Description: Canted rectangular; astragal edging (top and sides), inside of which are repeated panels carved with overlapping fleurs-de-lys; upper centre, date evenly spaced in individual numerals; below date, initials evenly spaced in individual letters; at each end of date, single small fleur-de-lys stamp; at each end of initials, large hollow fleur-de-lys; diagonally from left lower corner of canting, line of six 'belt-buckle'[?] stamps, and from right six hollow cross stamps; in bottom corners, triad of small fleur-de-lys stamps each enclosing a large fleur below; bottom centre, woodblock stamp.
Notes: The repeated fleur panels are likely to have derived from furniture. Some of the same stamps are on a fireback dated 1667 at Upper End Farm, Hope Mansell, Herefordshire.
Inscription: 1683 / AK
Current location: in private hands Sible Hedingham, Suffolk, England.
Description: Rectangular; central shield; fleur-de-lys stamp repeated three times across top and once on each side level with shield, all regularly spaced.
Notes: It is likely that the arms relate to the marriage, in 1541, of Christopher Sackville (c.1519-1589), son of John Sackville of Chiddingly, and Constance Colepeper, daughter of Thomas Colepeper of Bedgbury, one of whose ancestors was the heiress, Elizabeth Hardreshall. The blazon: Sackville - quarterly or and gules, a bend vair; Colepeper - argent a bend engrailed gules; Hardreshall - argent a chevron sable between nine martlets or, six and three. Christopher Sackville's brother, Sir Richard, owned Horsted Keynes furnace, which may have been where this fireback was cast.
Arms: Sackville impaling Colepeper and Hardreshall
Current location: in private hands, Horsted Keynes, West Sussex, England.
Description: Rectangular with a central rectangular extension; twisted rope edging; fleur-de-lys stamp with twisted band repeated three times at top; ?rose stamp repeated five times in line below fleurs, some over pressed, central rose above others; cabled anchor stamp repeated twice, either side of central rose; initials below central rose; ?cow and dog stamps each repeated twice alternately in line below initials; eight rivets from later repair.
Notes: None of the stamps is known from any other fireback; cabled anchor may suggest a connection with a seaport.
Current location: Wilberforce House, High Street, Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire, England.
(part of the Hull Museums museum group)
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.
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)
Description: Rectangular; top and side edging formed from the repeated stamping of a short length of twisted rope; three gothic panels arranged horizontally, the centre one wider than the other two, each panel a symmetrical arrangement of tracery patterns with an inverted ogee arch on top incorporating two flowers; a separate fleur-de-lys stamp has been repeated above each panel.
Notes: The panels were probably derived from a dismantled wooden chest or hutch table, c.1500. Their gothic style belies the probable age of the fireback, such chests already being old when their parts might have been re-used. The same panels are on a fireback at Nymans, Handcross.
Current location: East Grinstead Museum, East Grinstead, West Sussex, England.
Museum number: LH000.796 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)
Description: Rectangular; Twisted rope edging (top and sides); top centre, date; initials in triad in top corners; a double fleurs-de-lys between date and each set of initials, and two rotated down each side of the plate.
Notes: Formerly at a cottage in Bradford's Lane, Newent, Gloucestershire.
Inscription: TRD / 1662 / TRD
Current location: The Glasshouse Inn, May Hill, Longhope, Gloucestershire, England.
Description: Canted rectangle; double fillet edging (top and sides); top centre, date; initials in triad, repeated on each side, with a fleur-de-lys between; three fleurs-de-lys evenly spaced below initial groups.
Notes: The initials are likely to be those of a husband (E) and wife (I/J) whose surname begins R.
Inscription: 1688 / ERI ERI [both triads]
Current location: Castle Square, Ludlow, Shropshire, England.
(part of the Ludlow Museum museum group)
Description: Rectangular with pediment; ovolo moulded edging inside top of pediment and inside top and sides of rectangle; central talbot crest within wreath and eight-pointed star, between four fleurs-de-lys.
Notes: The wreath and talbot crest are identical to those on a 1584 fireback in the Victoria & Albert Museum; one of the ‘Royal’ series.
Current location: Middle House Hotel, High Street, Mayfield, East Sussex, England.
Description: Canted rectangle; cavetto moulded edging (top and sides); single horizontal fillet below canted corners and vertical fillet parallel to each side, dividing the fireback into two side panels, two top corner panels, top panel and main central panel; corner panels, ‘daisy’ plant stamp; top panel, date between ‘daisy’ stamps, between initials in triad at each end; side panels, swirling foliage stamp repeated each side above a fleur-de-lys, above initial 'I' on left and 'B' on right; centre panel, stamp of ‘Indian’ smoking a pipe at top left, stamp of seated ‘gentleman’ smoking a pipe and holding another, at top right; below each, a seated monkey stamp, that on the left seated facing right, its paws in front of it and its tail below, that on the right seated facing left, its tail drawn across its chest.
Notes: The IB initials are identical to those on similar firebacks dated between 1703 and 1721, probably indicating the same founder. The number 3 of the date and the fleur-de-lys on the lower left side have been over-pressed showing the backs of the stamps. The use of stamps relating to tobacco smoking may suggest an origin near Bristol, the main entry port for the tobacco trade at that time.
Inscription: IES [triad] 1703 IES [triad] / I B
Current location: Greys Court, Rotherfield Greys, Oxfordshire, England.
(part of the National Trust museum group)
Description: Canted rectangle; twisted rope edging (top and sides); Tudor royal shield within a Garter, supported by lion and dragon stamps, a crown above, between separate ‘E’ and ‘R’ stamps; fleur de lys stamp irregularly repeated four times below right and to left of lion.
Notes: The shield, garter and crown stamps appear on many firebacks, usually with left-facing lion and greyhound supporters; the presence of the shield and crown indicate the fireback is derived from the same source; the supporter stamps, which are over-pressed, are clearly derived from blocks intended to represent standing models. Formerly at Kirby Frith Hall, Leicestershire. Illustration from Schubert, 1957, pl. 7.
Inscription: HONE SOYT qVEY MAL Y PENSE
Arms: Tudor royal - Edward VI or Elizabeth I
Current location: Newarke Houses, Leicester, Leicestershire, England.
Museum number: H.101.1930.0 (part of the Leicester City Museums museum group)