Firebacks

  1. 131

    hastings_022.jpg
    1060 x 540 mm

    Description: Rectangular with lifting handles; twisted rope edging (top and sides); elaborate central rope design of concentric squares with eight symmetrical arms each with six branches; two crowned rose en soleil stamps left and right centre; three roses across the bottom interspersed with two fleurs de lys; in top corner, two carved furniture-derived stamps. The width of the main plate is 876mm.

    Notes: The rose-en-soleil was the badge of King Edward IV and, thus, a Yorkist symbol. The individual stamps are to be seen, separately or together, on other firebacks, indicating a common source; lifting handles are infrequently encountered on firebacks. The elaborate central rope array may be an interpretation of the escarbuncle, which was the principal heraldic charge on the arms of the Duchy of Cleves (1515-57), possibly associating this fireback with the brief marriage of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves.

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

    Current location: Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, John's Place, Bohemia Road, Hastings, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 952.51.44 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

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