Firebacks

Manufactured in the mid 17th century

112 results

  1. 586

    plaxtol,_nut tree hall.jpg
    815 x 1130 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped central panel with bead edging; pictorial scene of a seated female figure resting against a hurdle, holding an anchor, a child on each side of her, the one on the left standing clutching corn stalks, the one on the right sitting also holding the anchor and a circular object; a bird sits on a post; arched rectangular border with bead edging; fructal and floral festoons suspended on ribbons with two putti at the top and two on each side; in the left and right bottom corners, the initials 'HH' and 'S' respectively; at the bottom, a central cartouche with date, between floral swags; on top, twin spirals between descending floral festoons.

    Notes: The figure is an allegory of Hope. The theft in 1699 from a Thames-side warehouse of several firebacks, including '3 of Hope with an Anchor' may refer to this type (Post Boy 11-14 Nov. 1699).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: HH 1665 S

    Manufactured: in 1665 in the Siegerland area of Germany.

    Current location: in private hands, Plaxtol, Kent, England.

  2. 589

    richmond,_ham house 01.jpg
    438 x 433 mm

    Description: Double arched rectangular shaped; ovolo edging; central clock dial with Roman numerals separated by stops, sunburst inside, single hand with fleur de lys pointer; teardrop weights suspended from each side; symmetrical tendrils above.

    Notes: One of the ‘hooked 1’ series of firebacks - the number ‘1’ is just discernable bottom left; two versions exist of this fireback, the other having finials above the suspended weights.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: I · II · III · IIII · V · VI · VII · VIII · IX · X · XI · XII / 16...

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

    Current location: Ham House, Richmond, Surrey, England.

    Museum number: NT/HAM/XX/215 (part of the National Trust 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., 2010, British Cast-Iron Firebacks of the 16th to Mid-18th Centuries (Crawley, Hodgers Books).

  3. 590

    richmond,_ham house 02.jpg
    685 x 558 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular shape, semi-circular protrusions on top corners; cavetto-moulded edging; two mirrored scrolls inside arch; a phoenix in flames, its wings displayed and inverted.

    Notes: A variant bears the date, 1650, and the initials, IM; a loop normally at the top is absent.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

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

    Current location: Ham House, Richmond, Surrey, England.

    Museum number: NT/HAM/XX/300 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  4. 598

    ripley_004.jpg
    590 x 470 mm

    Description: Rectangular with fillet edging; central, oval panel with fillet edging containing the semi-reclining, begowned figure of Cleopatra, a mirror/sceptre in her right hand and an asp in her left hand; oval border with astragal and fillet edging and undulating foliage; in each of the top spandrels, a face of a putto; in the bottom spandrels, a triangular design of swirled foliage; at the centre of each side, overlapping the central oval border, an oval cartouche with scrolls in the inward facing side; four horizontal plank lines regularly spaced.

    Notes: The naivety of the figuration and the similarity of the scrolled designs suggest that this may be the work of the same pattern-maker as the Lenard fireback. Either of two tapestries of the death of Cleopatra after Karel van Mander II (1579-1623), one made for the Swedish royal court, may be the inspiration for this fireback.

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

    Current location: Mark Ripley Forge & Fireplaces, Northbridge Street, Robertsbridge, East Sussex, England.

  5. 638

    ripley_058.jpg
    650 x 595 mm

    Description: Rectangular with cavetto curves rising to corners and a ‘pediment’ top; fillet edging with low-relief, alternate regularly-spaced semi-circles and triangles inside; two-handled flower vase with gadrooned upper surface and symmetrical flower design in relief below; trailing vines and flowers issuing from top and descending through handles to base; human face at top; second half of date to right of vase base.

    Notes: Another version, probably by a different pattern-maker, is dated 1662; a recasting; an earlier casting measures 665mm x 610mm

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: [...] 52

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

    Current location: Mark Ripley Forge & Fireplaces, Northbridge Street, Robertsbridge, East Sussex, England.

  6. 654

    rochester_11.jpg
    460 x 705 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead-and-pellet edging; S-scroll, two-handled, gadrooned vase with tulip stems, flowers and leaves; arched rectangular border with fillet edging and suspended flower bunches; along a rectangular bottom panel with fillet edging a symmetrical arrangement of swirled foliage; on top, two symmetrical, coiled serpents; narrow, curved shouldered side panels with beads in oval depressions.

    Notes: The presence of tulips suggest a Dutch origin for the pattern of this fireback, although the presence of several examples in England suggest that it was produced here rather than on the Continent.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the mid 17th century in England.

    Current location: Eastgate House, High Street, Rochester, Kent, England.

    Museum number: A3507 (part of the Rochester Guildhall Museum museum group)

  7. 657

    rolvenden,_halden place.jpg
    890 x 725 mm

    Description: Rectangular with curved top corners; Arched rectangular extension on top; ovolo edging; mounted figure in 17th cent. armour riding down a dragon to the left and below, sword in hand; inscription across top and either side of horseman; date below left; initials below right.

    Notes: Probably a representation of St George and the Dragon, with political undertones, given the date. Cursius may be a mi-spelling of Marcus Curtius, who sacrificed himself for the good of Rome. Nil Desperandum - Despair not. Other firebacks also bear the initials, IM, which probably relate to the pattern maker, some with a similar style of lettering.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: CVRSIVS / NIL DESPERANDVM / 1650 / IM

    Manufactured: in 1650 possibly at Brede furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Rolvenden, Kent, England.

    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).

  8. 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).

  9. 679

    saffron_walden museum 07a.jpg
    897 x 748 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto moulding all round; spreading oak tree, with leaves and acorns, filling the whole plate; three royal crowns, one at the top of the tree, the other two symmetrically on the ends of branches towards the top corners; initials CR towards the bottom corners, the remaining inscription on a scroll across the base.

    Notes: The design is derived from the celebrated occasion when Charles II evaded his pursuers by hiding in an oak tree at Boscobel House, near Wolverhampton, following the final Royalist defeat at the battle of Worcester in 1651. This popular fireback has been copied frequently.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: C THE ROYALL OAK R

    Manufactured: in the mid 17th century in England.

    Current location: Saffron Walden Museum, Saffron Walden, Essex, England.

    Museum number: 1899-2 (part of the Saffron Walden Museum museum group)

    Citation: Butterfield, W. R., 19 Jan 1935, 'Charles II Fireback', Hastings and St Leonards Observer.

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

  10. 1099

    saltash,_stax reclamation.jpg
    600 x 390 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; ovolo-moulded edging; raised central rectangular panel with inset stylised design of a rounded arch upon Ionic columns, the inside edge indented; at quarter angles outside the arch, two trefoils; within the arch, sequence of linked hollow strapwork rhomboids and circles; between the columns, a roundel with the internal edge indented; left of the central panel, 16 above upper-case M in low relief; right of the central panel, 56 above upper-case G in low relief.

    Notes: An unusually small but well-preserved back with a stylised design. The style of the numerals, particularly the 6 and 5, can be seen on a larger fireback of 1653.

    Inscription: 16 56 / M G

    Manufactured: in 1656 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Avery Way, Tamar View Industrial Estate, Saltash, Cornwall, England.