Description: Arched rectangular shape; ovolo moulded edging; date in arch; below arch two parallel, vertical straps, each with a buckle at the top and six prong holes; initials left and right of centre; in top corners, rectangular framed stamp with inset bird; top centre, to left and right of buckle, circular 'butter mould' stamp with stylised fleur-de-lys design, the left one angled top to left; between each initial and strap, rectangular framed stamp with inset deer with antlers, and star in top left corner; below this, adjacent to each strap end, a circular stamp with symmetrical pattern; to left and right of this, a rectangular stamp with an unidentified animal, possibly a dog..
Notes: The buckles, the date and the initials all appear to be separate stamps but attached to the base board before being impressed to form the mould, as they are identically positioned on all castings. The buckles suggest a connection with the Pelham family; the initials may relate to Sir Thomas Pelham, Bt. (1597-1654) who owned and operated ironworks at Waldron in Sussex. The fleur stamp and, in particular, the circular stamp with the symmetrical pattern bear striking similarities to stamps seen on other firebacks. This would appear to be a casting of the original pattern with the addition of five pairs of stamps. The same stamps, and others, are seen in greater profusion on a fireback formerly at Huggetts Farm, Waldron, Sussex and drawn by Edward Hughes, of Heathfield, in a scrapbook of images compiled by J. Starkie Gardner. Nicholson's auction, Fernhurst, 3 Jul 2021, lot 100.
Inscription: 1642 / T P
Current location: in private hands, Worth, West Sussex, England.