Firebacks

88 results

  1. 157

    1944-24-073.jpg
    420 x 685 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped central panel with paternost bead edging; figure holding a bow in his left hand and a lyre in his right hand, a quiver suspended from his belt, on an undulating ground with small trees, and suspended swags of drapery above; Arched rectangular shaped border with fillet edging, and symmetrical flowers and swirled tendrils; initials at bottom centre; on top, symmetrical pattern of swirled leaves and tendrils.

    Notes: The figure is Apollo, personifying the Sun, one of a set of 'Eight Deities' engraved by Hendrick Goltzius (1592), after Polidoro da Caravaggio; the fireback is one of a large group bearing the same initials, which probably denotes the pattern maker. Other groups may have been the work of the same carver or workshop. The execution is rather crude. Formerly part of the J. H. Every collection.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: SHR

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

    Current location: Anne of Cleves House, Southover High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 1944.24.73 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

  2. 13

    ardingly_rivers farm 01.jpg
    1360 x 925 mm

    Description: Rectangular; composite: complex (cavetto/cyma recta/ovolo) moulded edging (top and sides), derived from domestic carpentry; two firebacks used as patterns: on the left, rectangular with mirrored floriate scrolled top, simulated overlapping tile edging at sides, with fillet bottom edge, a mythical salamander in the form of a dog with an arrow-shaped tongue, standing among flames, a stapled scroll inside the left and right edges; on the right, arched rectangular with fillet edging indented on the inner side, surrounding a circular clock face with Roman numerals, each interspaced with a bead, and a button outside each quarter, a triangular design of swirled foliage in each bottom spandrel; initials in triad between firebacks; below, stamp formed of a talbot statant guardant upon a wreath; date split: ‘1’s in top corners, ‘6’s above initials; bottom third of fireback plain.

    Notes: The talbot crest, which in this instance has been over pressed and shows the shape of the backing, is seen on other firebacks indicating a common source; the 'salamander' fireback is one of the Stapled Scroll series; composite firebacks (where the impression of one or more other firebacks are used as part of the decoration) are uncommon in England but less so in France.

    Inscription: 16 61 / IBM

    Manufactured: in 1661 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Ardingly, West Sussex, England.

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

  3. 1209

    bowness,_blackwell_house_02.jpg
    1130 x 1285 mm

    Description: Individually designed quasi-arched rectangular shape; astragal edging; central portico with framed doorway and sloping roof, in which stands a male figure dressed in contemporary style; above the roof, the date, and above that, the initials R R separated by a flower head, this inscription enclosed within a five-sided ribbon compartment held at the top corners by a pair of mirrored dancing cherubs each of which holds in their outer hand a wand surmounted by a fleur-de-lys; below them are mirrored vine designs terminating in a grape bunch, and below each of them a mirrored swirled snake, its head reversed; towards the outer side of these snakes are a pair of mirrored birds within a curved cartouche of slightly raised relief that is associated with a swirl on each side of the fireback that terminates the astragal edging on each side and which ascends via a step surmounted by a miniature urn on each shoulder of the back to the top which is surmounted by an acorn shape; above the ribbons held by the cherubs, is a stylised crown between the initials GR; the above features are limited by a horizontal astragal, though the portico descends below it, and which is supported at each end by a simple Doric column enclosing the bottom panel which is otherwise plain.

    Notes: The initials GR are of Georgius Rex - King George I. Finely cast but of naïve design, another fireback of the same design but with different inscriptions and dated 1714 is at Low Graythwaite in Hawkshead parish, which was home to the Rawlinson family who, in 1711, built the first blast furnace in what was then the northern part of Lancashire.

    Inscription: G R / R R / 1723

    Manufactured: in 1723 possibly at Backbarrow Furnace in the Furness area of England.

    Current location: Blackwell House, Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria, England.

    Citation: Cowper, H. S., 1899, Hawkshead: its History, Archaeology, Industries, Folklore, Dialect, etc., etc. (London, Bemrose).

  4. 851

    bridgewater_collection 04.jpg
    ?525 x ?455 mm

    Description: Rectangular with mirrored floriate scrolled top; simulated overlapping tile edging at sides, with fillet bottom edge; a mythical salamander in the form of a dog with an arrow-shaped tongue, standing among flames; a stapled scroll inside the left and right edges.

    Notes: This fireback was used to create a composite fireback design on a plate at Rivers Farmhouse, Ardingly.

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

    Current location:.

    Citation: Lloyd, N., 1925, 'Domestic Ironwork I', Architectural Review, 58, pp. 58-67.

  5. 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)

  6. 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)

  7. 25

    burwash,_batemans 03.jpg
    410 x >490 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular shape with arch decorated with floral swirls and an urn on each shoulder; three female figures: Aphrodite on the left, Hera in the centre on a plinth with two peacocks behind her, and Athena on the right; a double tassel hangs above Hera’s head.

    Notes: The figures are the participants in the Judgement of Paris, the outcome of which precipitated the Trojan War.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in England.

    Current location: Bateman's, Burwash, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: NT/BAT/M/55 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  8. 233

    cardiff,_st fagans 10.jpg
    372 x 570 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel, bead edging, a stork, to the left, its beak in the top of a tall vase, a fox seated to the right, a tree behind; arched rectangular border, fillet edging, swags of fruit bunches (missing at the sides) suspended from ribbon, inscription below central panel; on top, symmetrical floral swirls and flowers.

    Notes: The scene is drawn from 'The Fox and the Stork', one of Aesop's fables. A recasting. Formerly at Ffynnon Deilo, Pendoylan, Glamorgan.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 NDW 97

    Manufactured: in 1697 in the Siegerland area of Germany.

    Current location: National History Museum, St Fagans, Glamorgan, Wales.

    Museum number: 59.461 (part of the Welsh National History Museum museum group)

  9. 1210

    cowper,_hawkshead_1899.jpg
    ~1130 x ~1285 mm

    Description: Individually designed quasi-arched rectangular shape; astragal edging; central portico with framed doorway and sloping roof, in which stands a male figure dressed in contemporary style; above the roof, the date, and above that, the initials TKM arranged in triad and around a flower head, this inscription enclosed within a five-sided ribbon compartment held at the top corners by a pair of mirrored dancing cherubs each of which holds in their outer hand a wand surmounted by a fleur-de-lys; below them are mirrored vine designs terminating in a grape bunch, and below each of them a mirrored swirled snake, its head reversed; towards the outer side of these snakes are a pair of mirrored birds within a curved cartouche of slightly raised relief that is associated with a swirl on each side of the fireback that terminates the astragal edging on each side and which ascends via a step surmounted by a miniature urn on each shoulder of the back to the top which is surmounted by an acorn shape; above the ribbons held by the cherubs, is a stylised crown between the initials AR; the above features are limited by a horizontal astragal, though the portico descends below it, and which is supported at each end by a simple Doric column enclosing the bottom panel which is otherwise plain.

    Notes: The initials AR are of Anna Regina - Queen Anne. Finely cast but of naïve design, another fireback of the same design but with different inscriptions and dated 1723 is Bowness on Windermere. Illustration from Cowper, 1899, p.179.

    Inscription: A R / TKM [triad] / 1714

    Manufactured: in 1714 possibly at Backbarrow Furnace in the Furness area of England.

    Current location: Low Graythwaite, Hawkshead, Cumbria, England.

    Citation: Cowper, H. S., 1899, Hawkshead: its History, Archaeology, Industries, Folklore, Dialect, etc., etc. (London, Bemrose).

  10. 46

    cuckfield,_legh manor 01.jpg
    400 x 612 mm

    Description: Ionic columns supporting a semi-circular arch, in the centre of which the bust of a man has a floral swag beneath; below is a quasi-arched rectangle of beads within which is the figure of Hercules, wielding a club, slaying the Nemean Lion; beneath are floral scrolls; on top of the main arch two kneeling putti hold a wreath over the bust.

    Notes: Not the standard 'Dutch' type, which may indicate a different origin.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 18th century in England.

    Current location: in private hands, Cuckfield, West Sussex, England.