Firebacks

Ornament stamp firebacks

  1. 180

    hastings_067.jpg
    690 x 770 mm

    Description: Rectangular: fillet edging; top left, standing classically dressed female figure playing a lyre, with short column behind; top right, classically dressed female figure leaning on a short column; top centre, hatted figure of a bearded man with bagpipes on his back, riding a horse.

    Notes: An unusual group of stamps, possibly derived from brass chimney ornaments; the middle figure seems to have little in common with the other two, and the horse’s tail may include part of another figure.

    Manufactured: in the late 19th to early 20th century in England.

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

    Museum number: 952.51.66 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

  2. 427

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 062.jpg
    390 x 570 mm

    Description: Rectangular with three sem-circular arches on top, the middle arch higher and wider than the others; ovolo-moulded edging (top and sides); top centre, equestrian figure stamp; six small stamps of iconic figures down the sides, arranged in two columns.

    Notes: An unusual fireback with stamps about 90mm high; the stamps are likely to have been cast from brass or iron mantelpiece ornaments, popular in the Victorian period. Formerly part of the J. H. Every collection.

    Manufactured: in the 19th century in England.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.089 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

  3. 551

    pet-m-43.jpg
    918 x 845 mm

    Description: Rectangular; ovolo-moulded edging; top centre, stamp formed of a carved domestic scene of a family around a table, between two small mirrored rectangular stamps each of a cow; lower centre, symmetrical arrangement of two jugs, two goblets and two crossed churchwarden pipes, all in low relief.

    Notes: The domestic group has been formed from a decorative iron mantelpiece ornament portraying the tale of the goose that laid golden eggs. Having killed the goose, the family are lamenting the loss of their bounty (see Ames, 1980, p.94). The style of the fireback suggests a pastiche using designs suggesting the past. The same mantelpiece group can be seen as decoration on the kitchen spit assemblage at Petworth House, West Sussex, which was cast at Robert Chorley's foundry at Cocking, south of Midhurst. Evidently this and another fireback bearing the same ornament stamp were among items from the Cowdray estate sold in 1898.

    Manufactured: in the early 19th century probably at Cocking Foundry in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Petworth House, Petworth, West Sussex, England.

    Museum number: NT/PET/M/43 (part of the National Trust museum group)

    Citation: Ames, A., 1980, Collecting Cast Iron (Ashbourne, Moorland Publishing).

    Citation: Arnold, F. H., 1900, 'Notes and Queries No. 7: Relics of Old Cowdray', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 43, p. 281.

  4. 558

    petworth_040.jpg
    765 x 846 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; fillet edging; top centre, stamp formed of a carved domestic scene of a family around a table; in top corners, repeated small stamp of St George and the Dragon; below, repeated stamp of a pineapple in a pot; centre; small stamp of the royal arms of the United Kingdom 1801-37.

    Notes: The domestic group has been formed from a decorative iron mantelpiece ornament portraying the tale of the goose that laid golden eggs. Having killed the goose, the family are lamenting the loss of their bounty (see Ames, 1980, p.94). The same mantelpiece group can be seen as decoration on the kitchen spit assemblage at Petworth House, West Sussex, which was cast at Robert Chorley's foundry at Cocking, south of Midhurst. Evidently this and another fireback bearing the same ornament stamp were among items from the Cowdray estate sold in 1898.

    Manufactured: in the early 19th century probably at Cocking Foundry in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Petworth House, Petworth, West Sussex, England.

    Museum number: NT/PET/M/50 (part of the National Trust museum group)

    Citation: Ames, A., 1980, Collecting Cast Iron (Ashbourne, Moorland Publishing).

    Citation: Arnold, F. H., 1900, 'Notes and Queries No. 7: Relics of Old Cowdray', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 43, p. 281.