Firebacks

Pounsley series

58 results

  1. 107

    haslemere_museum 06.jpg
    945 x 520 mm

    Description: Rectangle with two similar rectangular extensions at top extremities; rope edging (top and sides); on top extensions, two stamps of a dragon and lion supporting a rose and crown, with crowned shield bearing a fleur de lys below; central date with rose and crown below; initials TM vertically placed inside middle left edge, initial I middle right; initials I and A at lower left and right.

    Notes: The initials, TM and I, may relate to a married couple, the first two letters to their first names and the last to their surname; the initials IA may be of the founder. The unusual shape would probably have been determined by the structure of the hearth for which it was made; the rose and crown and supporters stamp can also be seen on a large fireback, dated 1593, formerly at Baynard's Park, Surrey; the date and IA stamps can be seen, in identical form, on a fireback in the Victoria & Albert Museum, and on firebacks illustrated by Lower, suggesting a common source for all of these firebacks.

    Inscription: TM 1582 I / I A

    Manufactured: in 1582 possibly at Pounsley furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Haslemere Educational Museum, Haslemere, Surrey, England.

    (part of the Haslemere Educational Museum museum group)

    Citation: Anon., 1929, 'An interesting fireback', Sussex Notes and Queries, 2, 8 , p. 242.

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

  2. 131

    hastings_022.jpg
    1060 x 540 mm

    Description: Rectangular with lifting handles; twisted rope edging (top and sides); elaborate central rope design of concentric squares with eight symmetrical arms each with six branches; two crowned rose en soleil stamps left and right centre; three roses across the bottom interspersed with two fleurs de lys; in top corner, two carved furniture-derived stamps. The width of the main plate is 876mm.

    Notes: The individual stamps are to be seen, separately or together, on other firebacks, indicating a common source; lifting handles are infrequently encountered on firebacks.

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

    Current location: Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Hastings, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 952.51.44 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

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

  3. 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.1562) 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.

    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 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Hastings, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 952.51.52 (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).

  4. 174

    hastings_061.jpg
    1219 x 495 mm

    Description: Rectangular; plain plate with central crossed-square rope pattern with crosses at the corner and top; on each side a rectangular stamp with swirled tendril decoration.

    Notes: The crossed square was an alchemistic symbol for iron vitriol (i.e. ferrous sulphate or copperas), but the crosses at the extremities may indicate other symbolism or none; similar patterns are found on other firebacks probably made at Pounsley furnace, Sussex. The decorative stamp was probably derived from furniture. Recovered from a property in Burwash, Sussex.

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

    Current location: Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Hastings, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 910.26.1 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

    Citation: Easton, T. & Hodgkinson, J. S., 2013, 'Apotropaic Symbols on Cast-Iron Firebacks', Jnl. of the Antique Metalware Soc., 21, pp. 14-33.

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

    Citation: Manwaring Baines, J., 1958, Wealden Firebacks (Hastings Museum)

  5. 189

    hatfield_house 02.jpg
    965 x ?780 mm

    Description: Rectangular with an ogee arch; twisted rope edging (top and sides); line of small fleursd e lys areound the top and sides, inside the edging; Tudor rose inside each top sorner (overstamped on the left); below each rose a cross of twisted rope with fleur de lys terminals, and fleurs in each quadrant; top centre, a Tudor royal shield within an oval garter - HONE SOVT QUEY MAL Y PENSE - with greyhound and lion supporters, and crown above; cross of small fleurs inclined to each side of the crown; inverted 'Y' shape in twisted rope below each supporter, a fleur at the top end of each.

    Notes: A oft-used achievement of arms; twisted rope with fleur de lys terminals are seen on other firebacks from the same source.

    Inscription: HONE SOVT QUEY MAL Y PENSE

    Arms: Tudor royal (prob. Henry VIII)

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

    Current location: in private hands, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England.

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

  6. 347

    ightham_mote  06.jpg
    1195 x 688 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and 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: The worn appearance of the central arms, compared with the clarity of the date, suggests that 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 lengths extending only three-quarters of the way down the sides.

    Inscription: 1583

    Arms: Tudor royal

    Manufactured: in 1583 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Ightham Mote, Ightham, Kent, England.

    Museum number: NT/IGH/M/10 (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).

  7. 369

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 004.jpg
    1040 x 660 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, three vertical strips at each side, one horizontal strip below panel, plain panel at base.

    Notes: A series of firebacks all bearing the inscription carved onto a panel and included with other stamps in the casting of the iron graveslab covering the tomb of Anne Forster (Foster) in St George’s church, Crowhurst, Surrey. Formerly in the John H. Every Collection, for which it was purchased in 1921 at Isfield Place, Sussex.

    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 in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.043 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

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

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

  8. 371

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 006.jpg
    1170 x 770 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging on top and sides; approximately symmetrical arrangement of repeated stamps formed from Gothic tracery cresting (5), fleurs de lys (12 - one over-stamped by a Gothic tracery stamp), butter mould stamps (3), crowned butter mould stamps (3), and rope patterns.

    Notes: Many of the stamps employed on this fireback are seen, with other stamps, on a wide variety of firebacks, suggesting a common source; similar gothic tracery stamps can be seen as pierced cresting on a rare late-Medieval, wooden Easter sepulchre at the redundant church of St Michael at Cowthorpe, North Yorkshire. Correspondence with stamps used on side panels cast with other examples point to this fireback being cast at Pounsley Furnace, Sussex.

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

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

    Museum number: LH000.940 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

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

  9. 375

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 010.jpg
    1035 x 450 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); central rope carbuncle with eight arms, with a rose between each of the top six pairs of arms; a fleur-de-lys repeated six times in two triads (2-1) in each top corner; a letter ‘E’ rotated clockwise repeated 8 times along the top between the fleurs and roses, and twice down each side; four additional ‘E’s, one to the left of the carbuncle and three to the right.

    Notes: All the stamps can be seen on other firebacks associating them with the same source; The ‘E’s are identical to those seen on the John Harvo armorial fireback.

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

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.076 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Hughes, G. B., May 1940, 'Old English Firebacks', Apollo, 31, 185, pp. 117-120.

  10. 381

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 016.jpg
    >550 x 565 mm

    Description: Fragment; left part of rectangle; twisted rope border (top and sides); long, narrow stamp with undulating vine motif, repeated three times in ‘A’ shape with top bar; short length of same strip repeated six times, one across middle of ‘A’, two each side of ‘A’ at top, one lower right; indistinct stamp with swirled floral design between lower legs of ‘A’.

    Notes: The same vine strip stamp is seen, in both long and short lengths, on many firebacks, indicating a common source. All the stamps probably were derived from redundant furniture.

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

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

    Museum number: LH000.913 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

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

    Citation: Schubert, H. R., 1957, History of the British Iron and Steel Industry (London, Routledge), pp. 256-264.