Firebacks

In the Maidstone Museum museum group

  1. 476

    maidstone_museum 02.jpg
    443 x 630 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead edging; pictorial scene of a stork dipping its beak into a tall pot, a fox close by, a tree to the right; arched rectangular border with fillet edging; at top, a double clasp with descending ribbon on each side from which are suspended, via rings, a shield, trumpets and an armoured torso; at the bottom, an oval cartouche between two blocks; on the top, a central pomegranate between two descending sea serpents, and a pomegranate on each shoulder of the plate.

    Notes: The scene illustrates one of Aesop's Fables.

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

    Current location: Maidstone Museum, St Faith's Street, Maidstone, Kent, England.

    (part of the Maidstone Museum museum group)

  2. 477

    maidstone_museum 03.jpg
    490 x 540 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped central panel, bead edging, bust of female figure with long hair and eastern crown decorated with flowers; arched rectangular shaped border with fillet edging; leafed, Corinthian column on each side with symmetrical swirls of foliage above and a row of acanthus leaves below.

    Notes: The figure is that of the Virgin, part of the arms and crest of the Mercersí Company: Issuant from a Bank of clouds a Figure of the Virgin couped at the shoulders proper, vested in a crimson robe adorned with gold, the neck encircled by a jewelled necklace, crined Or and wreathed about the temples with a chaplet of Roses alternately Argent and of the first, and crowned with a Celestial Crown. The arms were first recorded in 1568. One of a small series of firebacks with similar proportions and detail.

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

    Current location: Maidstone Museum, St Faith's Street, Maidstone, Kent, England.

    (part of the Maidstone Museum museum group)

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

  3. 478

    maidstone_museum 09.jpg
    495 x 770 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular shape; fillett edging; vertical stylised seed pods contra-scrolled at each end, flanking central pictorial scene of young Jupiter in front of clouds and sunbeams, above young Mars firing a cannon; above, three roses suspended from swirls flanking a basket of flowers; on each side a foliate scroll with a flower bud resting on each; at the bottom, a separate panel with symmetrical swirled foliage.

    Notes: One of a small series of firebacks with similar borders.

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in England.

    Current location: Maidstone Museum, St Faith's Street, Maidstone, Kent, England.

    (part of the Maidstone Museum museum group)

  4. 479

    maidstone_museum 10.jpg
    610 x 890 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead-and-pellet edging; on a ground between two plants, a gadrooned flower vase with two, scrolled handles, tulips and other flowers issuing from the narrow neck; arched rectangular border with fillet edging; mirrored descending flower swags; along a rectangular bottom panel with fillet edging a symmetrical arrangement of swirled foliage; on top, two mirrored sea serpents.

    Notes: The presence of tulips suggest a Dutch origin for the pattern of this fireback, although the presence of several examples in England suggest that it was produced here rather than on the Continent.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the late 17th century in England.

    Current location: Maidstone Museum, St Faith's Street, Maidstone, Kent, England.

    (part of the Maidstone Museum museum group)

  5. 480

    maidstone_museum 15.jpg
    740 x 920 mm

    Description: Arched rectangle; ovolo, egg-and-dart moulded edging; shield, helm, coronet, crest and mantling; curved inscription panel below shield.

    Notes: The heraldic devices on the shield, and the form of the helm and crest suggest this may be a continental achievement of arms; the style of the fireback is, however, English.

    Inscription: indecipherable

    Manufactured: in the early 17th century in England.

    Current location: Maidstone Museum, St Faith's Street, Maidstone, Kent, England.

    (part of the Maidstone Museum museum group)

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

  6. 1036

    maidstone_museum 18.jpg
    845 x 675 mm

    Description: Canted rectangular shape; no edging; lower centre, carved pattern panel of Stuart Royal arms: shield, garter, crown, motto, supporters and initials, RI separated by crown; lion statant guardant stamp repeated five times, three across top, one each side feet to left.

    Notes: The impression of the decorative elements is irregular, with the achievement of arms under-pressed and the three lion stamps along the top over-pressed; the distinctive feature of the unicorn's horn in front of the initial R has been seen on a small number of other firebacks. From a photograph in the J. Starkie Gardner Collection, Victoria & Albert Museum, Archive of Art and Design (AAD/2014/8).

    Inscription: I R

    Arms: English Stuart royal - James I

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

    Current location: Maidstone Museum, St Faith's Street, Maidstone, Kent, England.

    (part of the Maidstone Museum museum group)