Firebacks

Manufactured in the late 16th century

77 results

  1. 472

    lower_2a.jpg
    ~910 x ~675 mm

    Description: Rectangular with central triangular arch; twisted rope edging (top and sides); in arch, on top, a small cross with fleur terminals, above a rose and crown with dragon and lion supporters, above two crowned shields each bearing a small fleur-de-lys; text across top half, split by the crowned shields, each word separated by two fleur terminals; across the lower part, four crowned shields each with a fleur-de-lys; fleur crosses at ends of first and third lines; bottom left, ‘I’; bottom right, ‘A’.

    Notes: No record of Thomas Unstead or his wife has been found, to date; illustrated in Lower, 1849 p. 189; formerly at Misfield [Miswell], Worth, Sussex. One of a series of distinctive firebacks cast in 1582, most with inscriptions relating to pairs of individuals; the initials IA may be of the founder as they appear in the same arrangement on other firebacks.

    Inscription: THOMAS VNSTE / ADIS : FILD AND DINIS / HIS : WIF: ANO : DOMINO: / 1582 / I A

    Manufactured: in 1582 possibly at Pounsley Furnace, Framfield in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:.

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

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

  2. 473

    lower_4a.jpg
    ~857 x ~680 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides); in arch; rose and crown with dragon and lion supporters, above a fleur cross and a crowned shield bearing a small fleur-de-lys; text across top half, each word separated by two fleur terminals; lower left and right, twice repeated eight-pointed star design formed of twisted rope with fleur-de-lys terminals; bottom left, ‘I’; bottom right, ‘A’.

    Notes: A James Hide married Joan Blackefane at Horley, Surrey on 11th October 1579; illustrated in Lower, 1849 p. 217, when it was at Sutton Hurst, Barcombe, Sussex (still there in 1893). One of a series of distinctive firebacks cast in 1582, most with inscriptions relating to pairs of individuals; the initials IA may be of the founder as they appear in the same arrangement on other firebacks.

    Inscription: THES : IS FOR IAMES : / HIDE : AND : ION : HIS : WIF [W inverted] / 1582 / I A

    Manufactured: in 1582 possibly at Pounsley Furnace, Framfield in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:.

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

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

  3. 475

    lynchmere,_shulbrede 03.jpg
    795 x 750 mm

    Description: Composite of three elements; central panel has a complex ‘knot’ pattern with a fillet edge; side panel, repeated on either side of the central panel, contains a vase of flowers, possibly stylised thistles, within an arched frame and fillet edge; arched panel above, also with fillet edge, contains the date and inscription; the spandrels of the side panels, and the arched top panel, contain a series of 'bullseye' motifs comprising concentric rings deepening towards the centre.

    Notes: One of an unusual series formed from separate panels arranged, in this instance, with the outer panel repeated.‘Knot’ patterns were popular in gardens of the period. The garden theme is continued with the side panels. A version of the same design, recorded in a photograph of 1904 at Willesden, London, is a different casting, the top panel with the date and initials, being straight not slightly askew as in this example.

    Inscription: 1598 / IM IB

    Manufactured: in 1598 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Linchmere, West Sussex, England.

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

  4. 482

    maresfield,_putmans farm 02.jpg
    673 x 584 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; rope edging (top and sides); Tudor royal shield, garter, crown and supporters (crowned lion and dragon); date split by crown; lower right, initial formed of twisted rope with fleur-de-lys terminals; small fleur-de-lys stamp repeated 14 times across top edge and arch; fleur-de-lys cross repeated six times across lower part of plate.

    Notes: Identical arms can be seen on at least two other firebacks; minor variations in the position of individual elements indicate that the garter and shield, crown, and each supporter were separately stamped. The lack of definition in the decoration suggests that this is a recast plate.

    Inscription: 1595 / I H

    Arms: Tudor royal - Elizabeth I

    Manufactured: in 1595 possibly at Pounsley Furnace, Framfield in the Weald area of England.

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

  5. 672

    mayfield,_middle house.jpg
    613 x 455 mm

    Description: Rectangular with pediment; ovolo moulded edging inside top of pediment and inside top and sides of rectangle; central talbot crest within wreath and eight-pointed star, between four fleurs-de-lys.

    Notes: The wreath and talbot crest are identical to those on a 1584 fireback in the Victoria & Albert Museum; one of the ‘Royal’ series.

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

    Current location: Middle House Hotel, High Street, Mayfield, East Sussex, England.

  6. 822

    mayfield,_yeomans.jpg
    1030 x 680 mm

    Description: Repeated rectangular panels each bearing an anchor with coiled rope between two fleurs de lys, below which are two roses and a grape bunch beneath; the two rectangular side panels each comprise a vertical stem with six grape bunches surmounted by a smaller bunch; above, a semicircular arch contains the initials between two roses as in the central panel, with the date above; where the arch meets the central panel there is an arc across each corner; the top and sides panels are edged with simulated twisted rope.

    Notes: One of an unusual series formed from separate panels arranged, in this instance, with each vertical panel repeated.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1588 / IFC

    Manufactured: in 1588 in the Weald area of England.

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

  7. 1222

    northiam,_great_dixter_1170x770.jpg
    1170 x 770 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; no edging; symmetrical arrangement of four stamps: across the top, three crowned roses with a fleur-de-lys between each pair; across the middle, three fleurs-de-lys with a chained portcullis between each pair; below and in the spaces between the fleurs and portcullises, four letters W.

    Notes: The letter W may have an apotropaic significance; the stamps have not been recorded on other firebacks.

    Inscription: W W W W

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

    Current location: Great Dixter, Northiam, East Sussex, England.

    Citation: Easton, T. & Hodgkinson, J. S., 2013, 'Apotropaic Symbols on Cast-Iron Firebacks', Jnl. of the Antique Metalware Soc., 21, pp. 14-33.

  8. 559

    pet-m-53.jpg
    715 x 450 mm

    Description: Arched rectangle with crude scalloping around the edges; elaborate strapwork frame, a bunch of grapes hanging from the top, and the head and forelegs of a goat climbing through.

    Notes: The strapwork, a distinctive feature of Elizabethan design, was probably derived from redundant furniture. Marks round the edge of this fireback suggest that it may have been reduced from a larger size.

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

    Current location: Petworth House, Petworth, West Sussex, England.

    Museum number: NT/PET/M/53 (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).

  9. 604

    ripley_013.jpg
    1200 x 900 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular with curved shoulders; cavetto-moulded edging (top and sides) with twin scrolls on inside corners, and scalloped bottom edge; armorial; shield (32 quarters), mantling, supporters (bull and crowned lion), coronet, motto, 2 helms and crests (a bear’s head erased and ducally gorged, and a bear and ragged staff).

    Notes: The impaled arms appear to be those of the Earldom of Huntingdon. The crests are of Hastings and Dudley, suggesting they are of Henry, 3rd Earl (c.1535-95), and his wife, Katherine (1548-1620), daughter of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. She was a child when they married in 1553. This is an incomplete casting, the full version of which includes a bottom panel with a repeated guilloche design.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: IN VERITATE VICTORIA (illegible, but verified on other castings)

    Arms: Hastings, earl of Huntingdon, impaling Dudley

    Manufactured: in the late 16th century in England.

    Current location:.

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

  10. 1015

    rogate,_fyning manor.jpg
    1760 x 940 mm

    Description: Rectangular with two-stepped top; twisted rope edging (top and sides); twisted rope extensions enclosing intermediate step with rope continued parallel to sides; central rope octagram with reversed date above between repeated inverted shield shapes off-set (left higher than right); the shield blazon: barry wavy impaling quarterly, overlaid with a small bird stamp and an indistinct ?bird shape in the top left quarter as viewed; within the rope, a roughly parallel arrangement of 23 double-loop-patterned stamps, with the faint impression of an additional stamp in the top right corner of the arrangement; outside the loop stamps and partially overlying the vertical rope extensions, the impressions of two classically designed firedogs with Ionic capitals and fluted pilasters, bearing the date 1594, but with the '1' missing; the fluting on the pilasters has been overlaid by the repeated impression of a turned peg.

    Notes: A large and remarkably elaborate fireback: the octagram, a device seen as uncommonly on continental firebacks as on English ones, suggests an apotropaic purpose; the impression of the firedogs was clearly made after the laying of the rope lengths and impressed less deeply as the rope impression has not been obliterated by the firedog on the left side. A fireback with the same loop stamps bears the same date using the same numerals but impressed the correct way round. Currently obscured behind a wood stove.

    Inscription: 4951 [5 reversed] / 594 594

    Manufactured: in 1594 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Fyning Manor, Rogate, West Sussex, England.