusilly fitchy, two barbels addorsed Or (Bar); overall an inescutcheon Or a bend gules three alerions argent (Lorraine). The figure holding the book is that of St Catherine of Siena (see von den Driesch, pp. 220, 222).

    Arms: Duchy of Lorraine

    Manufactured: in the early 16th century in the Lorraine area of Germany.

    Current location:.

    Citation: Driesch, K. von den , 1990, Handbuch der Ofen-, Kamin- und Takenplatten im Rheinland (Cologne, Rheinland-Verlag).

  3. 280

    ellesborough,_chequers 06.jpg
    745 x 660 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped central panel, bead edging (top and sides), pedestal bearing a supine male figure with headband being trampled by a horse, facing left, mounted by a rider with long hair, facing to the front; on each side of the plinth is a seated figure wearing a hat, with a basket of fruit; above the rider are crescent lines representative of clouds; the inscription is split either side of the horse; the date (Ď7í rotated and, with Ď4í, reversed) is on the die of the pedestal; arched rectangular shaped border, fillet edging, on each side a Solomonic column with vine decoration; in the arch, symmetrical parallel curved lines with a central oval cartouche beneath a crown; on top of each shoulder of the plate a figure in repose.

    Notes: The equestrian figure is derived from the statue of Charles II erected in Stocks Market, London, in 1672. Originally to be of Jan Sobieski, later king of Poland, riding down a Tatar, it was altered to represent Charles, and the Tatarís face was changed to that of Oliver Cromwell; the statue attracted a fair degree of derision. The statue is now at Newby Hall, near Ripon, North Yorkshire.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: C R / 1674

    Manufactured: in 1674 in England.

    Current location: Chequers, Ellesborough, Buckinghamshire, England.

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

    Citation: Lloyd, N., 1925, 'Domestic Ironwork I', Architectural Review, 58, pp. 58-67.

  4. 396

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 030.jpg
    700 x 660 mm

    Description: Cavetto-canted rectangle with arched top; astragal and cavetto edging (top and sides); pictorial; back-to-back figures of a bearded man and a woman in a poke bonnet, both dressed in tunics, their arms raised, respectively left and right; they are chained to a vertical pole; below, flames issue from vertically stacked logs, while smoke rises above them; the physical proportions of the figures are naÔve, the manís eyes being over-large, as are the hands of both.

    Notes: The design is a free adaptation of an illustration from The Book of Martyrs by John Foxe (1563), a recasting of a back originally noted at Brick Cottage, Burwash, Sussex, in 1871. This may be the design of fireback referred to in an enquiry printed in the St James's Chronicle, or British Evening Post, of 9 August 1788, which described it as 'having two Bishops burning at Stakes thereon' at a house in Warwickshire. At an auction sale in 2017 the same design of fireback was interpreted as the burning of Bishops Latimer and Ridley in 1555. Protestants were burnt to death at several Wealden locations as well as elsewhere in the south-east of England during the reign of Mary I, notably at Canterbury and Lewes. The subject of the fireback should regarded as symbolic rather than commemorating any individual martyrs.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the late 16th to early 17th century in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: LH000.903 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Butterfield, W. R., 1916, 'Old Wealden Firebacks', The Connoisseur, 46, pp. 197-209.

    Citation: Dawson, C., 1903, 'Sussex Iron Work and Pottery', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 46, pp. 1-54.

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

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2012, 'Pre-Restoration Iron Firebacks', Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, 20, pp. 2-15

    Citation: Paine, C., Aug 2013, 'Mystery of the Two Martyrs', Sussex Past and Present, 130, 6-7.

    Citation: Straker, E., 1931, Wealden Iron (London, Bell)

  5. 429

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 065.jpg
    523 x 552 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with symmetrical floral scrolls on top; three horizontal plank lines; ovolo moulding all round edge of main panel; inscription along top edge of panel; central figure of a bearded man wearing knee-length coat, belted at waist, and holding a sledge hammer in his right hand, his left arm akimbo; both feet pointing to his right; various Ďtoolsí of his trade arranged about him; (clockwise from top left) shield, the quarters containing a masonry hammer, a firedog, a weight, and a pair of pincers; the date split on either side of his head; a floral console supporting a shelf bearing a flagon, a tankard and a goblet; a fireback bearing the letters RL and a diamond shape; from the top of the fireback a dog leaping up at its master; between the manís legs a long-handled ladle, a weight and a cooking pot; a ringer, used to pull slag off molten iron; part of the elevation of a blast furnace, with wooden framework, casting house, and flames issuing from the top; an ore basket, wheelbarrow and a charcoal clamp

    Notes: The ĎLenardí fireback; a much-copied plate. Items relating to the founder's working life are displayed to the left of the figure, those to the right reflecting his domestic life. Its individualistic design and naÔve figuration are the key to identifying a distinct group of firebacks, all probably made at Brede.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: RICHARⱭ LENARⱭ FOVNⱭER AT BREⱭ FOVRNIS [each D is reversed] / 1636 / RL

    Manufactured: in 1636 at Brede furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: LH000.906 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Anon., 30 Dec 1911, 'Sussex Backs and their Story', The Ironmonger.

    Citation: Dawson, C., 1903, 'Sussex Iron Work and Pottery', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 46, pp. 1-54.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2007, 'A Godly chimney plate and other firebacks from Brede', Wealden Iron, 2nd ser., 27, pp. 18-26

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

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2012, 'Pre-Restoration Iron Firebacks', Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, 20, pp. 2-15

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2014, 'A Seventeenth-Century Sussex Woodcarver: The Evidence of Cast Ironwork', Regional Furniture, 28, pp. 39-48

    Citation: Starkie Gardner, J., 1898, 'Iron Casting in the Weald', Archaeologia, 56, 1, pp. 133-164.

  6. 464

    little_horsted, college farm 02.jpg
    715 x 608 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped central panel, bead edging (top and sides), pedestal bearing a supine male figure with headband being trampled by a horse, facing left, mounted by a rider with long hair, facing to the front; on each side of the plinth is a seated figure with a basket of fruit; the inscription is split either side of the horse; arched rectangular shaped border, fillet edging, on each side a Solomonic column with vine decoration; in the arch, symmetrical parallel curved lines intertwined beneath a crown; on top of each shoulder of the plate a female figure in repose.

    Notes: The equestrian figure is derived from the statue of Charles II erected in Stocks Market, London, in 1672. Originally to be of Jan Sobieski, later king of Poland, riding down a Tatar, it was altered to represent Charles, and the Tatarís face was changed to that of Oliver Cromwell; the statue attracted a fair degree of derision. The 'CC' monogram is likely to be for Charles and Catherine (of Braganza). The statue is now at Newby Hall, near Ripon, North Yorkshire.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: CC [interlocked, and the first reversed] R

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

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

  7. 573

    petworth_052.jpg
    645 x 755 mm

    Description: Rectangular with fillet sides and bottom; scrolled foliage on outside edges; date in narrow rectangular panel at bottom; central pictorial representation of four historical figures (see below), three male in mid-17th century armour, and one female; tripple arched top formed of rococo scrolls, a putto forming the middle arch.

    Notes: The inscription may relate to the defeat of the Spanish at s'Hertogenbosch (den Bosch - ENDE BUSH) in 1629, and Wesel. von den Driesch states that the figures, from left to right, are: Prinz Fredrik Henrik of Oranje, his daughter, Luise Henriette, Prince Maurice of Nassau, and the Elector Friedrich Wilhelm of Brandenburg, who married Luise Henriette. Foreign craftsmanship may account for the incorrect spelling of Dutch names.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: PRESNTZI VAN WESEL ENDE BVSH

    Manufactured: in 1667 possibly in the Siegerland area of Germany.

    Current location: Petworth House, Petworth, West Sussex, England.

    Museum number: NT/PET/M/64 (part of the National Trust museum group)

    Citation: Driesch, K. von den , 1990, Handbuch der Ofen-, Kamin- und Takenplatten im Rheinland (Cologne, Rheinland-Verlag).

  8. 574

    petworth_053.jpg
    610 x 810 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with arch and bead edging within a similarly shaped cavetto-moulded border and pomegranates on to and on the ach shoulder of the plate; pictorial representation of the king of Sweden mounted on a horse.

    Notes: The king would be Gustav II. There is a companion fireback bearing the image of Prince Fredrik Henrik of Oranje.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: DIE KONINCK VON SWEDEN

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

    Current location: Petworth House, Petworth, West Sussex, England.

    Museum number: NT/PET/M/65 (part of the National Trust museum group)

    Citation: Driesch, K. von den , 1990, Handbuch der Ofen-, Kamin- und Takenplatten im Rheinland (Cologne, Rheinland-Verlag).

  9. 598

    ripley_004.jpg
    590 x 470 mm

    Description: Rectangular with fillet edging; central, oval panel with fillet edging containing the semi-reclining, begowned figure of Cleopatra, a mirror/sceptre in her right hand and an asp in her left hand; oval border with astragal and fillet edging and undulating foliage; in each of the top spandrels, a face of a putto; in the bottom spandrels, a triangular design of swirled foliage; at the centre of each side, overlapping the central oval border, an oval cartouche with scrolls in the inward facing side; four horizontal plank lines regularly spaced.

    Notes: The naivety of the figuration and the similarity of the scrolled designs suggest that this may be the work of the same pattern-maker as the Lenard fireback. Either of two tapestries of the death of Cleopatra after Karel van Mander II (1579-1623), one made for the Swedish royal court, may be the inspiration for this fireback.

    Manufactured: in the mid 17th century in the Weald area of England.

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

  10. 679

    saffron_walden museum 07a.jpg
    897 x 748 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto moulding all round; spreading oak tree, with leaves and acorns, filling the whole plate; three royal crowns, one at the top of the tree, the other two symmetrically on the ends of branches towards the top corners; initials CR towards the bottom corners, the remaining inscription on a scroll across the base.

    Notes: The design is derived from the celebrated occasion when Charles II evaded his pursuers by hiding in an oak tree at Boscobel House, near Wolverhampton, following the final Royalist defeat at the battle of Worcester in 1651. This popular fireback has been copied frequently.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: C THE ROYALL OAK R

    Manufactured: in the mid 17th century in England.

    Current location: Saffron Walden Museum, Saffron Walden, Essex, England.

    Museum number: 1899-2 (part of the Saffron Walden Museum museum group)

    Citation: Butterfield, W. R., 19 Jan 1935, 'Charles II Fireback', Hastings and St Leonards Observer.

    Citation: Butterfield, W. R., 1916, 'Old Wealden Firebacks', The Connoisseur, 46, pp. 197-209.