Firebacks

Manufactured in the late 16th century

77 results

  1. 1227

    va_60.jpg
    ?740 x ?620 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape with ovolo-moulded edging; within the collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece, a central shield of the arms of Spain: quarterly Castile and Leon, Aragon and Aragon-Sicily, with an escutcheon of Portugal; in base Austria, Burgundy ancient, Burgundy modern and Brabant with an escutcheon of Flanders impaling Tyrol; above, a crown; supporters: two golden lions rampant; below the shield, the date, 1595; above the crown, the inscription: Dominus mihi adiutor (the Lord is my helper).

    Notes: The arms of King Philip II of Spain following the unification with Portugal, as used in the Spanish Netherlands

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: DOMINVS MIHI ADIVTOR

    Arms: King Philip II of Spain (Spanish Netherlands)

    Manufactured: in 1595 possibly in the Ardennes area of Belgium.

    Current location: Science Museum, Exhibition Road, Kensington & Chelsea, London, England.

    Museum number: M.624.1926 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

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

  2. 1063

    va_e4376-2000.jpg
    ~790 x ~745 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 circular motifs comprising concentric rings deepening towards the centre.

    Notes: ‘Knot’ patterns were popular in gardens of the period. The garden theme is continued with the side panels. An example of the same design, noted at Linchmere, West Sussex, is a different casting, the top panel with the date and initials being slightly askew. From a photograph in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; photographed at Mapesbury House, Willesden in 1904.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1598 / IM IB

    Manufactured: in 1598 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:.

    Museum number: E.4376-2000 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

  3. 899

    warnham,_westons place 1.jpg
    850 x 620 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging; top centre, inscription panel.

    Notes: 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. In the will of John Weston, of Weston's Place, Warnham, are bequests to his kinswoman, Frances Forster, daughter of Robert Forster, and to John Forster, his godson (TNA, PROB 11/190/472); John Weston's wife was Bridget, grand-daughter 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, Framfield in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Weston's Place, Dorking Road, Warnham, West Sussex, England.

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

  4. 1041

    west_hoathly, manor house 01.jpg
    1185 x 705 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and upper three-quarters of sides); central Tudor shield, garter, crown and supporters (greyhound and lion), formed from separate stamps; date on a single stamp in top left corner.

    Notes: This is an early example of a fireback being used as a pattern, with the addition of a subsequent date. The same stamps forming the arms can also be seen on other firebacks. The extension of the lower part of the ‘3’ on the date stamp suggests that the numbers may have been fixed to the backing block, rather than the date being carved as a whole. Another variant of this fireback has the rope edging extending further down the sides.

    Inscription: 1583 / HONE SOVT qVEY MAL Y PENSE

    Arms: Tudor royal (prob. Henry VIII)

    Manufactured: in 1583 in the Weald area of England.

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

  5. 1052

    west_hoathly, old parsonage.jpg
    850 x 565 mm

    Description: Rectangular; rope edging on top and sides; central inscription panel; repeated trailing vine decoration from impressed wooden strips — one horizontal line at top, one vertical strip at each side.

    Notes: 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. Formerly at Stonelands, West Hoathly.

    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, Framfield in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: The Old Parsonage, North Lane, West Hoathly, 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.

  6. 788

    westerham,_squerryes court 02.jpg
    565 x 695 mm

    Description: Rectangular central panel bearing an anchor with coiled rope between two fleurs de lys, below which are two roses; this arrangement is repeated alongside; 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 the vertical panel repeated.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1588 / IFC

    Manufactured: in 1588 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Squerryes Court, Westerham, Kent, England.

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

  7. 798

    withyham_church a.jpg
    840 x 830 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with canted top corners; astragal-and-fillet and cavetto moulded strip on each side, angled at top; raised central square panel bearing main inscription in sans-serif characters justified to left (2s formed like Zs); irregular arrangement of small ‘serrated’ square stamps repeated 29 times in two vertical groups of 12 on each side of the inscription panel (6 on the outside, side to side, 6 on the inside, roughly corner to corner); 2 squares, side to side, below each side of the arch, above the inscription panel; 1 square at top of arch between non-matching initials.

    Notes: The inscription is the same as on the iron plate above the grave of Richard Gray in Withyham church; another fireback, said to have the same inscription, was formerly at Wolvesey Palace, Winchester, and later in Winchester Museum, but is now missing; the moulding strips are likely to have been derived from furniture. Frances Ashbie and Richard Graye's godson, Richard, the son of William Ashbie, were among the beneficiaries of Richard Graye's will and the initials, IA, on the fireback may relate to another member of that family. The fireback was noted at Sompting, near Lancing, West Sussex, in the 1820s.

    Inscription: I A / ANNO·DOMINI·1582 / THE·27·DAY·OF·· / FEBRVARYE·DYED· / RICHARDE·GRAYE / PARSON·OF· · / WYTHIHAM·

    Manufactured: in 1582 probably at Hamsell Furnace, Rotherfield in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: St Michael's church, Withyham, East Sussex, England.

    Citation: Arnold, F., 1871, 'Withyham Monumental Slab', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 23, pp. 320-1.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., Autumn 2011, 'A memorial fireback from Withyham, East Sussex', Wealden Iron Research Group Newsletter 54, p. 9.