Firebacks

Manufactured in the early 17th century

85 results

  1. 1113

    crowborough,_luxford house 04.jpg
    840 x 570 mm

    Description: Quasi-rectangular with a three-facetted arch; top centre, left hand print; around each shoulder, M W mirrored.

    Notes: The likelihood is that the M and W are formed of a double-V (virgo virginum) intended to symbolise the Virgin Mary and have an apotropaic (evil-averting) purpose. It may be of significance that hand prints seen on firebacks are always of the left hand.

    Inscription: MW WM

    Manufactured: in the early 17th century possibly in the Weald area of England.

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

  2. 268

    dawson_04.jpg
    ~730 x ~740 mm

    Description: Rectangular; cavetto moulded edging; shield, garter, coronet, helm, crest, supporters and motto of Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham.

    Notes: The arms are those of George Villiers (1592-1628), created Duke of Buckingham in 1623. Blazon: Quarterly 1, Villiers (modern) - argent, on a cross gules five scallops or; 2, Villiers (ancient) - sable, a fess between three cinquefoils argent; 3, Pakeman - gules, a chevron between three crosses botonnee fitchee argent; 4, Bellers - per pale gules and sable, a lion rampant argent crowned or; 5, Hoby - azure, a bend between six mullets argent; 6, Kirkby - argent, a cross between two annulets vert.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: HONI SOIT QVY MAL Y PENSE / FIDEI COTICULA CRUX [The cross is the touchstone of faith]

    Arms: George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham

    Manufactured: in the early 17th century in England.

    Current location:.

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

  3. 1012

    east_preston, bay tree cottage (country life 1959) 762x533.jpg
    762 x 533 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle with twisted rope edging (top and sides); rope line separating rectangle from trapezoidal section, which is, in turn, separated by rope lines into a central rectangle containing a rebated lozenge stamp beneath the date (reversed), and two mirrored triangles each containing what appear to be mirrored stamps of a bird, possibly a partridge, and an initial; both the initials and the date are reversed.

    Notes: Reversal of numerals and letters is not uncommon on firebacks.

    Inscription: E or F 16 04 C

    Manufactured: in 1604 possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:.

    Citation: Eschbaecher, J., 22 Jan 1959, 'Why in reverse?' [letter], Country Life, p. 153.

  4. 967

    ellesmere_01a.jpg
    ~890 x ~638 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; twisted rope edging; central shield, garter, supporters, motto and crown; date in arch; initials 'I R' (Iacobus Rex) separated by crown; initials 'R T' separated by supporters, and level with other initials; fleur-de-lys stamp repeated 16 times, one each side of date, two on each shoulder of plate, five down each side.

    Notes: A naively carved armorial of James I (VI of Scotland). The initials 'RT' are likely to be those of the person who commissioned the fireback. A fireback with an identical armorial, supporters and royal initials, dated 1633, was recorded by Alfred Watkins at Fawley Court, Brockhampton, Herefordshire, before 1918 (but now no longer in situ).

    Inscription: 1611 / R I R T / HONY SOIT QVI MAL Y PENSE / [motto illegible]

    Arms: English Stuart royal

    Manufactured: in 1611 in England.

    Current location: Ellesmere, Shropshire, England.

  5. 941

    fawley_court  01.jpg
    914 x 762 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; scalloping within wide fillet edging; shield, helm, crest and mantling; date split either side of armorial

    Notes: The arms are of Kyrle (vert, a chevron between three fleurs de lys or; crest: on a mount vert a hedgehog or) of Much Marcle, Herefordshire, quartered with ?Abrahall (azure three hedgehogs or, though differenced by a fess) and another identified arms. The second part of the date appears to have been altered by hand for the present casting as the style of lettering for the final two numerals is crude compared with the first two. Sir John Kyrle may have operated the iron furnace at Whitchurch, between Monmouth and Ross on Wye; the style of the carving is the same as on two other firebacks in the same county. It is apparent, from another example, that this fireback has either been broken and repaired, or deliberately reduced in height. Originally the mantling of the helm extended further down, ending in tassels on each side, making the height of the fireback approximately equal to its width. An early photograph of the Fawley fireback, taken by Alfred Watkins, the Herefordshire antiquarian, shows the division of the two parts more clearly (Herefordshire Record Office, AW339b). A copy of the original, un-reduced fireback has been noted with the date 1685 in the distinctive numerals also seen on firebacks from Flaxley Furnace, Gloucestershire.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 20

    Arms: Kyrle quartering Abrahall and another

    Manufactured: in 1620 possibly at Whitchurch furnace in the Herefordshire area of England.

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

    Citation: Second Field Meeting 25th June 1918, Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club, 1918, p. xvi.

  6. 297

    gainsborough,_old hall 02 (1889).jpg
    620 x 881 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; wide fillet edging with alternate bead and pellet on top and sides, the pellets rotated over the arch where they are separated in triplets by blocks; shield, helm, crest and mantling of Sanderson, with a strapwork compartment at the bottom; initials split by wreath; date split by crest.

    Notes: The arms are probably those of Thomas Sanderson of Gainsborough (c.1568- before 1642).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 19 / T S

    Arms: Thomas Sanderson of Gainsborough

    Manufactured: in 1619 in England.

    Current location: Gainsborough Old Hall, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, England.

    Citation: The Building News, Vol LVII, no. 1817, Nov. 1 1889, p. 586-8.

  7. 949

    gardner,_beecroft gallery 01.jpg
    ~900 x ~450 mm

    Description: Rectangular; low-relief moulded edging along top, then down sides; double-looped 'lens' pattern stamp repeated six times across the top, inside the edging and, rotated, three times down each side; becapped human figure stamp, with his left arm raised to his head and his right arm akimbo, repeated in each top corner; between these, 'IE' monogram with continuous loop between the letters repeated five times, two in line above and three below, the centre one slightly raised; the date between the top two; a lifting handle on each side.

    Notes: Said to have been at Horsham, Sussex; on another fireback, at Upper Beeding in Sussex, cast with the same stamps, and also dated 1617, the monogram stamp is clearly carved on a 'renaissance' shield, indicating that in this instance the stamps were not impressed as deeply. Drawing by J. Lewis André in the J. Starkie Gardner Collection, Victoria & Albert Museum, Archive of Art and Design (AAD/2014/8). Possibly the fireback referred to by Lewis André in 1882 as belonging to a Miss Alman, of East Street, Horsham (Sussex Archaeological Collections XXXII, p.76).

    Inscription: IE 1617 IE / IE IE IE

    Manufactured: in 1617 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:.

  8. 70

    godalming_museum 01.jpg
    730 x 490 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; simulated twisted rope edging (top & sides); symmetrical arrangement of fleurs de lys (two types - 2 and 1), diamond shapes (2) and cross-cut squares (4) includes the monogram in which the letters I and F are separated by a small, hollow diamond stamp, the M being above; interspersed symmetrical arrangement of raised spots (8).

    Notes: The initials, as with other triple-lettered forms, in which the middle letter is set apart from the other two, may relate to a married couple where their surname initial is M.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1613 / M / I F

    Manufactured: in 1613 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Godalming Museum, Godalming, Surrey, England.

    Museum number: B980.400 (part of the Godalming Museum museum group)

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

  9. 74

    groombridge,_bird in hand st 02.jpg
    550 x 580 mm

    Description: Rectangle with flattened ogee arch; ovolo, simulated rope edging; shield, garter, helm, mantling, crown and supporters (crowned lion and unicorn) of the English royal house of Stuart; motto across base

    Notes: A variation of a type, dated 1618, noted at Burwash, Sussex.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: DIEU ET MON DROIT

    Arms: English Stuart royal

    Manufactured: in the early 17th century possibly in the Weald area of England.

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

  10. 882

    hampstead,_124 heath street (nmr).jpg
    730 x ?485 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; simulated twisted rope edging (top & sides); symmetrical triad arrangement of fleurs de lys (two types - 2 and 1), diamond shapes (2) and cross-cut squares (4) includes the monogram in which the letters I and F are separated by a small, hollow diamond stamp, the M being above between I and reversed B; interspersed symmetrical arrangement of raised spots (8).

    Notes: The initials, as with other triple-lettered forms, in which the middle letter is set apart from the other two, may relate to a married couple where their surname initial is M; a variant of the more common version but with additional letters separately stamped. Full-scale pencil drawing (anon.) in Historic England Record Centre, Swindon, Wiltshire (MD96/06202) of a fireback originally at 124 Heath Street (formerly the Upper Flask Tavern), Hampstead, London.

    Inscription: 1613 / I M B / I F

    Manufactured: in 1613 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:.

    Museum number: MD96/06202 (part of the English Heritage museum group)