1. 439

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 079.jpg
    >660 x 795 mm

    Description: Fragment; left part only; this fireback comprises at least four separate elements: the rectangular central panel has an anchor with coiled rope between two fleurs de lys, below which are two roses; the rectangular side panels each comprise a vertical stem with six ‘grape bunches’ surmounted by a circular grape cluster; above, a semicircular arch contains the initials between two roses as in the central panel, with the date above; where the arch meets the central panel there is an arc across each corner. The side and top panels are edged with simulated twisted rope; to the left and botoom, a plain extension has been added before casting.

    Notes: One of an unusual series formed from separate panels. The left panel is likely to have been repeated in the missing section. The extensions to the side and bottom will be unique to this casting which, because of the sharpness of the relief detail, is probably an early example. Because of its date and the use of the anchor motif, this much-copied plate is often referred to as the Armada fireback. No other connection with the sea battle is known. Other firebacks have been cast using some of the separate elements described.

    Inscription: 1588 / IFC

    Manufactured: in 1588 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Anne of Cleves House, Southover High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 1944.24.060 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)