1. 744

    660 x 710 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides only); three water bougets (leather water containers) at top; knotted cord and tassel decoration on each side; centred inscription on six lines with ‘S’ reversed, bar across top of ‘A’ and letters individually placed and separated by double fleurs-de-lys].

    Notes: The approximately mirrored cord decoration appears to have been affixed to shaped boards. The Wealden origin of this fireback suggests possible connections with the Roos, or de Ros, family, who owned property in Easebourne, or the Meeres family of Glynleigh, near Hailsham, the arms of both families incorporating water bougets. A connection, proposed by the Victoria and Albert Museum, with the Helmsley family of Yorkshire is improbable. One of a series of distinctive firebacks cast in 1582, most with inscriptions relating to pairs of individuals; the initials IA may be of the founder as they appear in the same arrangement on other firebacks.

    Inscription: THES:IS:FOR / WILAM:BRON / AND:ELISAB: / TH:HIS:SISTR / 15 82 / I A

    Manufactured: in 1582 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.977-1926 (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.