Description: Composite; rectangular with semi-circular arches in middle (large) and ends (small) of top edge; rope on all edges except bottom; central panel effectively comprises an arched fireback form with Tudor royal arms (temp. Elizabeth I) with date above, and, below, letters G M, made from rope with fleur de lys terminals between two coronets surmounted by lions; below this are fronds with roses. On either side of this panel are placed the Anne Forster inscription panels; above each of these is a rose and crown with lion and dragon supporters, beneath which are three fleurs de lys. Along the base of the inscription panels and the central panel are single rows of ‘pineapple’ shapes, beneath which are repeated trailing vine decoration from impressed wooden strips across the entire width of the fireback; 35 in all.
Notes: Formerly at Baynard's Park, Ewhurst, Surrey; GM probably refers to Sir George More, who built Baynards Park after buying the estate in 1587, and who moved to Loseley in 1604. The central coat of arms has been noted on two other firebacks, dated 1588 and 1595. The rose and crown stamps have been noted on a fireback in Haslemere Museum, and on examples illustrated by Lower (all of which bear the date 1582 and the initials IA). The association of these stamps and the particular form of rope lettering, with the Anne Forster inscription and the ‘pineapple’ shapes, both of which have been linked with other stamps from Pounsley furnace, suggests that they, too, were part of the stock of those works.
Inscription: 15 93 / GM / 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 [twice]
Arms: Tudor royal
Description: Pentagonal with a small triangular arch, centre top; twisted rope edging (top and sides); in arch, cross formed of small fleurs-de-lys; row of small fleurs inside rope edging, lower half of sides plain; length of twisted rope each side, parallel to edges, with small fleur terminal at top end; upper centre, rope escarbuncle with fleur terminals between ‘R’ and ‘C’ (both of rope with fleur terminals, ‘R’ reversed); ‘A’ below escarbuncle (also rope with fleur terminals, with cross bar above); fleur cross below ‘R’.
Notes: Twisted rope with fleur terminals is seen on several firebacks with stamps otherwise associated; formerly at Warnham Court, Sussex; illustrated in Starkie Gardner 1898, p. 146. The escarbuncle is the principal charge on the arms of the Duchy of Cleves, possibly associating this fireback with the brief marriage of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves.
Inscription: R A C [inverted triad]
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)
Current location: in private hands, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England.
Description: Rectangular with central triangular arch; twisted rope edging (top and sides); in arch, on top, a small cross with fleur terminals, above a rose and crown with dragon and lion supporters, above two crowned shields each bearing a small fleur-de-lys; text across top half, split by the crowned shields, each word separated by two fleur terminals; across the lower part, four crowned shields each with a fleur-de-lys; fleur crosses at ends of first and third lines; bottom left, ‘I’; bottom right, ‘A’.
Notes: No record of Thomas Unstead or his wife has been found, to date; illustrated in Lower, 1849 p. 189; formerly at Misfield [Miswell], Worth, Sussex. One of a series of distinctive firebacks cast in 1582, most with inscriptions relating to pairs of individuals; the initials IA may be of the founder as they appear in the same arrangement on other firebacks.
Inscription: THOMAS VNSTE / ADIS : FILD AND DINIS / HIS : WIF: ANO : DOMINO: / 1582 / I A
Description: Arched rectangular shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides); in arch; rose and crown with dragon and lion supporters, above a fleur cross and a crowned shield bearing a small fleur-de-lys; text across top half, each word separated by two fleur terminals; lower left and right, twice repeated eight-pointed star design formed of twisted rope with fleur-de-lys terminals; bottom left, ‘I’; bottom right, ‘A’.
Notes: A James Hide married Joan Blackefane at Horley, Surrey on 11th October 1579; illustrated in Lower, 1849 p. 217, when it was at Sutton Hurst, Barcombe, Sussex (still there in 1893). One of a series of distinctive firebacks cast in 1582, most with inscriptions relating to pairs of individuals; the initials IA may be of the founder as they appear in the same arrangement on other firebacks.
Inscription: THES : IS FOR IAMES : / HIDE : AND : ION : HIS : WIF [W inverted] / 1582 / I A
Description: Arched rectangular shape; rope edging (top and sides); Tudor royal shield, garter, crown and supporters (crowned lion and dragon); date split by crown; lower right, initial formed of twisted rope with fleur-de-lys terminals; small fleur-de-lys stamp repeated 14 times across top edge and arch; fleur-de-lys cross repeated six times across lower part of plate.
Notes: Identical arms can be seen on at least two other firebacks; minor variations in the position of individual elements indicate that the garter and shield, crown, and each supporter were separately stamped. The lack of definition in the decoration suggests that this is a recast plate.
Inscription: 1595 / I H
Arms: Tudor royal - Elizabeth I
Current location: in private hands, Maresfield, East Sussex, England.
Description: Arched rectangular shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides only); three water bougets (leather water containers) at top; knotted cord and tassel decoration on each side; centred inscription on six lines with ‘S’ reversed, bar across top of ‘A’ and letters individually placed and separated by double fleurs-de-lys].
Notes: The approximately mirrored cord decoration appears to have been affixed to shaped boards. The Wealden origin of this fireback suggests possible connections with the Roos, or de Ros, family, who owned property in Easebourne, or the Meeres family of Glynleigh, near Hailsham, the arms of both families incorporating water bougets. A connection, proposed by the Victoria and Albert Museum, with the Helmsley family of Yorkshire is improbable. One of a series of distinctive firebacks cast in 1582, most with inscriptions relating to pairs of individuals; the initials IA may be of the founder as they appear in the same arrangement on other firebacks.
Inscription: THES:IS:FOR / WILAM:BRON / AND:ELISAB: / TH:HIS:SISTR / 15 82 / I A
Current location: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington & Chelsea, Greater London, England.
Museum number: M.977-1926 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)