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: Canted rectangle; twisted rope edging (top and sides); quasi-symmetrical arrangement of four fleurs-de-lys in star, top centre, two fleurs each side along top edge, single fleurs beneath outer top fleurs; short rope length in vertical and inverted ‘V’ shapes each side between top fleurs; ?dagger handle irregularly positioned centre left and right.
Notes: The style and shape of the fleurs-de-lys is unique to a particular series of firebacks, suggesting the same source; the 'V' shapes may have apotropaic significance. A sketch of this fireback was made by J. Starkie Gardner c.1891 and is in his collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Archive of Art and Design (AAD/2014/8).
Current location: in private hands, Cox Green, Berkshire, England.
Description: Rectangular; cyma recta (ogee) moulded edging (top and sides); fleur-de-lys stamp repeated three times across the upper part of the plate; a long pastry mould stamped between each pair of fleurs; above the central fleur, a small stamp, over-pressed, bearing FL below a coronet; above the right fleur, a small stamp, over-pressed, bearing a fish embowed.
Notes: The food moulds are variations of others used in the same series.
Description: Rectangular; cyma recta moulded edging formed of short lengths probably derived from furniture; top left, initials arranged in triad; top right, date; top centre, rose-and-crown between two small fleurs de lys, with two concentric rope-patterned roundels outside, above two small roses; four roses evenly spaced across lower middle, with a fleur between each outer pair, and another rose below the date.
Notes: One of a series of firebacks cast between the 1670s and 1690s bearing small, simple stamps, initials and dates; the style of rose and crown is similar to that used in gun founding in the Tudor period, suggesting that the furnace that was the source of this fireback may have been used for that purpose.
Inscription: HEM [triad] 1685
Current location: Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Brighton, East Sussex, England.
Museum number: R3341/2 (part of the Brighton Museum museum group)
Description: Canted rectangular shape with moulded edging (top and sides) overlain by a length of twisted rope repeated six times; central vertical line formed of twisted rope, crossed with rope upper centre, with rope laid in a diamond pattern around the cross; lower centre, two irregular v-shapes formed of rope, one on each side of the vertical; shield shaped stamp with a fleur de lys repeated twice each side, upper left and right.
Notes: The twin V arrangement may have apotropaic significance and the cross above them having a Christian symbolism; the base board appears to have had a moulded edge, with rope lengths applied over part of the moulding after the board had been pressed into the casting bed; a sketch of this fireback was made by J. Starkie Gardner c.1891 and is in his collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Archive of Art and Design (AAD/2014/8).
Current location: in private hands, Burwash, East Sussex, England.
Description: Rectangular; cavetto with double fillet edging; two side panels each separated by twisted rope, and each containing six fleurs de lys arranged vertically; top panel separated by twisted rope, containing inscription; central panel with lion’s head between two fleurs de lys.
Notes: A late example of the use of individual carved stamps; from Heol Ddu Isaf, Bargoed, acquired by the National Museum of Wales in 1922.
Inscription: WLA 1714 WLA
Current location: National History Museum, St Fagans, Glamorgan, Wales.
Museum number: 21.31 (part of the Welsh National History Museum museum group)
Description: Canted rectangle; twisted rope edging (top and sides); repeated scroll strip stamp along each side; date, top centre, between two fleurs de lys; initial below each fleur, with a fleur below each initial.
Notes: A damaged variant, probably with six fleurs, no initials, dated 1694, is also known.
Inscription: 1692 / T B
Current location: St Fagans Castle, St Fagans, Glamorgan, Wales.
Museum number: 42.82 (part of the Welsh National History Museum museum group)
1070? x ? mm
Description: Rectangular; ovolo-moulded edging; two fleurs-de-lys arranged vertically top left and top right; top centre, date; below date, initials WEI in triad.
Notes: Said to have been made by George White, iron founder, of Monmouth.
Inscription: 1668 / W E I [triad]
Current location: National History Museum, St Fagans, Glamorgan, Wales.
Museum number: 25.21 (part of the Welsh National History Museum museum group)
Description: Canted rectangle; ovolo-moulded edging (top and sides); from top: double star stamp repeated four times; date between two triads of the same initials, the 'Y' and the 'N' reversed; stylised fleur-de-lys below each pair of initials, with a large hollow fleur-de-lys in the centre.
Notes: The initials 'NYM' in triad probably relate to a couple whose surname initial was 'Y'; a fireback, dated 1659, with some of the same stamps is at the Dean Heritage Centre, Soudley, Gloucestershire, and another, dated 1667, has been noted at Upper End Farm, Hope Mansell, Herefordshire. Christie's auction, 24 May 2001.
Inscription: NYM [triad] 1669 NYM [triad]
Description: Arched shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides); top centre, over-pressed Tudor rose stamp on a square block; large diamond-shaped stamp with fleur-de-lys repeated each side below rose, both over-pressed.
Notes: The diamond-shaped stamp has been seen on other firebacks; one of the stamps appears to have been repositioned twice before casting.
Current location: in private hands, Crowborough, East Sussex, England.