1. 736

    1030 x 890 mm

    Description: Other examples indicate that 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; this arrangement is repeated alongside; the two rectangular side panels each comprise a vertical stem with six ‘raspberries’ surmounted by a circular berry 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; on the rectangular base panel, on a stippled ground, is a central six-pointed star and a four-strand root system beneath each of the stems in the side panels. The top and sides panels are edged with simulated twisted rope.

    Notes: One of an unusual series formed from separate panels arranged, in this instance, with each vertical panel repeated. 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 above. The bottom panel which, unlike the other panels is separately edged with twisted rope, is likely to have been an addition to a later casting and not original.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1588 / IFC

    Manufactured: in 1588 in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: M.77-1957 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

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

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2012, 'Pre-Restoration Iron Firebacks', Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, 20, pp. 2-15.

    Citation: Lloyd, N., 1925, 'Domestic Ironwork I', Architectural Review, 58, pp. 58-67.