Firebacks

Manufactured in the mid 17th century

112 results

  1. 1098

    scm_13, 284, palfrey farm, petworth.jpg
    ~1300 x ~700 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; indeterminate moulded edging; central initials (A? D M)in triad, between split date (6 reversed).

    Notes: The characters have been derived from an odd assortment: the numbers appear to be a recognisable character set, with the 6 and 9 interchangeable; the 6/9 has also been used, with the same stamp as has been used to form the uprights of the M, to construct a probable capital A (or R); the nature of the stamps forming the M is unclear. Noted in 1939 at Palfrey Farm, Petworth, West Sussex, which from the mid-16th century had been home to the Penycod family, suggesting that the fireback had not been original to the house.

    Inscription: 16 / A[?] D M [triad] / 49

    Manufactured: in 1649 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:.

    Citation: Smail, H. C. P., April 1939, 'Iron Firebacks' [letter], Sussex County Magazine, 13, 4, p. 284.

  2. 682

    sedlescombe,_mabbs cottage.jpg
    860 x 680 mm

    Description: Rectangular, with detached pediment joined by mirrored S-shaped scrolls; fillet edging with scalloping on inside edge (top and sides of rectangle, and pediment, only); central Tudor rose with surrounding garter, crowned lion and dragon supporters, surmounted by a helmet, mantling and crowned lion passant crest; initials, ER, separated by crest; initials, TP, in top corners of rectangle; ‘date’ split between bottom corners.

    Notes: Stylistically of the late 16th or very early 17th centuries, the date is absent from some versions, and is likely to have been added spuriously to later recastings, of which this is one, the style of the numerals being identical to a series of firebacks cast in 1648-58.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: E R / T P / 1558

    Manufactured: in the mid 17th century possibly at Laytons (Tintern) furnace in the Forest of Dean area of Wales.

    Current location: in private hands, Sedlescombe, East Sussex, England.

  3. 974

    sheffield,_bishops house 02.jpg
    990 x 962 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape on a plain plinth; scalloped cavetto-moulded edging (top and sides); initials in triad within arch; date split in top corners; unidentified stamp top centre; hound stamp above letter 'R', stag stamp above letter 'A'; annulet stamp repeated inside each half of the date; flat scrolled protuberance on each side of arch; smaller protuberance above each shoulder.

    Notes: The initials are likely to be those of a husband and wife, the stag and hound possibly associated with the husband's occupation. The protuberances are seen in different forms on firebacks on a few firebacks of the same period.

    Inscription: RHA / 16 66

    Manufactured: in 1666 in England.

    Current location: Bishop's House, Norton Lees Lane, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England.

    (part of the Museums Sheffield museum group)

  4. 690

    smallhythe_place.jpg
    1280 x 470 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; plain edges; broad horizontal fillet dividing the plate in two just above the side angles, with vertical fillets to top corners enclosing date and initials.

    Notes: Uncharacteristically crude for the period.

    Inscription: IS / 16 60

    Manufactured: in 1660 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Smallhythe Place, Smallhythe, Kent, England.

    Museum number: NT/SMA/M/38 (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).

  5. 1021

    sutton,_greenhill 02b.jpg
    870 x 500 mm

    Description: Rectangular; cavetto-moulded edging; shield mounted on a strap-work cartouche, helm, crest, motto scroll and elaborate swirled mantling.

    Notes: The arms of the Ironmongers' Company; blazon: Argent, on a chevron gules, between three gads of steel azure, three swivels or; crest: two talbots combatant encoupled together or. The true crest of the company has two salamanders (originally 'scaly lizards') rather than talbots, and it has been noted on other firebacks that salamanders are not always represented as amphibians; Samuel Lyne, in his Heraldry Display'd (1741), described the crest as 'two talbots', etc. The motto scroll is blank, indicating that the pattern was an armorial panel with a painted, rather than a carved, motto. A variant of the same fireback has the date 1660 and initials GI (Country Life, 8 March 1946, p. 450; 29 March 1946, p.588.).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Arms: Worshipful Company of Ironmongers

    Manufactured: in the mid 17th century in England.

    Current location: in private hands, Sutton, Surrey, England.

  6. 1136

    swansea,_national museum of wales 01a.jpg
    >720 x >465 mm

    Description: Fragment; rectangular; twisted rope edging; top centre, date [1]647; top right, initials FAB in triad, A below F and B.

    Notes: The initials were probably mirrored on the left side. Acquired from a location at Tintern, Monmouthshire. A fireback of near identical design and provenance was noted by David Bick at Poolway House, Coleford, Gloucestershire (Gloucs. Archives D9104).

    Inscription: 647 FAB [triad]

    Manufactured: in 1647 probably at Laytons (Tintern) furnace in the Forest of Dean area of Wales.

    Current location: National Museum Wales, National Collections Centre, Heol Crochendy, Parc Nantgarw, Nantgarw, Glamorgan, Wales.

    Museum number: 73.25I (part of the National Museum Wales museum group)

  7. 860

    terry_sparks 02a.jpg
    695 x 490 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; fillet edging (top and sides); top centre, initials, above date, between repeated fleur-de-lys stamp; from top corners to bottom corners, repeated V-shape pattern formed of stamped short fillets, with an L-shape inserted between the top two Vs on each side.

    Notes: The fleurs de lys are of a distinctive style seen on a small group of firebacks.

    Inscription: RH / 1662

    Manufactured: in 1662 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Checkendon, Oxfordshire, England.

  8. 1091

    thornbury,_the freeth.jpg
    ~1000 x ~700 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides); date in arch; initials in triads in top corners.

    Notes: A fireback at Cotehele House in Cornwall, dated 1647 and bearing the initials AA, which may have come from Longden Hall, south-west of Shrewsbury in Shropshire, and was purchased by the National Trust from Longden Parish Council in the early 1970s, is similar in both its shape and style

    Inscription: 1655 / RWA [triad] / RWA [triad]

    Manufactured: in 1655 in England.

    Current location: The Freeth, Thornbury, Herefordshire, England.

    Citation: Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, 1932, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, Volume 2: East (London, HMSO).

  9. 1157

    unknown_25_457_x_533_a.jpg
    457 x 533 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; ovolo-moulded edging; a shield with the arms of the Grocers' Company on a cartouche, surrounded by four sprays of olive leaves.

    Notes: The blazon of the arms is: Argent, a chev­ron gules between nine cloves six in chief and three in base proper. The arms were granted in 1532. The style of the fireback owes something to the design of French firebacks of the mid-17th century.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Arms: Worshipful Company of Grocers

    Manufactured: in the mid 17th century in England.

    Current location:.

  10. 901

    unknown_42  laughing lion 787x700mm.jpg
    787 x 700 mm

    Description: Quasi-Arched rectangular shape with cyma reversa shoulders; ovolo edging; stylised lion passant guardant; crowned rose with leaf and stem on left, crowned fleur de lys on right, thistle with leaves above centre; three right-facing scrolls at base; down-facing scroll, with staple, on right side; date split between bottom corners; initials below date, bottom right.

    Notes: Blatantly Royalist in its symbolism, a variant is dated (perhaps less convincingly) 1649. Numeral style, initials, leaf depiction and the stapled scroll are typical features of firebacks made from patterns by the same maker. A later version of the same subject, but with a different shaped plate and without the fleur-de-lys, is also known (see 'Royalist series'). M. A. Lower writes of this design of fireback being cast at Waldron Furnace in Sussex (Lower, 1849, p.219).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 41 / IM

    Manufactured: in 1641 possibly at Brede furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Wandsworth, London, England.

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

    Citation: Lower, M. A., 1849, 'Iron Works of the County of Sussex', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 2, pp. 169-220 (esp. pp. 188-9).