Firebacks

In the Dorset County Museum museum group

  1. 270

    dorchester_museum 01.jpg
    838 x 314 mm

    Description: Rectangular; cyma recta moulded edging; centre top, date formed of individual stamps.

    Notes: The moulding used for the edging, which was probably derived from redundant furniture, is very similar to that used on several firebacks of a similar style in the late 17th century, although the lettering style is different. Although its small height suggests that this may only be the top half of a fireback, the existence of a plate of similar dimensions in Brighton Museum may indicate that the proportions were deliberate.

    Inscription: 1728

    Manufactured: in 1728 in England.

    Current location: Dorset County Museum, Dorchester, Dorset, England.

    (part of the Dorset County Museum museum group)

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

  2. 271

    dorchester_museum 02.jpg
    914 x 1067 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped central panel with top corners cavetto canted, bead-and-pellet edging on a wide fillet; hanging drapery with central tassels over three low-arched cubicles, the two outer smaller than the centre, with Tuscan columns and overlapping scales behind; on a plinth of overlapping scales with a scallop shell behind, the standing figure of Neptune/Poseidon, holding a trident in his right hand; water issues from by his feet and from the waves below him disport two ‘sea horses’ and three dolphins; arched rectangular shaped border with top corners cavetto canted, fillet edging: suspended symmetrical beads with tassel ends decorated with sea shells; between two looped 'W' figures, the inscription separating halves of the date along the bottom; above, a central scallop shell with symmetrical floral scrolls on each side.

    Notes: From a design in 'Nouveaux livres de ...Statues [etc.]' (La Haye & Amsterdam 1702-5), by Daniel Marot. The inscription, translated as 'GOD He is our strength', is a paraphrase of Psalm 46: 1; the original wooden pattern is in the Historisch Museum, Rotterdam; an identical inscription and date is found on several firebacks. All incorporate the looped 'W' motif which may be intended to identify the pattern maker. Formerly at Dogwells Farmhouse, Corscombe, Dorset; another example is at Lower Brockhampton farmhouse, Herefordshire, having originally been in Dunster Castle, Somerset.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 17 DVW Ydyw Ein Cadernid 24

    Manufactured: in 1724 in England.

    Current location: Dorset County Museum, Dorchester, Dorset, England.

    (part of the Dorset County Museum museum group)

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