Firebacks

In the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group

103 results

  1. 157

    1944-24-073.jpg
    420 x 685 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped central panel with paternost bead edging; figure holding a bow in his left hand and a lyre in his right hand, a quiver suspended from his belt, on an undulating ground with small trees, and suspended swags of drapery above; Arched rectangular shaped border with fillet edging, and symmetrical flowers and swirled tendrils; initials at bottom centre; on top, symmetrical pattern of swirled leaves and tendrils.

    Notes: The figure is Apollo, personifying the Sun, one of a set of 'Eight Deities' engraved by Hendrick Goltzius (1592), after Polidoro da Caravaggio; the fireback is one of a large group bearing the same initials, which probably denotes the pattern maker. Other groups may have been the work of the same carver or workshop. The execution is rather crude. Formerly part of the J. H. Every collection.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: SHR

    Manufactured: in the late 17th to early 18th century in England.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.73 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

  2. 369

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 004.jpg
    1040 x 660 mm

    Description: Rectangular; rope edging on top and sides; central inscription panel; repeated trailing vine decoration from impressed wooden strips — one horizontal line at top, three vertical strips at each side, one horizontal strip below panel, plain panel at base.

    Notes: A series of firebacks all bearing the inscription carved onto a panel and included with other stamps in the casting of the iron graveslab covering the tomb of Anne Forster (Foster) in St George’s church, Crowhurst, Surrey. Formerly in the John H. Every Collection, for which it was purchased in 1921 at Isfield Place, Sussex.

    Inscription: HER : LIETH : ANE : FORST/ R : DAVGHTER : AND : / HEYR : TO : THOMAS : / GAYNSFORD : ESQVIER / DECEASED : XVIII : OF: / IANVARI : 1591 : LEAVYNG / BEHIND : HER II : SONES : / AND : V : DAVGHTERS

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

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.043 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society 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., 2018, 'The Anne Forster Firebacks', Surrey Archaeological Collections, 101, 99-114.

    Citation: Hughes, G. B., Sep 1929, 'Old English Firebacks in the Collection of Mr John H. Every', Old Furniture, 8, pp. 28-32.

  3. 370

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 005.jpg
    >590 x >560 mm

    Description: Fragment; left side only; twisted rope edging to left, canted moulded batten above; left hand print with dividers to its right.

    Notes: An unusual combination of edging. The dividers may refer to the occupation of the person for whom this fireback was cast. Formerly in the collection of Dr C. L. Prince of Crowborough, Sussex.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: LH000.798 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Anon., 30 Dec 1911, 'Sussex Backs and their Story', The Ironmonger.

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

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

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

    Citation: Schubert, H. R., 1957, History of the British Iron and Steel Industry (London, Routledge), pp. 256-264.

  4. 371

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 006.jpg
    1170 x 770 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); top row, two square-within-a-square arrangements of twisted rope between three stamps formed of Gothic tracery cresting; 2nd row, two more tracery cresting stamps (the one on the right over stamping a fleur-de-lys) between two crowned, star-embossed butter mould stamps with a crowned rose-en-soleil in the middle; 3rd row, three star-embossed butter mould stamps with two pairs of fleurs-de-lys between them; bottom row, seven fleurs-de-lys; plus intersepersed short rope lengths, and a vertical, double zig-zag arrangement of rope lengths on each side.

    Notes: The rose-en-soleil was the badge of King Edward IV and, thus, a Yorkist symbol. Many of the stamps employed on this fireback are seen, with other stamps, on a wide variety of firebacks, suggesting a common source; similar gothic tracery stamps can be seen as pierced cresting on a rare late-Medieval, wooden Easter sepulchre at the redundant church of St Michael at Cowthorpe, North Yorkshire.

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

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

    Museum number: LH000.940 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

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

  5. 372

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 007.jpg
    920 x 500 mm

    Description: Rectangular with canted top corners; twisted rope edging all round except on bottom; three impressions of two circular wafering irons: the central one with invected edge, a heart surmounted by a cross beneath which scroll-work is arranged symmetrically, inscription around edge; the two outer stamps comprise a central motif of four hearts arranged in a cross shape, their points facing the centre, within two concentric bands decorated with lace-like patterns. Above each of the two outer stamps is a simple four-pointed cross shape formed from short lengths of twisted rope.

    Notes: The use of wafering irons or butter prints as stamps in casting firebacks is infrequent. Formerly part of the J. H. Every collection.

    Inscription: ...N:YOU:NOT: REIVE:MY:HERT:IS:YOURES / [?]1562

    Manufactured: in 1562 in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.048 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

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

    Citation: Hughes, G. B., 21 April 1955, 'Old English Firebacks', Country Life, 117, pp. 1056-60.

    Citation: Hughes, G. B., May 1940, 'Old English Firebacks', Apollo, 31, 185, pp. 117-120.

    Citation: Hughes, G. B., Sep 1929, 'Old English Firebacks in the Collection of Mr John H. Every', Old Furniture, 8, pp. 28-32.

  6. 373

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 008.jpg
    1140 x 550 mm

    Description: Rectangular, edged with twisted leather lengths on top and sides; a ballock dagger with hollow-ground cruciform blade, point down, impressed vertically three times and evenly spaced across the width of the back; between each, two short lengths of twisted leather, arranged in a cross; at either end, the same short lengths of dowel arranged in an inverted ‘V’.

    Notes: The dagger (length approx. 38cm) dates from c1575-1625. The probable use of twisted leather is seen occasionally on other firebacks. The grouping of three daggers may also have apotropaic significance in relation to the Trinity.

    Manufactured: in the late 16th to early 17th century in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.035 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Easton, T. & Hodgkinson, J. S., 2013, 'Apotropaic Symbols on Cast-Iron Firebacks', Jnl. of the Antique Metalware Soc., 21, pp. 14-33.

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

  7. 374

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 009.jpg
    >870 x >470 mm

    Description: Quasi-rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); a length of twisted rope stamped six times to form a saltire and two crosses across the width of the plate; surplus iron extends from all sides.

    Notes: The surplus iron resulted from over filling of the mould. The crosses are likely to have Christian significance. Formerly part of the J. H. Every collection.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.037 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Hughes, G. B., May 1940, 'Old English Firebacks', Apollo, 31, 185, pp. 117-120.

    Citation: Hughes, G. B., Sep 1929, 'Old English Firebacks in the Collection of Mr John H. Every', Old Furniture, 8, pp. 28-32.

  8. 375

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 010.jpg
    1035 x 450 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); central rope carbuncle with eight arms, with a rose between each of the top six pairs of arms; a fleur-de-lys repeated six times in two triads (2-1) in each top corner; a letter ‘E’ rotated clockwise repeated 8 times along the top between the fleurs and roses, and twice down each side; four additional ‘E’s, one to the left of the carbuncle and three to the right.

    Notes: All the stamps can be seen on other firebacks associating them with the same source; The ‘E’s are identical to those seen on the John Harvo armorial fireback. The elaborate central rope array may be an interpretation of the escarbuncle, which was the principal heraldic charge on the arms of the Duchy of Cleves, possibly associating this fireback with the brief marriage of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves. Formerly part of the J. H. Every collection.

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

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.076 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Hughes, G. B., May 1940, 'Old English Firebacks', Apollo, 31, 185, pp. 117-120.

    Citation: Hughes, G. B., Sep 1929, 'Old English Firebacks in the Collection of Mr John H. Every', Old Furniture, 8, pp. 28-32.

  9. 376

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 011.jpg
    540 x >510 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; fillet edge on top and sides. Shield, helm, crest and mantling of the Worshipful Company of Joiners and Ceilers.

    Notes: Blazon: Gules a Chevron Argent between in chief two pairs of Compasses extended at the points and in base a sphere Or. On a chief of the second a pale Azure between two Roses of the field barbed and seeded proper, the pale charged with an Escallop of the second; Crest: a demi Savage proper wreathed about the head and waist with Leaves Vert holding in the dexter hand over the shoulder a Tilting Spear Or headed Argent; arms granted 1571.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Arms: Worshipful Company of Joiners and Ceilers

    Manufactured: in the mid 17th century possibly in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: LH000.938 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

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

  10. 377

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 012.jpg
    335 x 520 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead on fillet edging and two tassels hanging from top of arch; pictorial image of a cherub with arrows in both hands sitting on a phoenix; arched rectangular border with fillet edging; scallop shell at top with descending ribbons and fruit clusters; date and monogram below central panel; bottom panel with inscription; on top, two sea serpents, with open buds on shoulders of recatngle.

    Notes: The customary monogram on such firebacks is NDV. Several anglicised versions of this type of fireback exist. Formerly part of the J. H. Every collection.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 17 NDW 01 / VOGEL PHOENIX [bird phoenix]

    Manufactured: in 1701 in the Siegerland area of Germany.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.087 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

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