Firebacks

Manufactured in the early 17th century

85 results

  1. 975

    llanmihangel,_plas llanmihangel.jpg
    ? x ? mm

    Description: Arched shape; double-fillet edged arched border, with six evenly-spaced roses, resting on pilasters; shield, supporters, garter and coronet of the Earl of Exeter; plain rectangular bottom panel.

    Notes: The arms are of the earldom of Exeter, which was created in 1605 for Thomas Cecil, 2nd Lord Burghley (1542-1623).

    Inscription: HONY SOIT QVI MAL Y PENSE [illegible]

    Arms: Cecil, Earls of Exeter

    Manufactured: in the early 17th century in Wales.

    Current location: Plas Llanmihangel, Llanmihangel, Glamorgan, Wales.

    Museum number: GL 7628 (part of the National Monuments Record of Wales museum group)

    Citation: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, 1981, An Inventory of Ancient Monuments of Glamorgan Vol IV Part 1: Domestic Architecture from the Reformation to the Industrial Revolution: the Greater Houses (Cardiff, HMSO).

  2. 471

    lodsworth,_blackdown house 01.jpg
    1170 x 865 mm

    Description: Rectangular with small central triangle on top; twisted rope edging (top and sides) and across base of triangle; top centre, date, centrally positioned above the separated pairs of initials, WY; right of centre, initial X; bottom centre, a hole apparently puncturing the plate from behind.

    Notes: The initials are those of William Yalden (or Yaldwyn), an ironmaster who was active in north-west Sussex and south-west Surrey where this and other similar firebacks have been noted. The saltire is likely to have an apotropaic purpose. Although undoubtedly connected with the builder of the house wherein it rests, the fireback pre-dates the building, which was erected in 1640.

    Inscription: 1616 / WY WY / X

    Manufactured: in 1616 probably at Frith (Northchapel) furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

  3. 277

    london,_museum_of_london_895x875_80_271_92.jpg
    895 x 875 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular with cavetto-moulding along top, supported by Ionic pilasters; English Stuart royal shield, garter, helm, crown, motto and supporters; date below and either side of garter.

    Notes: One of several firebacks, all of the same date, but varying in size, framing style and moulding; all have stylistic features in common and will have been the work of the same pattern maker, who was also responsible for carving royal coats of arms in three West Country churches.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: I R [Jacobus Rex] / HONI SOIT QVI MAL Y PENSE / 16 18 / DIEV ET MON DROIT

    Arms: English Stuart royal (James I)

    Manufactured: in 1618 possibly in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: Museum of London, 150 London Wall, London, England.

    Museum number: 80.271/92 (part of the Museum of London museum group)

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

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2012, 'Pre-Restoration Iron Firebacks', Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, 20, pp. 2-15

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2017, 'Church Armorials and Firebacks: Evidence of an Early 17th-Century Woodcarver', Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, 135, pp. 213-223.

  4. 480

    maidstone_museum 15.jpg
    740 x 920 mm

    Description: Arched rectangle; ovolo, egg-and-dart moulded edging; shield, helm, coronet, crest and mantling; curved inscription panel below shield.

    Notes: The heraldic devices on the shield, and the form of the helm and crest suggest this may be a continental achievement of arms; the style of the fireback is, however, English.

    Inscription: indecipherable

    Manufactured: in the early 17th century in England.

    Current location: Maidstone Museum, St Faith's Street, Maidstone, Kent, England.

    (part of the Maidstone Museum museum group)

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

  5. 1036

    maidstone_museum 18.jpg
    845 x 675 mm

    Description: Canted rectangular shape; no edging; lower centre, carved pattern panel of Stuart Royal arms: shield, garter, crown, motto, supporters and initials, RI separated by crown; lion statant guardant stamp repeated five times, three across top, one each side feet to left.

    Notes: The impression of the decorative elements is irregular, with the achievement of arms under-pressed and the three lion stamps along the top over-pressed; the distinctive feature of the unicorn's horn in front of the initial R has been seen on a small number of other firebacks. From a photograph in the J. Starkie Gardner Collection, Victoria & Albert Museum, Archive of Art and Design (AAD/2014/8).

    Inscription: I R

    Arms: English Stuart royal - James I

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

    Current location: Maidstone Museum, St Faith's Street, Maidstone, Kent, England.

    (part of the Maidstone Museum museum group)

  6. 970

    maryland.jpg
    711 x 508 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; twisted rope edging; date along the top; initials in triad across the middle, inside canted rectangular rope border; fleur-de-lys stamp repeated five times down each side.

    Notes: The initials probably represent those of a married couple, the 'V' for their surname; it is relatively unusual for twisted rope edging to continue along the bottom of the plate. The back was found in Massachusetts and may have been brought there by an early colonist.

    Inscription: 1626 / MVS

    Manufactured: in 1626 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Herndon, Virginia, United States of America.

  7. 954

    much_marcle, hellens manor.jpg
    595 x 770 mm

    Description: Arched shape; patterned astragal edging; central shield with helm, crest and mantling above, and motto scroll below; initials either side of crest; date split by shield.

    Notes: The arms are those of Chamberlayne: gules, an inescutcheon within an orle of mullets argent; the crest: out of a ducal coronet the head of an ass (the tinctures vary according to the branch of the family); the initials are reputed to be those of Thomas Chamberlayne; the date appears to have been hand inscribed. The style of the carving is the same as on two other firebacks in the same county.

    Inscription: T C / 16 18 / [motto unreadable]

    Arms: Chamberlayne

    Manufactured: in 1618 possibly in the Herefordshire area of England.

    Current location: Hellens Manor, Much Marcle, Herefordshire, England.

    Citation: Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, 1932, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, Volume 2: East (London, HMSO).

  8. 502

    newick_park 03.jpg
    600 x >435 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; embattled cavetto-moulded edging; shield, garter, supporters and crown of James I of England; a branch sprouting a rose and leaf to the left of the crown, a branch sprouting a thistle and leaf to the right; initials at top, split by crown; date below shield.

    Notes: Similar in style to the 1619 series, this plate may have been designed by the same pattern-maker

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: I R / 16 21

    Arms: English Stuart royal - James I

    Manufactured: in 1621 in England.

    Current location: Newick Park Hotel, Newick, East Sussex, England.

  9. 519

    penshurst_10.jpg
    850 x 655 mm

    Description: Rectangular; Ionic pilasters at sides, architrave on top; English Stuart royal shield, garter, crown, motto and supporters; date below and either side of garter.

    Notes: One of several firebacks, all of the same date, but varying in size, framing style and moulding; all have stylistic features in common and will have been the work of the same pattern maker, who was also responsible for carving royal coats of arms in three West Country churches. A plaster cast of a fireback of this design is displayed as the royal arms in St George's church, near Abergele in north Wales.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: HONI SOIT QVI MAL Y PENSE / 16 18 / DIEV ET MON DROIT

    Arms: English Stuart royal (James I)

    Manufactured: in 1618 possibly in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: Penshurst Place, Penshurst, Kent, England.

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

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2017, 'Church Armorials and Firebacks: Evidence of an Early 17th-Century Woodcarver', Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, 135, pp. 213-223.

  10. 583

    petworth_062.jpg
    684 x 783 mm

    Description: Arch-shaped, with rounded-arched extension at top; cavetto moulded edge all round; five vertical planklines; arms of the Francis (or Franceis) family of Derbyshire: Argent a Chevron gules between three Eagles displayed of the same; Crest: an eagle displayed on a crowned knight’s helm; initials in bottom corners; date below shield.

    Notes: Probably the arms of Sir Edward Francis, who was Seneschal of the Petworth House estate and took overall charge in 1606 when the 9th Earl of Northumberland was committed to the Tower of London for his involvement in the Gunpowder Plot.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: E 1606 F

    Arms: Sir Edward Francis

    Manufactured: in 1606 probably at Frith (Northchapel) furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: NT/PET/M/41.1 (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).

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