Firebacks

In the Rottingdean Preservation Society museum group

  1. 930

    rottingdean_04(2j).jpg
    470 x 740 mm

    Description: Carved wooden fireback pattern. Arched rectangular central panel with cavetto-canted shoulders and bead edging on a broad fillet; seated female figure in a chariot drawn by armadillos, 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, on one of a set of playing cards entitled Jeu de la Géographie, designed by Stefano della Bella (1677); reputedly from Mayfield; presented to Brighton Museum by Henry Willetts.

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

    Current location: Rottingdean Grange, Rottingdean, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: R3341/7 (part of the Rottingdean Preservation 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: Hughes, G. B., 1955, 'Old English Firebacks', Country Life, 117, 21 April, pp. 1056-60.

  2. 668

    rottingdean_grange 01.jpg
    500 x 540 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with symmetrical floral scrolls on top; three horizontal plank lines; ovolo moulding all round edge of main panel; central figure of a bearded man wearing knee-length coat, belted at waist, and holding a sledge hammer in his right hand, his left arm akimbo; various ‘tools’ of his trade arranged about him; (clockwise from top left) a circular cartouche with a central bead; the date split on either side of his head; a floral console supporting a shelf bearing a flagon, a tankard and a goblet; a circular cartouche with a central bead, a mirrored image of the one in the top left corner; from the top of the cartouche a dog leaping up at its master; between the man’s legs a long-handled ladle, a weight and a cooking pot; a ringer, used to pull slag off molten iron; part of the elevation of a blast furnace, with wooden framework, casting house, and flames issuing from the top; an ore basket, wheelbarrow and a charcoal clamp.

    Notes: A replica of the 1636 original, now often mistaken for it; the inscription is missing, as are the fireback and the shield each being replaced by a form of cartouche; the figure of the man is more naturalistically modelled, yet wearing similar clothes; his feet face outwards.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1639

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

    Current location: Rottingdean Grange, Rottingdean, East Sussex, England.

    (part of the Rottingdean Preservation Society museum group)

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

  3. 669

    rottingdean_grange 02.jpg
    560 x 475 mm

    Description: Rectangular; reversed cavetto-moulded edge on top and sides; pictorial scene depicting Abraham about to sacrifice Isaac; Abraham is on the left, holding the top of Isaac’s head with his left hand, his right hand holding a sword; in the middle stands a pyre; above and to the right an angel emerges from the clouds, while below a ram stands beside a bush; the inscription is above and to the left.

    Notes: The scene is drawn from Genesis 22: 11; And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham”: and he said, “Here am I”. The subject and the naïve figuration is similar to a fireback incorporating two other Old Testament scenes.

    Inscription: ABRAHAM ABRAHAM [Genesis 22: 11]

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

    Current location: Rottingdean Grange, Rottingdean, East Sussex, England.

    (part of the Rottingdean Preservation Society museum group)

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2007, 'A Godly chimney plate and other firebacks from Brede', Wealden Iron, 2nd ser., 27, pp. 18-26

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2012, 'Pre-Restoration Iron Firebacks', Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, 20, pp. 2-15

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

  4. 670

    rottingdean_grange 03.jpg
    590 x 575 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto edging; three ostrich feathers issuing from a royal coronet; a blank motto banner below; the initials bottom left, above banner.

    Notes: The badge of the Prince of Wales; perhaps cast during the Commonwealth period.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: IL

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

    Current location: Rottingdean Grange, Rottingdean, East Sussex, England.

    (part of the Rottingdean Preservation Society museum group)

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

  5. 671

    rottingdean_grange 05a.jpg
    312 x 530 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with hollow bead edging on a broad fillet; figure of a woman standing on a mound, holding a bow in her right hand and an arrow in her left, a plant to her right, and drapery swags above; arched rectangular border with symmetrical swirls of foliage and diagonal leaves at corners; monogram centre bottom between swirled tendrils; on top, symmetrical, swirled foliage.

    Notes: The figure is probably of Diana/Artemis, goddess of hunting, as she carries a bow and arrow, and has a hound at her feet.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: SHR

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

    Current location: Rottingdean Grange, Rottingdean, East Sussex, England.

    (part of the Rottingdean Preservation Society museum group)

    Citation: Elling, W. & Winkler-Borck, S., 1992, Ofen- und Kaminplatten (Vreden, Hamaland-Museum).

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