Firebacks

Manufactured in the mid to late 16th century

84 results

  1. 186

    hastings_070.jpg
    610 x 450 mm

    Description: Plain rectangle with cavetto moulded edging (top and sides); pediment with same moulding.

    Notes: Three identical backs, but with various stamps, indicate that this fireback came from the same source as a distinct series of Tudor heraldic backs.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 952.51.47 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

  2. 926

    hatfield_house 01 pattern.jpg
    1145 x 975 mm

    Description: Carved wooden fireback pattern. Cavetto-canted rectangle with arch; ovolo-moulded edging; shield, garter, helm, mantling, crest, motto and supporters of William Cecil, 1st Lord Burghley, KG (1520-98). Date below garter.

    Notes: William Cecil was Queen Elizabeth I's first minister. Several firebacks cast using this fine carved, wooden painted panel are known.

    Inscription: HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE / COR VNVM [ET] VIA VNA / 15 75

    Arms: William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, KG

    Manufactured: in 1575 in England.

    Current location: Hatfield House, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England.

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

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2017, 'Church Armorials and Firebacks: Evidence of an Early 17th-Century Woodcarver', Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, 135, pp. 213-223.

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

  3. 188

    hatfield_house 01.jpg
    1147 x 1013 mm

    Description: Cavetto-canted rectangle with arch; ovolo-moulded edging; shield, garter, helm, mantling, crest and supporters of William Cecil, 1st Lord Burghley, KG (1520-98). Date below garter.

    Notes: William Cecil was Queen Elizabeth I's first minister. The wooden pattern for this fireback, itself a fine carved, wooden painted panel, is at Hatfield House, Hertfordshire.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE 15 75

    Arms: William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley KG

    Manufactured: in 1575 possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Hatfield House, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England.

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

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

  4. 189

    hatfield_house 02.jpg
    965 x ?780 mm

    Description: Rectangular with an ogee arch; twisted rope edging (top and sides); line of small fleursd e lys areound the top and sides, inside the edging; Tudor rose inside each top sorner (overstamped on the left); below each rose a cross of twisted rope with fleur de lys terminals, and fleurs in each quadrant; top centre, a Tudor royal shield within an oval garter - HONE SOVT QUEY MAL Y PENSE - with greyhound and lion supporters, and crown above; cross of small fleurs inclined to each side of the crown; inverted 'Y' shape in twisted rope below each supporter, a fleur at the top end of each.

    Notes: A oft-used achievement of arms; twisted rope with fleur de lys terminals are seen on other firebacks from the same source.

    Inscription: HONE SOVT QUEY MAL Y PENSE

    Arms: Tudor royal (prob. Henry VIII)

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century possibly at Pounsley furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England.

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

  5. 912

    heathfield,_heathfield house.jpg
    1120 x 540 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); impression of the end of a firedog repeated three times, one upright in centre, two diagonally inverted with feet angled towards top centre; a large saltire of twisted rope in each top corner, a small saltire, of twisted rope and dowel, on either side of top of central firedog; cross of twisted rope below right hand corner saltire; lower centre, two angled rope lengths either side of central firedog. At the bottom, and outside the feet of the central firedog, two excrescences formed by the pouring of the metal.

    Notes: A well-preserved example with an unusual arrangement of the firedog stamp; formerly (c.1886) in the Warbill-in-Tun inn, Warbleton, Sussex.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century in the Weald area of England.

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

    Citation: Balcomb, J. T., Nov. 1886, 'An Extinct Sussex Art', The Art Journal, pp. 337-340.

  6. 191

    helston,_godolphin house 01.jpg
    770 x 640 mm

    Description: Arched rectangle; cavetto moulded edging; Tudor royal shield, Garter and crown, with crowned lion and dragon supporters; motto along bottom; Tudor rose to left of crown, portcullis to right.

    Notes: This painted fireback is reputed to have been a gift from King Henry VIII to the second Sir William Godolphin, who was present at the Siege of Boulogne in 1544 with a party of Godolphin tin miners.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: HONI SOIT QVI MAL E PENSE / DIEU ET MON DROIT

    Arms: Tudor royal (Elizabeth I)

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Godolphin House, Helston, Cornwall, England.

    Museum number: 169480 (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).

  7. 334

    huddington_court 02.jpg
    607 x 498 mm

    Description: Quasi-rectangular; twisted rope lengths along top and sides; centre top, unidentified quartered shield between two vertical carved stamps of a billet with five oval shapes; the same billet is repeated horizontally below between two irregular twisted rope saltires.

    Notes: The arms are probably of Thomas Wriothesley, who was Henry VIII's last Lord Chancellor and created Earl of Southampton in 1547; he married c.1533 so the arms could date to before then, but the same arms are displayed on his enamelled stall plate in St George's Chapel, Windsor, of 1545, and in stained glass in a window in the parish church at South Warnborough, Hampshire. A similar fireback was illustrated by J. Starkie Gardner in Country Life in 1907.

    Arms: Wriothesley (Earl of Southampton)

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Huddington, Worcestershire, England.

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

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

    Citation: Starkie Gardner, J., 25 May 1907, 'Old Wealden Ironwork at Warnham Court', Country Life, pp. 730-2.

  8. 836

    ipswich,_christchurch mansion 07.jpg
    730 x 670 mm

    Description: Rectangular with triangular arch; ovolo-moulded edging (top and sides); small stamp of a quartered shield with helm, crest and mantling above the date '1571, initials split either side of shield, repeated six times in two lines of three, the middle stamp of each line higher than the other two.

    Notes: The arms may be of the family of Humberston quartered with another; the stamp would have been made specially for the fireback, the date and initials being carved with the arms.

    Inscription: I H / 15 71 [repeated 6 times]

    Arms: Humberston family

    Manufactured: in 1571 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich, Suffolk, England.

    (part of the Colchester & Ipswich Museums Service museum group)

    Citation: Traill, H. D. and Mann, J. S., 1902, Social England vol. III, (London, Cassell), p. 732.

  9. 1083

    lethaby_1a.jpg
    735 x 525 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; fillet edging (top and sides); twisted rope cross in centre of arch; fillet-edged square below arch containing initials of uneven size; along the top, a line of five quatrefoils on each side of the initials; below, two symmetrically carved roundels and associated spandrels, each with a central flower.

    Notes: The quatrefoils and roundels are likely to have been part of a redundant, probably medieval, furniture panel, perhaps from a chest. The life-size drawing is by W. R. Lethaby. The fireback was formerly property of the artist John Callcott Horsley RA (1817-1903) at Wilsley Green, Cranbrook, Kent.

    Inscription: PC

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington & Chelsea, London, England.

    Museum number: 3267-1932 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

    Citation: Lethaby, W. R., 1 Oct 1926, 'English Cast Iron - I', The Builder, 131, no. 4365, pp. 537-8.

  10. 370

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 005.jpg
    >590 x >560 mm

    Description: Fragment; left side only; twisted rope edging to left, canted moulded batten above; left hand print with dividers to its right.

    Notes: An unusual combination of edging. The dividers may refer to the occupation of the person for whom this fireback was cast.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: LH000.798 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Anon., 30 Dec 1911, 'Sussex Backs and their Story', The Ironmonger.

    Citation: Dawson, C., 1903, 'Sussex Iron Work and Pottery', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 46, pp. 1-54.

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

    Citation: Schubert, H. R., 1957, History of the British Iron and Steel Industry (London, Routledge), pp. 256-264.

    Citation: Starkie Gardner, J., 1898, 'Iron Casting in the Weald', Archaeologia, 56, 1, pp. 133-164.