1. 179

    840 x 560 mm

    Description: Rectangular; double fillet moulded edging; top centre, on a rectangular block, shield of the arms of the Fowle family - (Gules) a lion passant guardant between three roses (Or); on each side, two rectangles, each containing a helm and the crest of the Fowles - an Arm in armour holding a Battle axe issuant from a Ducal Coronet, above each being the date, 1603, and below each the initials, WF. Across the lower half of the fireback are two solid triangular prisms of iron.

    Notes: The stamps relate to William Fowle (1568-1634), ironmaster of Riverhall furnace. The shield stamp also appears on grave slabs in Wadhurst and Frant churches and on an unprovenanced graveslab in Maidstone Museum. The iron prisms were included, perhaps, to retain heat and to prevent the fireback from cracking. Formerly part of the Ade Collection (from Grove Hill, Hellingly, Sussex).

    Inscription: 1603 WF [twice]

    Arms: William Fowle, of Frant and Wadhurst

    Manufactured: in 1603 probably at Riverhall Furnace, Wadhurst in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: HASMG: 1952.51.59 (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).