Firebacks

Manufactured in the mid to late 16th century

81 results

  1. 713

    unknown_12_1170_x_750.jpg
    1155 x 755 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); approximately symmetrical repeated arrangement of stamps formed of Gothic tracery cresting (5 - 3 & 2), fleurs de lys (11), butter mould stamps (3), crowned butter mould stamps (3), and rope patterns, with rope pieces in zig-zag on left side, and individually across middle.

    Notes: Many of the stamps employed on this fireback are seen, with other stamps, on a wide variety of firebacks, suggesting a common source; similar gothic tracery cresting can be seen as pierced cresting on a rare late-Medieval, wooden Easter sepulchre at the redundant church of St Michael at Cowthorpe, North Yorkshire. A similar fireback is at Anne of Cleves House, Lewes. Correspondence with stamps used on side panels cast with other examples point to this fireback being possibly cast at Pounsley Furnace, Sussex. Christie's auction, 24 May 2001.

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

    Current location:, Oxfordshire, England.

  2. 727

    va_02.jpg
    720 x 460 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); canted rope lengths across top corners; three impressions of a rondel dagger (c. 410mm) with a baluster-turned grip, the middle one per fess, pommel in chief, the other two on either side, per bend, points in chief.

    Notes: The arrangement of daggers is similar to the arms of Vigures, of Launceston, Cornwall, but inverted; the plate has been pierced on each side for fixing to the back of the fireplace; the dagger may be of German design.

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

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

    Museum number: 896.1901 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

    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).

  3. 730

    va_05.jpg
    530 x 800 mm

    Description: Rectangular; flanged fillet edging; single date stampo above a pictorial scene showing the cricifixion with members of the Holy family, soldiers and onllokers surrounding the three crosses; kinscription betlow separating a separate pictorial panel illegible through corrosion; a single letter 'I' in top right corner.

    Notes: A characteristic stove-plate of the period.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1574 I / INRI / MATTEUS AM 27 CAPITEL

    Manufactured: in 1574 possibly in the Sudeifel area of Germany.

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

    Museum number: M.126-1914 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

    Citation: Anon., 2 Dec 1905, 'Old Kent and Sussex Fire-backs', Country Life, pp. 767-768.

    Citation: Driesch, K. von den , 1990, Handbuch der Ofen-, Kamin- und Takenplatten im Rheinland (Cologne, Rheinland-Verlag).

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

  4. 735

    va_11.jpg
    740 x 630 mm

    Description: Rectangular; three birds turned to the left, their heads facing right, and their right wing extended; vine pattern strips, one horizontal along the top, 14, of varied length, vertically across the rest of the fireback; seven ‘pineapple’ shapes with criss-cross markings, arranged in three groups — 3-1-3 — adjacent to the birds.

    Notes: The same vine strips are found on several firebacks, including some of the ‘Anne Forster’ series; the birds are also seen on a number of firebacks; the ‘pineapple’ shapes may be the same as those on the ‘Anne Forster’ graveslab in Crowhurst church, Surrey. John Starkie Gardner and later writers attributed the birds to an association with the Fowle family; this is unlikely to be correct as the Fowles came to prominence in the iron industry towards the end of the sixteenth century and had their own distinctive decorative emblems. Formerly in the collection of Lady Dorothy Nevill.

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

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

    Museum number: M.120-1914 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

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

    Citation: Faraday, L., Feb 1939, 'Sussex Firebacks in the Victoria and Albert Museum', Sussex County Magazine, 13, 2, pp. 100-103.

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

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

    Citation: Straker, E., 1931, Wealden Iron (London, Bell)

  5. 743

    va_19.jpg
    810 x 600 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; ovolo moulded edging; Tudor royal shield, garter, crown, motto and supporters (crowned lion and dragon), temp. Elizabeth I; the top of the lion's crown and the dragon's ear overlap the edging.

    Notes: Another version has a rose and portcullis either side of the crown, and the top of the lion's crown and the dragon's ear do not overlap the edging; a faint blank rectangular stamp on each side of the crown may have been to hide initials, which have been noted on a variant of this fireback.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: [Garter] HONI SOIT QVI MAL E PENSE / [motto] DIEV ET MON DROIT

    Arms: Tudor royal

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

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

    Museum number: 794.1896 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

  6. 745

    va_21.jpg
    530 x 1160 mm

    Description: Rectangular; flanged edging; two panels, each with fillet edging; upper panel, two shields, each with helm and crest, between narrow twisted columns, with tracery above and a twisted horizontal pole on top; lower panel, same shields and twisted columns with a crossed vine design above and the same pole on top.

    Notes: Probably arms of locksmiths' and masons' guilds.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century in Germany.

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

    Museum number: M.12-1940 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

  7. 754

    va_30.jpg
    540 x 745 mm

    Description: Rectangular; flanged edging; two panels at top, each with double astragal edging, containing the figures of St James and St Peter; plain panel below with same dging; bottom panel with fillet edging containing carved stamps of scrolled foliage and beasts.

    Notes: Carved religious figures are common on stove-plates.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century possibly in the Eifel area of Germany.

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

    Museum number: M.334-1940 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

  8. 776

    va_51.jpg
    470 x 540 mm

    Description: Stove-plate; poss. fragment; rectangular; flanged edging on top and sides; pictorial scene illustrating the biblical tale of Joshua and the five kings.

    Notes: Joshua 10.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century possibly in the Eifel area of Germany.

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

    Museum number: 289.1923 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

  9. 786

    westerham_quebec house 01.jpg
    1180 x 713 mm

    Description: Rectangular; edging on top and sides formed from four impressions of a length of wooden moulding approx. 600mm long, rebated at the right end, and overlapped starting on the right. Within are 14 impressions of a fleur de lys, arranged in three horizontal rows (5-4-5), carefully spaced with the middle stamp on the bottom row slightly out of line with the others. The edging does not reach the bottom of the plate, which is left plain.

    Notes: Here is the distinctive use of wooden moulding salvaged from another use, possibly furniture, the moulded end of the sections suggesting that it might have come from a corner; the style of fleur de lys is one of three encountered on firebacks in this series.

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

    Current location: Quebec House, Westerham, Kent, England.

    Museum number: NT/QUE/M/1a (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).

  10. 920

    wigmore,_chapel farm 01x.jpg
    800 x 820 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging; top centre, quartered shield between four 'imp' figures, left facing, one with right arm raised, one of each on each side; below each pair of figures, a rope cross above an inverted V in rope, with an 'imp' figure, arms lowered, below the shield; along the bottom, eight 'imp' figures, alternately arms raised and lowered.

    Notes: The 'imp' figures are common on a group of firebacks, the rope designs having a probable apotropaic significance. 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 at South Warnborough, Hampshire. The same armorial stamp is seen on at least one other fireback.

    Arms: Wriothesley (Earl of Southampton)

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

    Current location: in private hands, Wigmore, Herefordshire, England.