Firebacks

Tudor royal armorial firebacks

52 results

  1. 1286

    lichfield_01.jpg
    ~750 x ~905 mm

    Description: Low-arched shape within broad fillet edging; on a plain field a Tudor royal shield, quarterly France Modern and England, supported by a stylised dragon and greyhound and surmounted by a crown, all resting on a two-stepped compartment with cavetto- and astragal-moulded edging at the top.

    Notes: Pastiche 'Tudor' design by George Shaw of Saddleworth, Lancashire, c.1850, possibly intended to be passed off as genuine Tudor. Examples are also to be found in Warkworth Castle and Cheetham's Library, Manchester, both with a leaf pattern on the edging and 'scales' on the dragon. Firebacks of the same armorial design within a different, arched rectangular, edging are known, an example being at Hever Castle, Kent.

    Arms: Tudor royal

    Manufactured: in the mid 19th century possibly in the Lancashire area of England.

    Current location: Guildhall, Bore Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire, England.

  2. 467

    llewellyn_01.jpg
    ~675 x ~700 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular with plain edges; arched rectangular inset with cavetto edging and armorial design in low relief: circular garter enclosing an ornate Tudor royal shield, surmounted by a crown; date inside top of arch; initials inside top corners of rectangle

    Notes: Discovered by Mr Anthony Hill of the Plymouth ironworks, Glamorgan, in the 1820s, and believed by David Mushet, in his 'Papers on Iron and Steel' to have been cast at the early furnace on the opposite side of the River Taff; a variant of the same date (no. 288) has an inscription on the bottom panel and roses in relief at the bottom corners of the rectangle; the west country source for both of these firebacks suggests an origin in those parts.

    Inscription: HONV SOIT QVE MALE V [illegible]

    Arms: Tudor royal - Edward VI

    Manufactured: in 1553 possibly at Pentyrch Furnace in the South Wales area.

    Current location:, not known.

    Citation: Llewellin, W., 1863, 'Sussex Ironmasters in Glamorganshire', Archaeologia Cambrensis, 3rd ser., 9, pp. 89-91.

    Citation: Mushet, D., 1840, Papers on Iron and Steel (London, John Weale), p. 393.

  3. 1016

    mallams,_abingdon_lot_1208_8_sep_2014_830x650a.jpg
    830 x 650 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; ovolo-moulded edging; Tudor royal shield within a cartouche, garter, crown, motto and supporters (crowned lion and dragon); Tudor rose to right of lion’s head, portcullis to left of dragon’s head.

    Notes: The cartouche enclosing the shield is an unusual feature. A recasting. Mallam's auction, Abingdon, 9 Aug 2014, lot 1208 (£100).

    Inscription: Garter and Royal mottoes [not legible]

    Arms: Tudor royal (prob. Elizabeth I)

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century in England.

    Current location:, not known.

  4. 482

    maresfield,_putmans farm 02.jpg
    673 x 584 mm

    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 copy made from an earlier casting.

    Inscription: 1595 / I H

    Arms: Tudor royal - Elizabeth I

    Manufactured: in 1595 possibly at Pounsley Furnace, Framfield in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Maresfield, East Sussex, England.

  5. 496

    michelham_010.jpg
    810 x 690 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; ovolo moulded edging; plain panel at bottom; Tudor royal shield, garter, crown, motto and supporters (crowned lion and dragon), temp. Elizabeth I; the top of the lion's crown and the dragon's ear overlap the edging.

    Notes: Another version has a rose and portcullis either side of the crown, and the top of the lion's crown and the dragon's ear do not overlap the edging.

    Inscription: [Garter] HONI SOIT QVI MAL E PENSE / [motto] DIEV ET MON DROIT.

    Arms: Tudor royal

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Michelham Priory, Arlington, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: LH000.999 (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).

  6. 515

    penshurst_06.jpg
    1135 x 585 mm

    Description: Rectangular; rope edging (top & sides); in centre, Tudor shield, garter, crown and supporters (greyhound and lion); date top left.

    Notes: The armorial achievement is seen on other firebacks and was formed from four separate stamps (one example has the shield and garter inverted); the supporters are consistent with the date; the style of the numerals is uncharacteristic of the period. The same date in identical form is on a similar fireback at Groombridge Place, Speldhurst, Kent.

    Inscription: 1579 / HONE SOVT qVEY MAL Y PENSE

    Arms: Tudor royal

    Manufactured: in 1579 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Penshurst Place, Penshurst, Kent, England.

  7. 1248

    plaistow,_quennell_house.jpg
    940 x 740 mm

    Description: Central arched rectangular shape with rounded corners; ovolo moulding all round; oval Tudor royal shield with garter surrounding, topped with a royal crown; dragon and greyhound supporters; initials split by crown; all details below shield illegible; rectangular extension panels on each side, with twisted rope edging; quasi mirrored arrangement of twisted rope lengths to form (from the top) a cross, a vertical pointing arrow, and a diamond shape with a central vertical line.

    Notes: The detail of the extension panel is sharper than the armorial, indicating that the panel was cast with a worn copy of the armorial. Illustrated in Weaver, 1914, p. 16.

    Inscription: E R [+ Garter, Harvo and royal mottoes, all illegible]

    Arms: Tudor royal (prob. Henry VIII)

    Manufactured: in the late 16th to early 17th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Plaistow, West Sussex, England.

    Citation: Weaver, L., 1914, Small Country Houses: their repair and enlargement (London, Country Life).

  8. 661

    rolvenden,_hole park 05.jpg
    >930 x 620 mm

    Description: Fragment; quasi-rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides), cavetto edging at bottom; originally, probably a symmetrical arrangement comprising a central, crude crowned, Tudor royal shield, with a standing human figure, its right arm bent at the elbow and its left arm crossing its waist, repeated in upper and lower positions on each side of the shield; to left and right, a twisted rope length repeated in the form of a cross, with the human figure placed above each transverse end and another below the cross and towards the shield; in the bottom corner(s), a (left) hand print.

    Notes: The same crowned shield and use of hand print can be seen on a fireback at Etchingham (no. 60), indicating a common source.

    Arms: Tudor royal

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 16th century in the Weald area.

    Current location: Hole Park, Rolvenden, Kent, England.

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

  9. 1010

    saarbrucken_860x720.jpg
    860 x 720 mm

    Description: Rectangular with ovolo-moulded edging; central oval shield of England (quarterly France modern and England) surrounded by the Garter with the additional word 'IL', and supported by a dragon on the dexter side and a greyhound on the sinister side, each standing on a plinth; to each side of the armorial group is a column with the upper part of the shaft fluted and the lower part foliate; each has an Ionic capital and a moulded pedestal; fire issues from the top of the capital.

    Notes: The style of carving is not typical of English design but is similar to other firebacks bearing Tudor armorials that were probably cast in Germany.

    Inscription: HONI SOIT IL QVI MAL Y PENSE

    Arms: English royal Tudor (prob. Henry VIII)

    Manufactured: in the mid 16th century possibly in the Eifel area of Germany.

    Current location: in private hands, Butleigh, Somerset, England.

    Citation: Carpentier, H., 1912, Plaques de Cheminées (Paris & Florange, published by the author).

  10. 806

    salfords,_picketts farmhouse.jpg
    1076 x 830 mm

    Description: Rectangle with curved shoulders and low arch joined with concave curves; fillet and ogee moulded edging; central Tudor royal shield surrounded by garter, with crown above and lion and dragon supporters; royal initials either side of crown; lower right, inclined rectangular stamp of a dog; extended variant.

    Notes: On clearer examples the garter motto has ‘EQVI’ instead of ‘HONI’, making it meaningless; possibly ‘EQVI’ was a mis-transcription of ‘HONI’; the crown is distinctly continental in form; a much-copied fireback.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: E R [Garter motto illegible]

    Arms: Tudor royal - Elizabeth I

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century possibly in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Salfords, Surrey, England.