Firebacks

Manufactured in the mid 17th century

112 results

  1. 56

    dyrham_park 02a.jpg
    660 x 572 mm

    Description: Flattened arched rectangular shape; cavetto moulded edge all round; Stuart royal arms with lion and unicorn supporters, crown, garter and motto; CR initials placed separately outside supporters; date split either side of crown.

    Notes: A much-copied variant with the additional initials, I T, above the date and on either side of the crown.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: I T / 1635 / C R / HONI SOIT QVI MAL Y PENSE / DIEV ET MON DROIT

    Arms: English Stuart royal (Charles I )

    Manufactured: in 1635 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Dyrham Park, Dyrham, Gloucestershire, England.

    Museum number: NT/DYR/M/2 (part of the National Trust museum group)

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

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

  2. 1085

    faversham_930x620.jpg
    930 x 620 mm

    Description: Rectangular; rebated ovolo-moulded edging (top, left and half-right sides); top centre, date with unevenly positioned numerals.

    Notes: The asymmetry of the side moulding is unusual.

    Inscription: 1667

    Manufactured: in 1667 possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Faversham, Kent, England.

  3. 295

    gainsborough_old hall 01.jpg
    665 x 722 mm

    Description: Five-facetted arched shape; ovolo-moulded edging comprising two separate lengths of moulding repeated to form sides and arch; shield of Hickman (per pale indented argent and azure) impaling Nevile (?gules a saltire argent) within repeated laurel leaves inside a scrolled cartouche; date top centre.

    Notes: William Hickman of Gainsborough (1629-82) married Elizabeth Neville of Mattersey, Notts. The multi-facetted arch suggests a connection with a series of firebacks cast in the Weald which are also associated with the Nevills (Fig. 72), although they are of earlier date. Sea-going trade between the south coast and Gainsborough was well established by the 1650s.

    Inscription: 1658

    Arms: Hickman impaling Neville; Sir William Hickman

    Manufactured: in 1658 in England.

    Current location: Gainsborough Old Hall, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, England.

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

    Citation: Peacock, E., 1881, [note on Iron Slab with armorial bearings found at Blyton, near Gainsborough], Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries, 2nd series, 8, pp. 44-5.

  4. 76

    guildford_museum 01.jpg
    655 x 445 mm

    Description: Rectangular with ‘portico’ arch; cavetto edging; two-handled vase, flower stems on each side entwined round handles; flowers emerging from top of vase; base of vase overlaps the edging.

    Notes: One of a varied group of small firebacks with bold, simple designs and cavetto edging; formerly in the possession of Gertrude Jekyll, Munstead Wood, near Godalming, Surrey.

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

    Current location: Guildford Museum, Guildford, Surrey, England.

    Museum number: S.7129 (part of the Guildford Museum museum group)

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

    Citation: Jekyll, G., 1903, Old West Surrey, London, Longmans.

  5. 1138

    hartpury,_prestberries.jpg
    864 x 533 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides); upper centre, date between shoulders of arch.

    Notes: The numerals have been crudely impressed, probably using a pointed implement.

    Inscription: 1658

    Manufactured: in 1658 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Hartpury, Gloucestershire, England.

  6. 108

    haslemere_museum 07.jpg
    1500 x 770 mm

    Description: Quasi-rectangular with narrow arches at top ends and a broad low central arch, between which are flat-topped peaks linked to the arches by shallow concave curves; flanged edge (top and sides); mirroring the edge a channel has been engraved into the metal, extending into the small arches, producing the effect of a wide fillet along the top and sides with an inverted U-shaped return into the end arches; within the channel, at each end, a primitive representation of a vertical, hollow plant stem and four mirrored pairs of curved branches, with a vertical channel parallel to the edge joining the branch ends on the inside; between these is cast a small, rectangular panel with ovolo edging, bearing a full achievement of the arms of the Worshipful Company of Clothworkers; the date is centrally placed above this panel.

    Notes: An usual fireback for several reasons: the use of engraving for significant elements of the design, the flanged edge, and the incorporation of a small fireback. The Clothworkers’ arms: Sable a chevron ermine between in chief two Havettes Argent and in base a Teazel Cob Or; crest: on a Mount vert a Ram statant Or; supporters: two Griffins Or pellettée; the arms as displayed were granted in 1587. An example of the armorial fireback on its own is in Petworth House.

    Inscription: WV 1659 WV

    Arms: Worshipful Company of Clothworkers

    Manufactured: in 1659 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Haslemere Educational Museum, Haslemere, Surrey, England.

    (part of the Haslemere Educational Museum museum group)

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

  7. 119

    hastings_009.jpg
    685 x 430 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto moulded edge on all sides; perspective view of a lantern clock.

    Notes: The arms of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers were granted in 1672: Sable a Clock each of the four pillars of the case based on a Lion couchant and capped with a Globe surmounted by a Cross and on the dome of the case an Imperial Crown all Or. The hands of the clock show six o’clock, as on the livery company shield.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

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

    Current location: Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Hastings, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 952.51.48 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

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

  8. 123

    hastings_013.jpg
    560 x 510 mm

    Description: Rectangular; top panel with bearded face between symmetrical horizontal scrolls, and faces at either end; scrolls are repeated below, on either side of the date, all above a horizontal double fillet; below, a pair of arches with guilloche decoration between fillets, and toothed on the underside, are supported on each side by Tuscan columns, also with guilloche decoration; this is repeated in symmetrical rectangular panels on either side; at the centre base a bulbous nozzle protrudes.

    Notes: This is a smith's forge fireback, the nozzle being the tuyere directing the air into the fire from bellows behind. Stylistically similar to the Lenard and other firebacks of the same period, the carved elements above the nozzle may have been cast from a pattern inspired by the back of a joined 'wainscot' chair, with the date inserted. The back may have been used for forging non-ferrous metals as there was a trade in pot-founding in bronze as well as iron at some ironworks in the Weald.

    Inscription: 1655

    Manufactured: in 1655 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Hastings, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 952.51.62 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

    Citation: Butterfield, W. R., 1916, 'Old Wealden Firebacks', The Connoisseur, 46, pp. 197-209.

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

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2014, 'A Seventeenth-Century Sussex Woodcarver: The Evidence of Cast Ironwork', Regional Furniture, 28, pp. 39-48

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

  9. 146

    hastings_029.jpg
    780 x 570 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto moulded edging; shield, helm, crest, supporters, mantling and motto of the Corporation of the City of London; initials split by crest; date split at ends of motto.

    Notes: Shield: Argent, a cross gules, in the first quarter a sword in pale point upwards of the last; crest: on a wreath argent and gules a dragon's sinister wing argent, charged on the underside with a cross throughout gules; supporters: on either side a dragon argent charged on the undersides of the wings with a cross throughout gules; motto: Domine Dirige Nos - Lord Direct Us; the earliest illustration of the arms in this form was in 1609, but their use is older.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: F W / 16 DOMINE DIRIGE NOS 59

    Arms: Corporation of the City of London

    Manufactured: in 1659 possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Hastings, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 952.51.53 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

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

  10. 171

    hastings_058.jpg
    730 x 584 mm

    Description: Quasi-rectangular with raised symmetrical scrolls between semi-circular re-entrants on top edge; ovolo-moulded edge on bottom and sides, with fillet edging on top; grotesque face with swirled hair locks, above an inverted floral spike, between two moustachioed male figures in tunics, holding pikes, standing on a cavetto-moulded compartment, date beneath.

    Notes: Alleged to represent the 'Brede Ogre', Sir Goddard Oxenbridge (1478-1531) who, legend states, was sawn in half by local children. Stylistically similar to other firebacks with connections with Brede furnace.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 52

    Manufactured: in 1652 probably at Brede furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Hastings, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 924.42 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

    Citation: Butterfield, W. R., 10 Mar 1934, 'The Brede Ogre', Hastings and St Leonards Observer.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2014, 'A Seventeenth-Century Sussex Woodcarver: The Evidence of Cast Ironwork', Regional Furniture, 28, pp. 39-48

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

    Citation: Manwaring Baines, J., 1958, Wealden Firebacks (Hastings Museum)