Description: Plain rectangular plate; shield, garter, helm, mantling and supporters of the Blount family, Lords Mountjoy; above, a Garter enclosing a sun charged with an eye, all surmounted by an earl's coronet; decorative edging of the arch in low relief.
Notes: The arms are those of Charles Blount, 8th Baron Mountjoy (1563-1606), who was invested Knight of the Garter in 1597. He was created 1st Earl of Devonshire in 1603 and the original fireback, of which this is probably a copy, therefore dates from between 1603 and 1606. Blazon: 1. (Blount) Barry nebuly of six Or and Sable; 2. (Ayala) Argent, two wolves passant Sable on a bordure of the first eight saltires Gules; 3. (Mountjoy) Or a tower Azure; 4. (Gresley) Vair. The fireback was made by taking a worn casting of the Mountjoy arms (for a clearer example see no. 740) and using it as a pattern, adding an extension above with the decorative edging and the crowned Garter and sun, the detail of which is sharper than the armorial below. The Garter and sun as a badge of Charles Blount has been noted on two contemporary book bindings. The fireback may have come from Dedisham Manor in West Sussex, which belonged to a cadet branch of the Blount family from 1545 to 1636 and which, in the latter year, was sold to Richard Onslow who later built Clandon Park.
Inscription: Garter motto [mostly illegible]
Arms: Charles Blount, KG, 8th Baron Mountjoy, Earl of Devonshire
Current location: Clandon Park, West Clandon, Surrey, England.
Museum number: 1441937 (part of the National Trust museum group)