Firebacks

Manufactured in the early to mid 18th century

29 results

  1. 16

    battle_museum.jpg
    900 x 720 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape cut away with symmetrical concave curves; ovolo moulding (top and sides); shield, helmet, crest and mantling of the family of Baker, of Mayfield, quartered with Farnden, of Sedlescombe: Quarterly, 1st and 4th, Argent, a tower between three keys erect sable (Baker); 2nd and 3rd, Purpure, a chevron vairy Or and gules, between three leopards’ faces Or (Farnden). Crest (Baker): on a tower sable an arm embowed in mail holding in the hand a flint-stone proper.

    Notes: A carved armorial on a plain, edged base board; John Baker (1644-1723) married Ruth, daughter and co-heiress of Peter Farnden, in 1663; she died in 1691, thereafter the arms of Baker quartered those of Farnden; the arms of Farnden had been granted in 1634. The armorial design has been inadequately pressed into the sand bed.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Arms: Baker, of Mayfield, quartering Farnden, of Sedlescombe

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 18th century possibly at Heathfield furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Battle Museum of Local History, Battle, East Sussex, England.

  2. 203

    birmingham,_selly hall 02.jpg
    830 x 700 mm

    Description: Rectangular; fillet edging; fillet parallel to top edge separating top quarter; two fillets parallel to sides separating side quarters; halves of date in top corner squares.

    Notes: Numeral style is typical of first half of 18th century.

    Inscription: 17 36

    Manufactured: in 1736 in England.

    Current location: Selly Manor, Birmingham, West Midlands, England.

    (part of the Selly Manor museum group)

  3. 972

    bristol,_red lodge museum 02a.jpg
    760 x 924 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with ovolo-moulded edging and extensions to sides and top; central shield bearing arms with lion rampant supporters and motto scroll beneath; above, a marquesal coronet; date (over-pressed) in extension above main panel; inserted initials (slightly over-pressed) on either side of coronet.

    Notes: The arms are of the family of Pierrepont, marquesses of Dorchester and later dukes of Kingston-upon-Hull, of Thoresby Hall, Nottinghamshire (blazon: argent semi of cinquefoils gules, a lion rampant sable), with the motto: Pie Repone Te (Place yourself piously), a pun on the name, Pierrepont. The original casting must have dated to between 1706 and 1715, during the marquisate, with the unidentified initials added to a subsequent casting which, in turn, is likely to have pre-dated the addition of the dated extensions which have obliterated 'Dutch'-style dolphins known to have surmounted the original.

    Inscription: 1722 / I H / PIE REPONE TE

    Arms: Pierrepont, Marquess of Dorchester

    Manufactured: in 1722 in England.

    Current location: Red Lodge, Park Row, Bristol, England.

    Museum number: NX420 (part of the Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives museum group)

  4. 957

    chateau_de duras.jpg
    ~914 x ~940 mm

    Description: Upon a rectangular base plinth, an arched rectangular, ovolo-moulded panel containing a draped cloth (disclosing on the reverse the arms of Duras) upon which two oval shields are surmounted by a ducal coronet, and encircled by the collars of the Orders of St Michel and Saint-Esprit. Behind the cloth are crossed batons of a Marshal of France; on each side are flattened S-scrolls with tassels.

    Notes: In all probability the arms of Jean-Baptiste de Durfort, Duc de Duras (1684-1770), created Marshal of France in 1741.

    Arms: Durfort, duc de Duras

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

    Current location: Chateau de Duras, Duras, Lot-et-Garonne, France.

  5. 969

    cowden,_basing 02.jpg
    600 x 573 mm

    Description: Cavetto-canted rectangular shape; astragal edging (top and sides); letters in triad between separated date.

    Notes: The distinctive style of the lettering may indicate a common source with another fireback of 1728.

    Inscription: 17 TRS 31

    Manufactured: in 1731 in the Weald area of England.

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

  6. 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.

  7. 869

    dublin,_national museum of ireland 01.jpg
    432 x 635 mm

    Description: Low arched central panel with fillet edging; on a square frame in perspective, a small gadrooned pot with flowers, including daffodils and tulips, issuing from it; narrow fillet border of same shape, around top and sides, containing a repeated chain and tassel design; wide outer border with quasi-symmetrical, wave-shaped top, swirled floral design of hare bells and tendrils; inscription at bottom.

    Notes: In the museum guide of 1912, this fireback was said to have come out of an old house at Arran Quay, Dublin.

    Inscription: IP 1737

    Manufactured: in 1737 in Ireland.

    Current location: National Museum of Ireland, Benurb Street, Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.

    Museum number: NMIDM:1910.564 (part of the National Museum of Ireland museum group)

    Citation: Westropp, M. S. D. (ed.), 1912, General Guide to the Art Collections, Part VI, Metalwork, Chapter V, Iron (Dublin, National Museum of Science and Art).

  8. 923

    heathfield,_manor farm 03.jpg
    360 x 1065 mm

    Description: Rectangular; overlapping laurel leaf edging with flange on right edge; top, seated figure of a monarch with a casket at his left side and the back of a throne behind; centre, bust of a classical male figure facing to the right, surrounded by a circlet of overlapping laurel leaves; bottom, ornamental pedestal on a legged stand, floral fronds issuing from the top, between two flower heads, and descending symmetrically to the bottom.

    Notes: Not a fireback, but a left side fireplace back plate. It had a circular aperture in the centre into which, in this instance, a medallion and bust were inserted, the same being inserted into an elaborate rococo fireback.

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 18th century possibly at Robertsbridge furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

  9. 1108

    islington,_criterion auctions.jpg
    540 x 810 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; Greek Key border with fillet edges; in high relief, in front of swagged drapery, the shield of, quarterly, France quartering England, Scotland and Ireland, surrounded by a Garter, and surmounted by a ducal coronet; below, the inscription in capitals.

    Notes: The use of the Greek Key design as a border is believed to be unique for an English fireback. The arms are indistinct but appear to be the Stuart arms of the reign of Queen Anne before the union with Scotland in 1707, which were anachronistic by 1732. Also, the superposition of a ducal coronet in place of the royal crown is unusual. Sowley Furnace, near Beaulieu in Hampshire, was owned in 1732 by John, 2nd Duke of Montagu, and was let to Miles Troughton. Criterion Auctions, Islington, 7 Jan 2019.

    Inscription: HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE / SOWLEY MDCCXXXII

    Arms: Stuart royal (1707-14) France/England, Scotland and Ireland

    Manufactured: in 1732 at Sowley furnace in the New Forest area of England.

    Current location: Criterion Auctions, 53, Essex Road, Islington, London, England.

  10. 392

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 026.jpg
    905 x 740 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto moulding on all sides, with short gaps at each end of the base (possibly to accommodate firedogs); date in top corners; shield, supporters, coronet and motto of the Barony of Bergavenny: Gules, on a saltire argent, a rose of the field, barbed and seeded proper. The motto, ‘Ne vile velis’ (Wish nothing base) is a pun on the family name.

    Notes: The arms are those of William Nevill, 16th Baron Bergavenny, of Kidbrooke Park, Forest Row, Sussex. The date of the fireback coincides with the completion of the mansion.

    Inscription: 1736 / NE VILE VELIS

    Arms: William Nevill, 16th Baron Bergavenny

    Manufactured: in 1736 in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.086 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

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

    Citation: Hughes, G. B., 1955, 'Old English Firebacks', Country Life, 117, 21 April, pp. 1056-60.