Firebacks

John Harvo series

  1. 1288

    arc_reclamation_1060x750.jpg
    1060 x 750 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with rounded corners; ovolo within fillet moulding all round; oval Tudor royal shield with garter surrounding, topped with a royal crown; dragon and greyhound supporters; initials split by crown; inscription on a fillet between legs of supporters, behind garter finial; motto on an Ionic plinth at bottom; two rectangular side panels with twisted rope edging top and side.

    Notes: The supporters are those of Henry VII or Henry VIII, but the initials suggest the fireback dates from the reign of Edward VI (1547-53). John Harvo (d. c1565) was a gunfounder who has been identified as occupying Pounsley furnace, Framfield, Sussex, possibly from as early as 1547; the fireback may have been cast originally during the reign of Henry VIII (1509-47), with the initials added to an early casting using the original pattern. The detail on the armorial back is good, showing little wear, so the casting was probably made not long after the original armorial fireback. The rivets are modern.

    Inscription: E R / HONY SOIT QVE MAL Y PAYNCE / Made in Sussex by John Harvo / DV ET MOVN DROI

    Arms: Tudor royal - Probably Henry VIII

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

    Current location: not known.

  2. 147

    hastings_030.jpg
    623 x 755 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with rounded corners; ovolo within fillet moulding all round; oval Tudor royal shield with garter surrounding, topped with a royal crown; dragon and greyhound supporters; initials split by crown; inscription on a fillet between legs of supporters, behind garter finial; motto on an Ionic plinth at bottom.

    Notes: The supporters are those of Henry VII or Henry VIII, but the initials suggest the fireback dates from the reign of Edward VI (1547-53). John Harvo (d. c1565) was a gunfounder who has been identified as occupying Pounsley furnace, Framfield, Sussex, possibly from as early as 1547. This fireback is also seen with a variety of rectangular, rope-edged side panels bearing stamps or letters, some of which link the source of this and other groups of firebacks. The pattern or model for this fireback may have been made during the reign of Henry VIII (1509-47), with the initials added to an early casting using the original pattern. The protuberance on the bottom of the plate may be the remains of the runner from a pouring basin or overflow channel used during casting. Formerly part of the Ade Collection (from Grove Hill, Hellingly, Sussex).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: E R / HONY SOYT QVE MAL Y PAVNCE / Made in Sussex by John Harvo / DV ET MOVN DRO

    Arms: Tudor royal (Edward VI)

    Manufactured: in the mid 16th century probably at Pounsley Furnace, Framfield in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, John's Place, Bohemia Road, Hastings, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: HASMG: 1952.51.52 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

    Citation: Butterfield, W. R., 1916, 'Old Wealden Firebacks', The Connoisseur, 46, pp. 197-209.

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

    Citation: Steer, F. W., Jan 1957, 'Notes on an early fireback at Yale University', The Yale University Library Gazette, 31, 3, pp. 137-141.

  3. 403

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 037.jpg
    >710 x 745 mm

    Description: Fragment; arched rectangular shape with rounded corners; ovolo within fillet moulding all round; oval Tudor royal shield with garter surrounding, topped with a royal crown; dragon and (missing)greyhound supporters; initials split by crown; inscription on a fillet between legs of supporters, behind garter finial; motto on an Ionic plinth at bottom; rectangular side panels with twisted rope edging top and side; a short length of turned dowel stamped four times, diagonally, on each panel; a circular disc with concentric grooves in top left corner.

    Notes: Similar to a fireback in the Victoria & Albert Museum, but differentiated by the twisted rope edging of the side panel and the addition of the grooved disc. The disparity between the worn surface of the armorial panel and the greater clarity of the extensions indicates that the extended casting was made using an already well-used armorial fireback and therefore at a substantially later date.

    Inscription: E R / HONY SOIT QUE ... / Made in Sussex by J... / DV ET MOV...

    Arms: Tudor royal - Edward VI

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

    Current location: Anne of Cleves House, Southover High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: LH000.916 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

  4. 474

    lower_3b.png
    >750 x ~750 mm

    Description: Fragment; arched rectangular shape with rounded corners; ovolo within fillet moulding all round; oval Tudor royal shield with garter surrounding, topped with a royal crown; dragon and greyhound supporters; initials split by crown; inscription on a fillet between legs of supporters, behind garter finial; motto on an Ionic plinth at bottom; left hand rectangular extension panel with twisted rope edging on top and side: initials in top left corner, ‘dragon’s head’ in top right corner, rose-en-soleil stamp in centre, rose stamp bottom centre.

    Notes: The letters on the extension panel are the same form and size as those on the top of the armorial pattern, indicating that they were added to the armorial, perhaps to indicate a change of reign. The letter 'E' has also been noted on another fireback of the same series. The rose-en-soleil was the badge of King Edward IV and, thus, a Yorkist symbol; it is seen on other firebacks. From a house in Chailey, Sussex. Illustration from Lower (1849).

    Inscription: E R / E / R / HONY SOIT QUE MAL Y PAYNCE / Made in Sussex by John Harvo / DV ET MOVN DR...

    Arms: Tudor royal

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

    Current location: not known.

    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).

  5. 1248

    plaistow,_quennell_house.jpg
    940 x 740 mm

    Description: Central arched rectangular shape with rounded corners; ovolo moulding all round; oval Tudor royal shield with garter surrounding, topped with a royal crown; dragon and greyhound supporters; initials split by crown; all details below shield illegible; rectangular extension panels on each side, with twisted rope edging; quasi mirrored arrangement of twisted rope lengths to form (from the top) a cross, a vertical pointing arrow, and a diamond shape with a central vertical line.

    Notes: The detail of the extension panel is sharper than the armorial, indicating that the panel was cast with a worn copy of the armorial. Illustrated in Weaver, 1914, p. 16.

    Inscription: E R [+ Garter, Harvo and royal mottoes, all illegible]

    Arms: Tudor royal (prob. Henry VIII)

    Manufactured: in the late 16th to early 17th century in the Weald area of England.

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

    Citation: Weaver, L., 1914, Small Country Houses: their repair and enlargement (London, Country Life).

  6. 620

    ripley_034.jpg
    920 x 750 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with rounded corners; ovolo within fillet moulding all round; oval Tudor royal shield with garter surrounding, topped with a royal crown; dragon and greyhound supporters; initials split by crown; inscription on a fillet between legs of supporters, behind garter finial; motto on an Ionic plinth at bottom; two rectangular side panels, each with a bird stamp (probably a swan, a Lancastrian badge) above a vine strip stamp repeated three times vertically.

    Notes: One of two known variants of the John Harvo fireback incorporating extension panels with vine strips and 'swans'; the positions of the swans vary slightly between the two variants.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: E R [+ Garter, Harvo and royal mottoes, all illegible]

    Arms: Tudor royal - prob. Edward VI

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century possibly at Pounsley Furnace, Framfield in the Weald area of England.

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

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

  7. 848

    unknown_40_850x640_altered_bw.jpg
    ~920 x ~750 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with rounded corners; ovolo within fillet moulding all round; oval Tudor royal shield with garter surrounding, topped with a royal crown; dragon and greyhound supporters; initials split by crown; inscription on a fillet between legs of supporters, behind garter finial; motto on an Ionic plinth at bottom; two rectangular side panels, each with a bird stamp (probably a swan, a Lancastrian badge) above a vine strip stamp repeated three times vertically.

    Notes: One of two known variants of the John Harvo fireback incorporating extension panels with vine strips and 'swans'; the positions of the swans vary slightly between the two variants.

    Inscription: E R / HONY SOIT QUE MAL Y PAYNCE

    Arms: Tudor royal - prob. Edward VI

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century possibly at Pounsley Furnace, Framfield in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: not known.

  8. 768

    va_44.jpg
    1073 x 762 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with rounded corners; ovolo within fillet moulding all round; oval Tudor royal shield with garter surrounding, topped with a royal crown; dragon and greyhound supporters; initials split by crown; inscription on a fillet between legs of supporters, behind garter finial; motto on an Ionic plinth at bottom; two rectangular side panels with twisted rope edging top and side; a short length of turned dowel stamped four times, diagonally, on each panel.

    Notes: The supporters are those of Henry VII or Henry VIII, but the initials suggest the fireback dates from the reign of Edward VI (1547-53). John Harvo (d. c1565) was a gunfounder who has been identified as occupying Pounsley furnace, Framfield, Sussex, possibly from as early as 1547; the fireback may have been cast originally during the reign of Henry VIII (1509-47), with the initials added to an early casting using the original pattern. The disparity between the worn surface of the armorial panel and the greater clarity of the extensions indicates that the extended casting was made using an already well-used armorial fireback and therefore at a substantially later date.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: E R / HONY SOIT QVE MAL Y PAYNCE / Made in Sussex by John Harvo / DV ET MOVN DROI

    Arms: Tudor royal - Probably Henry VIII

    Manufactured: in the late 16th century in England.

    Current location: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington & Chelsea, Greater London, England.

    Museum number: 685.1899 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

    Citation: Faraday, L., Feb 1939, 'Sussex Firebacks in the Victoria and Albert Museum', Sussex County Magazine, 13, 2, pp. 100-103.

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