Firebacks

  1. 147

    hastings_030.jpg
    623 x 755 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with rounded corners; ovolo within fillet moulding all round; oval Tudor royal shield with garter surrounding, topped with a royal crown; dragon and greyhound supporters; initials split by crown; inscription on a fillet between legs of supporters, behind garter finial; motto on an Ionic plinth at bottom.

    Notes: The supporters are those of Henry VII or Henry VIII, but the initials suggest the fireback dates from the reign of Edward VI (1547-53). John Harvo (d.1562) was a gunfounder who has been identified as occupying Pounsley furnace, Framfield, Sussex, possibly from as early as 1547. This fireback is also seen with a variety of rectangular, rope-edged side panels bearing stamps or letters, some of which link the source of this and other groups of firebacks. The pattern or model for this fireback may have been made during the reign of Henry VIII (1509-47), with the initials added to an early casting using the original pattern. The protuberance on the bottom of the plate may be the remains of the runner from a pouring basin or overflow channel used during casting.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: E R / HONY SOYT QVE MAL Y PAVNCE / Made in Sussex by John Harvo / DV ET MOVN DRO

    Arms: Tudor royal (Edward VI)

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

    Current location: Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Hastings, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 952.51.52 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

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

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