Firebacks

Manufactured in the late 16th century

72 results

  1. 12

    ardingly_church.jpg
    >730 x 692 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging on top and sides; inscription panel with repeated trailing vine decoration from impressed wooden strips — one horizontal line at top, one vertical strip on right side (missing but probably repeated on left), at least ten short vertical strips below inscription.

    Notes: Formerly at Fulling Mill Cottages, and possibly formerly at Wakehurst Place, Ardingly; it was moved to Ardingly church sometime after 1915. The inscription panel is identical to that on the memorial plate to Anne Forster in Crowhurst church, Surrey; at least ten other firebacks are known with the same inscription panel. Edward Culpeper (1561-1630), of Wakehurst, was fourth cousin, once removed, of Anne Forster.

    Inscription: HER : LIETH : ANE : FORST/ R : DAVGHTER : AND : / HEYR : TO : THOMAS : / GAYNSFORD : ESQVIER / DECEASED : XVIII : OF: / IANVARI : 1591 : LEAVYNG / BEHIND : HER II : SONES : / AND : V : DAVGHTERS

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

    Current location: St Peter's Church, Church Lane, Ardingly, West Sussex, England.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2018, 'The Anne Forster Firebacks', Surrey Archaeological Collections, 101, 99-114.

    Citation: Holgate, M. S., 1918, 'The Anne Forster Grave Slab', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 59, pp. 130-1.

    Citation: Holgate, M. S., n.d., The Parish Church of St Peter, Ardingly: Historical and Architectural Notes

  2. 349

    baines_01.jpg
    774 x 628 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; ovolo-moulded edging; Tudor royal shield, garter, crown, motto and supporters (crowned lion and dragon); Tudor rose to right of lion’s head, portcullis to left of dragon’s head; temp. Elizabeth I.

    Notes: Three versions of this fireback are known, with differing edging and one without the rose and portcullis. Illustration from book.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

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

    Arms: Tudor royal

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

    Current location:.

    Citation: Manwaring Baines, J., 1958, Wealden Firebacks (Hastings Museum)

  3. 200

    baynards_park 01 jpg.jpg
    ?1870 x ?1020 mm

    Description: Composite; rectangular with semi-circular arches in middle (large) and ends (small) of top edge; rope on all edges except bottom; central panel effectively comprises an arched fireback form with Tudor royal arms (temp. Elizabeth I) with date above, and, below, letters G M, made from rope with fleur de lys terminals between two coronets surmounted by lions; below this are fronds with roses. On either side of this panel are placed the Anne Forster inscription panels; above each of these is a rose and crown with lion and dragon supporters, beneath which are three fleurs de lys. Along the base of the inscription panels and the central panel are single rows of ‘pineapple’ shapes, beneath which are repeated trailing vine decoration from impressed wooden strips across the entire width of the fireback; 35 in all.

    Notes: Formerly at Baynard's Park, Ewhurst, Surrey; GM probably refers to Sir George More, who built Baynards Park after buying the estate in 1587, and who moved to Loseley in 1604. The central coat of arms has been noted on two other firebacks, dated 1588 and 1595. The rose and crown stamps have been noted on a fireback in Haslemere Museum, and on examples illustrated by Lower (all of which bear the date 1582 and the initials IA). The association of these stamps and the particular form of rope lettering, with the Anne Forster inscription and the ‘pineapple’ shapes, both of which have been linked with other stamps from Pounsley furnace, suggests that they, too, were part of the stock of those works.

    Inscription: 15 93 / GM / HER : LIETH : ANE : FORST/ R : DAVGHTER : AND : / HEYR : TO : THOMAS : / GAYNSFORD : ESQVIER / DECEASED : XVIII : OF: / IANVARI : 1591 : LEAVYNG / BEHIND : HER II : SONES : / AND : V : DAVGHTERS [twice]

    Arms: Tudor royal

    Manufactured: in 1593 possibly at Pounsley furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2018, 'The Anne Forster Firebacks', Surrey Archaeological Collections, 101, 99-114.

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

    Citation: Manning, O. and Bray, W., 1809, History of Surrey Vol. II (London, John White), p. 369n.

  4. 18

    billingshurst,_six bells.jpg
    850 x 590 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging; otherwise plain plate with inscription panel centre top.

    Notes: Inscription panel identical to that on the memorial plate to Anne Forster in Crowhurst church, Surrey. At least ten other firebacks are known with the same inscription panel.

    Inscription: HER : LIETH : ANE : FORST/ R : DAVGHTER : AND : / HEYR : TO : THOMAS : / GAYNSFORD : ESQVIER / DECEASED : XVIII : OF: / IANVARI : 1591 : LEAVYNG / BEHIND : HER II : SONES : / AND : V : DAVGHTERS

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

    Current location: The Six Bells Inn, High Street, Billingshurst, West Sussex, England.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2018, 'The Anne Forster Firebacks', Surrey Archaeological Collections, 101, 99-114.

  5. 205

    bonhams,_chester, lot 567 8 sep 09 650x720.jpg
    650 x 720 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; simulated rectangular chain link moulded border, with bead edging inside (top and sides); Tudor royal shield surrounded by circular inscription with fillet edging; above, an English royal crown.

    Notes: The unconventionality of the motto may indicate a particular purpose, e.g. thanksgiving; the edging is not known on other firebacks. Bonhams sale, Chester, 8-9 September 2009, lot 567.

    Inscription: VIVAT·REGIN··A·DIV·:·PA CE [Long live the Queen ... peace]

    Arms: Tudor royal

    Manufactured: in the late 16th century in England.

    Current location:.

  6. 812

    bridgewater_collection 07.jpg
    ? x ? mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; twisted rope edging (top and sides); divided by rope lengths into four panels: centre top, square; centre bottom, trapezium; sides, irregular hexagons; buckle stamp repeated three times, in bottom and side panels; top centre panel, circular flower stamp with fleur de lys on each petal.

    Notes: The buckle stamps suggest a connection with the Pelham family; illustrated in Butterfield 1916, where it was stated to have been in a house at Herstmonceux, Sussex..

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

    Current location:.

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

  7. 826

    burwash,_little broadhurst farm.jpg
    910 x 655 mm

    Description: Canted rectangular shape with moulded edging (top and sides) overlain by a length of twisted rope repeated six times; central vertical line formed of twisted rope, crossed with rope upper centre, with rope laid in a diamond pattern around the cross; lower centre, two irregular v-shapes formed of rope, one on each side of the vertical; shield shaped stamp with a fleur de lys repeated twice each side, upper left and right.

    Notes: The twin V arrangement may have apotropaic significance and the cross above them having a Christian symbolism; the base board appears to have had a moulded edge, with rope lengths applied over part of the moulding after the board had been pressed into the casting bed; a sketch of this fireback was made by J. Starkie Gardner c.1891 and is in his collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Archive of Art and Design (AAD/2014/8).

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

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

  8. 247

    chawton_house 01.jpg
    1185 x 870 mm

    Description: A modified recasting of a variant of the ‘Armada’ fireback, with changed initials, a single anchor panel, and the addition of plain base and borders, the latter each with a twisted rope saltire, upper middle.

    Notes: It is likely that an original four-panel fireback has been used to recast a copy with additional side and base panels. A second fireback at the house, identical but for being 1% smaller all round, has a full-width extension on top bearing four symmetrical rope saltires, the outer two larger than the inner two; the saltires may have apotropaic significance. The reduction in size of the common elements due to shrinkage suggests the first example was used to make the second. It is alleged that John Knight, who built Chawton House, was rewarded with a fireback for contributing £50 to the Crown at the time of the Armada emergency; given that a great many of the gentry and aristocracy made similar contributions, this story is improbable. It seems likely that this putative original was used to make these two subsequent copies.

    Inscription: 1588 / IK

    Manufactured: in 1588 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Chawton House, Chawton, Hampshire, England.

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

  9. 260

    chiddingstone,_pilbeams.jpg
    1060 x 760 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular shape, with 5-facetted arch; cyma recta moulded edge; oval Tudor royal shield on a cartouche surrounded by a garter, a crown above separating the initials, ER, all on a larger cartouche; on either side a circular Tudor royal shield within a garter, with a crown above each.

    Notes: The word ‘PENSE’ in the garter mottoes is differently spelled on the central stamp — ‘PENCE’ - and the outer stamps — ‘PANSE’ (where the ‘N’ is reversed). The (outer) stamp has been noted above. Three horizontal planklines on central cartouche.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: ER [and Garter mottoes]

    Arms: Tudor royal

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

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

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

    Citation: Schubert, H. R., 1950, 'A Rare Group of Wealden Firebacks', Journal of the Iron & Steel Institute, 165, pp. 39-40.

  10. 1110

    crowborough,_luxford house 01.jpg
    >685 x 615 mm

    Description: Fragment; canted rectangular shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides); top right (i.e. probably top centre), unidentified (possibly inverted) ornamental capital letter 'T'; top left, a triple-loop fleur stamp; between, rose and crown.

    Notes: Probably slightly more than half of the original fireback, with stamps also seen on another, commonly copied, fireback. It might reasonably supposed that the missing half may have also included an ornamental letter, companion to the surviving example. Formerly at Bentley, Halland, Sussex.

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

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

    Citation: Fitt, H. F., 1931, 'Queries: Sussex Iron, II', Sussex Notes and Queries, 3, 8, p. 255.