Firebacks

In the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group

51 results

  1. 1083

    lethaby_1a.jpg
    735 x 525 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; fillet edging (top and sides); twisted rope cross in centre of arch; fillet-edged square below arch containing initials of uneven size; along the top, a line of five quatrefoils on each side of the initials; below, two symmetrically carved roundels and associated spandrels, each with a central flower.

    Notes: The quatrefoils and roundels are likely to have been part of a redundant, probably medieval, furniture panel, perhaps from a chest. The life-size drawing is by W. R. Lethaby. The fireback was formerly property of the artist John Callcott Horsley RA (1817-1903) at Wilsley Green, Cranbrook, Kent.

    Inscription: PC

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

    Current location: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington & Chelsea, London, England.

    Museum number: 3267-1932 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

    Citation: Lethaby, W. R., 1 Oct 1926, 'English Cast Iron - I', The Builder, 131, no. 4365, pp. 537-8.

  2. 726

    va_01.jpg
    660 x 990 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead-on-fillet edging; pictorisl scene of a central cross-shaped pillar entwined with a snake; two pavilions to the left with human figures lying before them; two standing figures to the right, one holding a staff; above, clouds with snakes descending from the sky; arched rectangular border with fillet edging; on each side, descending festoons of fruit entwined with ribbon; at the bottom, a central cartouche between palm fronds; on top, foliate swirls.

    Notes: The scene is an illustration of the plague of serpents visited upon the children of Israel by God (Numbers 21: 6).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

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

    Current location: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington & Chelsea, Greater London, England.

    Museum number: 291-1893 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

    Citation: Anon., 2 Dec 1905, 'Old Kent and Sussex Fire-backs', Country Life, pp. 767-768.

  3. 727

    va_02.jpg
    720 x 460 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); canted rope lengths across top corners; three impressions of a rondel dagger (c. 410mm) with a baluster-turned grip, the middle one per fess, pommel in chief, the other two on either side, per bend, points in chief.

    Notes: The arrangement of daggers is similar to the arms of Vigures, of Launceston, Cornwall, but inverted; the plate has been pierced on each side for fixing to the back of the fireplace; the dagger may be of German design.

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

    Current location: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington & Chelsea, Greater London, England.

    Museum number: 896.1901 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

    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. 728

    va_03.jpg
    1140 x 610 mm

    Description: Quasi-rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); across the centre, three crosses formed of the repeated stamping of a length of twisted rope.

    Notes: The edging appears to have been formed of the same length of rope. The crosses almost certainly have Christian significance.

    Manufactured: in the 16th century possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington & Chelsea, Greater London, England.

    Museum number: 887.1901 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

  5. 729

    va_04.jpg
    920 x 610 mm

    Description: Rectangular; flanged edge; central pictorial panel illustrating Mordecai arriving before King Ahasuerus, Haman hanging from the gallows behind; two floral side panels, at the top of each a monogram within a cartouche: on the left KS, on the right H?D; plain extension panel at bottom.

    Notes: Stoveplate; the scene illustrates a scene from Esther 7: 10 and 8: 1.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: KS H[?]D

    Manufactured: in the late 16th to early 17th century possibly in the Eifel area of Germany.

    Current location: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington & Chelsea, Greater London, England.

    Museum number: M.112-1953 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

  6. 730

    va_05.jpg
    530 x 800 mm

    Description: Rectangular; flanged fillet edging; single date stampo above a pictorial scene showing the cricifixion with members of the Holy family, soldiers and onllokers surrounding the three crosses; kinscription betlow separating a separate pictorial panel illegible through corrosion; a single letter 'I' in top right corner.

    Notes: A characteristic stove-plate of the period.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1574 I / INRI / MATTEUS AM 27 CAPITEL

    Manufactured: in 1574 possibly in the Sudeifel area of Germany.

    Current location: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington & Chelsea, Greater London, England.

    Museum number: M.126-1914 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

    Citation: Anon., 2 Dec 1905, 'Old Kent and Sussex Fire-backs', Country Life, pp. 767-768.

    Citation: Driesch, K. von den , 1990, Handbuch der Ofen-, Kamin- und Takenplatten im Rheinland (Cologne, Rheinland-Verlag).

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

  7. 731

    va_07.jpg
    700 x 430 mm

    Description: Rectangular with flanged edging and a moulded frame; pictorial scene of the Marriage at Cana in an architectural setting; inscription along bottom edge.

    Notes: The pattern-maker is believed to be Master Ronnung.

    Inscription: HISTORIA VON DER HOCHZEIT ZV CANA IN GALILEA ...

    Manufactured: in the late 16th century possibly in the Harz area of Germany.

    Current location: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington & Chelsea, Greater London, England.

    Museum number: 319.1897 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

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

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

  8. 732

    va_08.jpg
    470 x 360 mm

    Description: Rectangular; cavetto edging all round; seated lion on right, its tail rising above its back and its head turned to face the viewer; a seated sheep on the left.

    Notes: Intended to represent the saying, ‘The lion shall lie down with the lamb’, a popular misquotation of Isaiah 11: 6. some variants are dated 1679.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

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

    Current location: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington & Chelsea, Greater London, England.

    Museum number: 894.1901 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

  9. 733

    va_09.jpg
    1020 x 650 mm

    Description: Rectangular with canted top corners and a triangular extension from the top edge; twisted rope edges to all sides except bottom; a circular wafering iron stamp, incorporating a square design with a fleur-de-lys on each side, repeated thrice, one at the apex and one below each of the canted corners; two inverted ‘V’ rope shapes overlapping to make an ‘M’ below top stamp.

    Notes: The inverted double 'V' may be apotropaic, invoking the protection of the Virgin Mary; the wafering irons are smaller than usual.

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

    Current location: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington & Chelsea, Greater London, England.

    Museum number: 895.1901 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum 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).

  10. 734

    va_10.jpg
    195 x 195 mm

    Description: Rectangular; wide fillet and cavetto-moulded edging; female figure holding a bow, with a quiver of arrows on her back, standing on a scallop shell; foliate swirls on each side.

    Notes: The figure is that of Diana or Artemis.

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in France.

    Current location: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington & Chelsea, Greater London, England.

    Museum number: M.114-1929 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)