Firebacks

In the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group

103 results

  1. 403

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 037.jpg
    >710 x 745 mm

    Description: Fragment; arched rectangular shape with rounded corners; ovolo within fillet moulding all round; oval Tudor royal shield with garter surrounding, topped with a royal crown; dragon and (missing)greyhound supporters; initials split by crown; inscription on a fillet between legs of supporters, behind garter finial; motto on an Ionic plinth at bottom; rectangular side panels with twisted rope edging top and side; a short length of turned dowel stamped four times, diagonally, on each panel; a circular disc with concentric grooves in top left corner.

    Notes: A variant of a fireback in the Victoria & Albert Museum, differentiated by the addition of the grooved disc.

    Inscription: E R / HONY SOIT QUE ... / Made in Sussex by J... / DU ET MOV...

    Arms: Tudor royal - Edward VI

    Manufactured: in the mid 16th century possibly at Pounsley furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: LH000.916 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

  2. 405

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 039.jpg
    820 x 620 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with small rhomboidal flanges in the corners of the arch; cavetto moulded edge on all sides; Stuart royal arms (1605-88, 1702-14) with lion and unicorn supporters, garter, crown and motto; raised inscription in a tapering label beneath crown.

    Notes: An amended copy of a 17th/early 18th century original. The added inscription has been impressed with the personalised cast handle of a cooking vessel. A bronze skillet bearing the inscription 'STANDEN 1726' on its handle has been recorded elsewhere, but the impression on the fireback has been formed from a handle with the inscription inset in relief, whereas the 1726 inscription is inscribed. Also the lettering on the handle used to personalise the fireback, which includes the letter A surmounted with a horizontal line, is of an earlier style. Three members of the Standen family, Thomas, James and Elias, were founders at Beech or Robertsbridge furnaces, Sussex, 1728-9, and a John Standen was casting skillets at Heathfield Furnace in the early 1730s; each could have been the founder of the 1726 skillet, but the maker of the handle used in the fireback casting may have been earlier.

    Inscription: IAMES STANDEN [+Garter and royal mottoes]

    Arms: English Stuart royal

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

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

    Museum number: LH000.943 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

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

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

  3. 406

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 040.jpg
    590 x >515 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped; convex moulding (top and sides surviving); scrolled protrusions above top corners; Stuart royal shield, crown, garter, supporters and motto; initials separated by crown.

    Notes: The scrolled protrusions suggest a possible association with other firebacks with similar features.

    Inscription: I R / HONI SOIT QVI MAL Y PENSE

    Arms: English Stuart royal - James I

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

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

    Museum number: LH000.944 (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).

  4. 407

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 041.jpg
    435 x 470 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular shaped; unique, cavetto moulded edging, which loops upon itself three times. A mythical salamander shown in the flames which legend states it is able to resist; behind is what appears to be a palm tree, on either side of which the date is stamped.

    Notes: The fireback has been incorrectly dated 1550 instead of 1650, which Schubert asserted was a forgery claiming indications that a ‘6’ had been erased. Undoubtedly the '6' is more prominent than the other figures though the exact method by which it has been substituted is not clear.

    Inscription: 1550

    Manufactured: in 1650 possibly at Brede furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: LH000.901 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

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

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

    Citation: Schubert, H. R., 1957, 'A Forgery in Iron', Journal of the Iron & Steel Institute, 165, p. 125.

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

  5. 408

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 042.jpg
    580 x 480 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto moulded edge all round; holes pierced in top corners; a fouled anchor with one fluke resting on the base, a scroll below each top corner, foliage above the text, which is above the anchor; the initials either side of the lower fluke.

    Notes: The inscription is a quotation from Psalms 139, v. 1: ‘Domine, probasti me et cognovisti me’ (Lord, thou hast searched me and known me).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: PROBASTI / ME / I M 16 5[0?]

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

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

    Museum number: LH000.908 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

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

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2014, 'A Seventeenth-Century Sussex Woodcarver: The Evidence of Cast Ironwork', Regional Furniture, 28, pp. 39-48

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

  6. 409

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 043.jpg
    710 x 560 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular shape, semi-circular protrusions on top corners; circular loop at top of arch; fillet edging with small twists inside arch, and curls inside and below top corners; a phoenix in flames, its wings displayed and inverted.

    Notes: The use of the loop in the edging draws comparisons with other firebacks, and may indicate the same source.

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

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.061 (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: Schubert, H. R., 1957, History of the British Iron and Steel Industry (London, Routledge), pp. 256-264.

  7. 413

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 047.jpg
    360 x 605 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead edging; standing figure of Abraham about to sacrifice a kneeling Isaac, Abraham's raised right hand holding a sword is retrained by an angel; behind Abraham is a ram; initials are placed in a triangle above behind and in front of the group; arched rectangular border with fillet edging and descending floral and fruit bunches on a ribbon, hanging from rings, foliate swirls at base; vases on rectangle shoulders and at top, between two putti

    Notes: The initials appear to have been added subsequently.

    Inscription: B / E A

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 17th century possibly in the Siegerland area of Germany.

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

    Museum number: LH000.946 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

  8. 414

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 048.jpg
    410 x 660 mm

    Description: Rectangular central panel with elongated arch; bead edging; semi-nude figure of Poseidon/Neptune, a trident in his right hand, standing on two hippocampi (mythical sea horses). Rectangular border with elongated arch; fillet edging; two suspended festoons of fruit and leaves; at the bottom, the date and monogram. On top, two scrolls of foliage. On each shoulder of the fireback, a basket with fruit

    Notes: A number of images of Poseidon on firebacks bear more than a passing similarity to fountain statuary. This is just such an example although the source of the design has yet to be identified.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 NDW 97

    Manufactured: in 1697 in the Siegerland area of Germany.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.075 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

  9. 415

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 049.jpg
    340 x 550 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead-and-pellet edging on a broad fillet; figure of Hera/Juno, a sceptre in her right hand, with a peacock below to her left, clouds above left; arched rectangular border with fillet edging; symmetrical arrangement of wire-work swirls; on top, two mirrored serpents.

    Notes: Similarities in the design and execution of the pattern suggest the work of the pattern-maker identified as ‘N’. Said to have been cast by Thomas Prickett (1727-95) at Gloucester Furnace, Lamberhurst.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century probably at Lamberhurst furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: LH000.948 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

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

    Citation: Phillips, C. T., 1894, 'Interesting additions to the museum', Sussex Archaeological Collections,39, pp. 214-5.

  10. 416

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 050.jpg
    410 x 660 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead edging; with tassel at top; three nude female figures: on top, Juno/Hera with a peacock, to the left Venus/Aphrodite, the young cupid/Eros at her feet, to the right Minerva/Athena with spear and shield; arched rectangular border with fillet edging; the heads of two putti and from them two suspended festoons of fruit and leaves; at the bottom, the inscription, THE 3 GODDESES, widely spaced. On top, two figures of Triton blowing seashells. On each shoulder of the fireback, a fluted vase with flowers issuing.

    Notes: The three eponymous goddesses are those whose beauty was the subject of the Judgement of Paris. This fireback is an instance of a continental back which has been recast in England, the opportunity being taken to insert an English inscription in place of the customary date and pattern maker's monogram.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: THE 3 GODDESES [sic]

    Manufactured: in the late 17th century in England.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.074 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)