1. 735

    740 x 630 mm

    Description: Rectangular; three birds (probably swans, a Lancastrian badge) turned to the left, their heads facing right, and the front edge of their left wing extended and inverted; vine pattern strips, one horizontal along the top, and 14, of varied length, vertically across the rest of the fireback; seven ‘grape bunch’ shapes with criss-cross markings, arranged in three groups — 3-1-3 — adjacent to the birds.

    Notes: The same vine strips are found on several firebacks, including some of the ‘Anne Forster’ series; the birds are also seen on a number of firebacks; the ‘grape bunch’ shapes may be the same as those on the ‘Anne Forster’ graveslab in Crowhurst church, Surrey. John Starkie Gardner and later writers attributed the birds to an association with the Fowle family; this is unlikely to be correct as the Fowles came to prominence in the iron industry towards the end of the sixteenth century and had their own distinctive decorative emblems. Formerly in the collection of Lady Dorothy Nevill.

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

    Current location: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington & Chelsea, Greater London, England.

    Museum number: M.120-1914 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

    Citation: Dawson, C., 1903, 'Sussex Iron Work and Pottery', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 46, pp. 1-54.

    Citation: Faraday, L., Feb 1939, 'Sussex Firebacks in the Victoria and Albert Museum', Sussex County Magazine, 13, 2, pp. 100-103.

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

    Citation: Gardner, J. S., 1898, 'Iron Casting in the Weald', Archaeologia, 56, 1, pp. 133-164.

    Citation: Straker, E., 1931, Wealden Iron (London, Bell).