Firebacks

Manufactured in the early 17th century

93 results

  1. 608

    ripley_017.jpg
    600 x 470 mm

    Description: Rectangular; ovolo-moulded edging (top and sides); shield of the Worshipful Company of Masons: Sable, on a chevron, engrailed argent between 3 castles of the second, with doors and windows of the field, a pair of compasses extended of the first; above, the letter ‘C’, the letters ‘H’ and ‘M’ split by the shield.

    Notes: The arms of the Masons’ Company were granted in 1473. Sold at Christie's Masters and Maker auction, 30 November 2010, lot 523 (£500).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: HCM [triad]

    Arms: Worshipful Company of Masons

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

    Current location:, not known.

  2. 614

    ripley_026.jpg
    730 x 510 mm

    Description: Rectangular; cavetto-moulded edging; English royal Stuart shield, garter, crown, crowned lion and unicorn supporters, and motto; initials split by crown.

    Notes: A bold, well-sculpted pattern.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: I R / HONI SOIT QVI MAL Y PENSE / DIEU ET MON DROIT

    Arms: English Stuart royal - James I

    Manufactured: in the early 17th century in England.

    Current location: Mark Ripley Forge & Fireplaces, Northbridge Street, Robertsbridge, East Sussex, England.

  3. 643

    ripley_063.jpg
    945 x 570 mm

    Description: Rectangular, with canted top corners; twisted rope edging (top and sides only); eight shields of Ayloffe impaling Sulyard in three rows, 3-2-3; Ayloffe: sable, a lion rampant Or, collared gules, between three crosses formy of the second; Sulyard: argent, a chevron gules between three pheons inverted sable.

    Notes: William Ayloffe (c1535-1584) of Hornchurch, Essex, Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench, married (c1560) Jane, dau. of Sir Eustace Sulyard, of Runwell, Essex. Christie's Masters and Makers Sale, South Kensington, 30 Nov 2010, lot 518 (£1,000).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Arms: Ayloffe impaling Sulyard (William Ayloffe of Bretons, Hornchurch)

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

    Current location:, not known.

    Citation: Cowper, H. S., 1911, 'A Series of Kentish Heraldic Firebacks and the Identification of the Arms', Archaeologia Cantiana, 29, pp. 40-6.

  4. 1265

    ripley_070.jpg
    660 x 520 mm

    Description: Canted rectangular shape; ?fillet edging; eight fleurs-de-lys (4 and 4) equally spaced and divided by vertical and horizontal fillets, the middle vertical over-stamped at the top with the numerals.

    Notes: Only poor quality castings have been noted of this design, with different dates.

    Inscription: 16[?]1

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

    Current location: Ripley Forge and Fireplaces, North Street, Robertsbridge, Salehurst, East Sussex, England.

  5. 663

    rolvenden,_maplesden.jpg
    1185 x 760 mm

    Description: Rectangular, with canted top corners; twisted rope edging (top and sides only); nine shields of Ayloffe impaling Sulyard in two rows, 5-4; two parallel vertical cuts for the insertion of firedogs.

    Notes: Ayloffe: sable, a lion rampant Or, collared gules, between three crosses formy of the second; Sulyard: argent, a chevron gules between three pheons inverted sable. William Ayloffe (c1535-1584) of Hornchurch, Essex, Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench, married (c1560) Jane, dau. of Sir Eustace Sulyard, of Runwell, Essex. There is a large number of variants using the same shields.

    Arms: Ayloffe impaling Sulyard (William Ayloffe of Bretons, Hornchurch)

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

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

    Citation: Cowper, H. S., 1911, 'A Series of Kentish Heraldic Firebacks and the Identification of the Arms', Archaeologia Cantiana, 29, pp. 40-6.

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

  6. 665

    rolvenden,_rawlinson house 03.jpg
    1530 x 750 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (probably on on top and sides only); cavetto-moulded-edged rectangle top centre, enclosing date between initials; 14 shields of Ayloffe impaling Sulyard in three rows (5-4-5).

    Notes: Ayloffe: sable, a lion rampant Or, collared gules, between three crosses formy of the second; Sulyard: argent, a chevron gules between three pheons inverted sable. William Ayloffe (c1535-1584) of Hornchurch, Essex, Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench, married (c1560) Jane, dau. of Sir Eustace Sulyard, of Runwell, Essex. There is a large number of variants using the same shields. The bottom part of the fireback is obscured in the photograph. The initials 'CT' are likely to be those of Charles Tyler, a founder whose working life and that of his family have strong parallels with the occurrence of these firebacks.

    Inscription: C.1.6.0.3.T

    Arms: Ayloffe impaling Sulyard (William Ayloffe of Bretons, Hornchurch)

    Manufactured: in 1603 possibly at Bedgebury Furnace, Goudhurst in the Weald area of England.

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

    Citation: Cowper, H. S., 1911, 'A Series of Kentish Heraldic Firebacks and the Identification of the Arms', Archaeologia Cantiana, 29, pp. 40-6.

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

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2018, 'A series of Kentish firebacks and the possible identification of their founder', Archaeologia Cantiana, 139, pp. 312-15.

  7. 892

    sothebys_08-11-06 1910mm x 590mm.jpg
    910 x 590 mm

    Description: Canted rectangular shape; plain edging with inset ?leather strap twisted round dowel (top and sides); top centre, date probably in stamped numerals; twisted leather strap saltire repeated three times across middle of plate; pair of stamped initials, formed of a Roman 'W' and a Gothic 'd', above each outer saltire.

    Notes: Sotheby's sale London 27 November 2006, lot 324; formerly at Brunger, Kent (near Tenterden).

    Inscription: 1610 / WD WD

    Manufactured: in 1610 in England.

    Current location: not known.

  8. 959

    staveley_hall.jpg
    ~914 x ~866 mm

    Description: Arched shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides); top centre, shield of impaled arms; date above shield; initials, in triad ('F above), to right of shield.

    Notes: The arms are of Sir Peter Frecheville (1575-1634) of Staveley Hall, Derbyshire, and his first wife, Joyce Osborne, née Fleetwood (d.1619), whom he had married in the year of the fireback's casting; the blazon is as follows: (Frecheville) Azure, a bend between six escallops argent; (Fleetwood) Per pale nebuly or and azure, six martlets, two, two and two counterchanged (the tinctures, as painted, are incorrect). At the bottom of the fireback there appears to be the remains of a runner by which the molten iron flowed into the sand mould.

    Inscription: 1605 / PFI [triad]

    Arms: Frecheville impaling Fleetwood

    Manufactured: in 1605 probably at Staveley Furnace in the Derbyshire area of England.

    Current location: Staveley Hall, Staveley Hall Drive, Staveley, Derbyshire, England.

  9. 695

    stratford,_nashs house 02.jpg
    ? x ? mm

    Description: Rectangular; fillet edging (top and sides only); top centre, date formed of individual letter stamps; below date, initials carved as single stamp, overstamped and showing v-shaped extension below.

    Notes: The reason for the unusual shape of the base of the initial stamp is not understood.

    Inscription: 1616 / WC

    Manufactured: in 1616 in England.

    Current location: Nash's House, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England.

    (part of the Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust museum group)

  10. 697

    stroud_museum 01.jpg
    605 x 480 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; embattled, cavetto moulded edging; central tree with fruit and leaves, a snake, facing right, with a human face in profile entwined, in ‘S’ shape, around the trunk and lower branches; to the left, a naked, bearded male figure holding an apple in his left hand and a branch in his right for modesty; to the right a naked female figure with apple and branch also; the date split either side of the snake and tree trunk.

    Notes: Similarities with an armorial in the date, numerals and edging suggest a common pattern-maker.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 19

    Manufactured: in 1619 in England.

    Current location: Stroud District Museum, Stroud, Gloucestershire, England.

    Museum number: STGC 2371 (part of the Stroud Museum museum group)

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