Firebacks

In the Brighton Museum museum group

  1. 219

    brighton,_preston manor 01.jpg
    792 x >1000 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead on fillet edging, pictorial representation of a man and woman walking, behind the woman a child holds her train and a young person carries a parasol; from behind a column on the right, a horse's head is visible, a tree stands to the left, at the foot of the scene is the word 'EUROPA'; arched rectangular border with fillet edging, from a central bunch of grapes at the top of the arch, a ribbon on each side suspends bunches of fruit and flowers; at the bottom a central cartouche containing the inscription 'L7G', with flowers on each side;; on top are two mirrored dolphins.

    Notes: The pictorial scene is based on an engraving c.1642 of Friedrich Wilhelm, Elector of Brandenburg, and his wife, Luise Henriette of Oranje-Nassau, by Mathias Czwiczek; one of series of firebacks depicting allegories of the four continents; the initials, L7G, denote the style of border - other firebacks having the same inscription have the same border - and other borders are denoted by similar inscriptions (e.g. L6G and L8G).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: EVROPA / L7G

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

    Current location: Preston Manor, Brighton, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: HA105000 (part of the Brighton Museum museum group)

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2016, 'The 'Europa' fireback at Preston Manor, Brighton', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 154, pp. 297-9.

  2. 220

    brighton,_preston manor 02.jpg
    880 x 532 mm

    Description: Rectangular with cavetto moulded edging; English Royal supporters (crowned lion and unicorn) standing upon a cartouche, upon which rests a blank motto scroll; above, an anchor, surrounded by a looped cable is encircled by the Garter ribbon, which is surmounted by a royal coronet; the numbers ‘61’, presumably part of the date, are to the right of the unicorn, and a letter, ‘D’, is placed between the unicorn and the coronet.

    Notes: From another casting of the same back, the date is known to be 1661. The cabled anchor is the badge of the Lord High Admiral who, in 1661, was the Duke of York and Albany, later James II. The missing initial is an ‘I’, for Jacobus Dux. The absence of the motto may be explained by the pattern being a carved armorial panel where the motto text, unlike that of the Garter, was merely painted.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: [I] D / 16 61

    Arms: Lord High Admiral of England

    Manufactured: in 1661 possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Preston Manor, Brighton, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: PM400269 (part of the Brighton Museum museum group)

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

  3. 210

    brighton_museum 02.jpg
    405 x 534 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular shape; ovolo-moulded edging; fluid curving, double ovolo arch with a pair of putti holding looped ribbons; a lion rampant holding a cartouche, between two pilasters, each surmounted by a dragon’s head.

    Notes: A simple decorative device has replaced the customary allegorical or classical scene.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the late 17th century in England.

    Current location: Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Brighton, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: HA105020 (part of the Brighton Museum museum group)

  4. 212

    brighton_museum 04.jpg
    359 x 597 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel, bead edging, female figure, her right arm raised, sitting on a bull; arched rectangular border, fillet edging, swags of fruit bunches suspended from ribbon, inscription below central panel; on top, symmetrical floral swirls and flowers; plain panel at bottom.

    Notes: The image is of Europa being carried away to Crete by Zeus disguised as a bull.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 NDW 97

    Manufactured: in 1697 in the Siegerland area of Germany.

    Current location: Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Brighton, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: HA105015 (part of the Brighton Museum museum group)

  5. 214

    brighton_museum 06.jpg
    381 x 581 mm

    Description: Rectangular with arched, mirrored scrolls on top and central scallop shell; fillet edging; in a grove with two putti above, blowing trumpets, to the left, a naked female figure seated against a table, pointing at three children to the right, on a rock; at the bottom, narrow panel with indistinct decoration.

    Notes: The scene is probably from classical mythology, but has not been identified.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in England.

    Current location: Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Brighton, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: HATMP002269 (part of the Brighton Museum museum group)

  6. 215

    brighton_museum 07.jpg
    476 x 702 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with canted, cavetto-canted shoulders and bead edging on a broad fillet; seated female figure in a chariot drawn by dogs, symmetrical hanging drapery above right; same-shaped border with fillet edging at top, and suspended ribbons with floral bunches; at base, symmetrical palm leaves tied with ribbon; symmetrical serpents on top their tails intertwined.

    Notes: The design is derived from a personification of America, one of a set of playing cards entitled Jeu de la Géographie, designed by Stefano della Bella (1677). The pattern for this fireback, from which the protuberances above the serpents’ heads is missing, is in Rottingdean Grange. The pattern, however, has a base panel of a chain-link design, which is missing from this casting.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Brighton, East Sussex, e.

    Museum number: HATMP002214 (part of the Brighton Museum museum group)

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

  7. 216

    brighton_museum 08.jpg
    620 x 878 mm

    Description: Rectangular with plait-effect border and a column of beads down each side; pictorial scene of a male figure in gown and full-bottom wig, holding a fool’s cap in his right hand, standing behind a seated male figure, bald and bearded, with the papal triple crown falling off his head; he is seated at a desk on which are two books; behind him and to the right, three books are on a small shelf. Above the figures, a longer shelf, the width of the plate, supports other books and papers, together with the figure of a dog, from whose mouth a scroll issues bearing an unreadable inscription. On top, two putti hold hands in front of a flaming grenade.

    Notes: The design is copied from a cartoon of c.1672 showing Titus Oates, the instigator of the Popish Plot, presenting a fool’s cap to the Pope.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 17th century in England.

    Current location: Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Brighton, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: HA105014 (part of the Brighton Museum museum group)

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

  8. 217

    brighton_museum 09.jpg
    805 x 646 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; ovolo edging; date in arch; below arch, two parallel straps, each with a buckle at the top; initials left and right of centre; rectangular stamp with bird, four times across top.

    Notes: The buckles suggest a connection with the Pelham family; the initials are likely to be those of Sir Thomas Pelham (1597-1654), 2nd baronet, who had interests in several ironworks.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1642 / T P

    Manufactured: in 1642 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Brighton, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: HA105912 (part of the Brighton Museum museum group)

    Citation: Lindsay, J. S., 1927, Iron & Brass Implements of the English House (London, The Medici Society).

  9. 218

    brighton_museum 10.jpg
    910 x 350 mm

    Description: Rectangular; cyma recta moulded edging formed of short lengths probably derived from furniture; top left, initials arranged in triad; top right, date; top centre, rose-and-crown between two small fleurs de lys, with two concentric rope-patterned roundels outside, above two small roses; four roses evenly spaced across lower middle, with a fleur between each outer pair, and another rose below the date.

    Notes: One of a series of firebacks cast between the 1670s and 1690s bearing small, simple stamps, initials and dates; the style of rose and crown is similar to that used in gun founding in the Tudor period, suggesting that the furnace that was the source of this fireback may have been used for that purpose.

    Inscription: HEM [triad] 1685

    Manufactured: in 1685 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Brighton, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: R3341/2 (part of the Brighton Museum museum group)

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

    Citation: Lindsay, J. S., 1927, Iron & Brass Implements of the English House (London, The Medici Society).