Firebacks

Welsh armorial firebacks

  1. 916

    caerphilly,_llancaiac fawr manor.jpg
    1085 x 1145 mm

    Description: Rectangular, with a detached pediment joined by rebated scrolls; cavetto-moulded edging; circular 'shield' in a cartouche, surmounted by an esquire's helm and lion rampant crest, with mantling behind; initials split by crest; date split in top corners.

    Notes: The armorial is of David Prichard (d. 1630) of Llancaiac Fawr Manor; the blazon follows the patriarchal tradition of Welsh heraldry: quarterly, 1st, Sable a lion rampant Argent (for Cydrych ap Gwaithfoed), 2nd, Sable a chevron between three fleurs de lys Argent (for Einion ap Gollwyn), 3rd, Gules three chevrons Argent (for Iestyn ap Gwrgan), and 4th, Sable a chevron between three spear-heads Argent (for Bleddyn ap Maenyrch); the '8' of the date has a flattened top. A recasting, replacing a broken original.

    Inscription: D P / 16 28

    Arms: Prichard (or ap Richard)

    Manufactured: in 1628 possibly at Dyffryn furnace in the South Wales area of Wales.

    Current location: Llancaiach Fawr Manor, Nelson, Caerphilly, Glamorgan, Wales.

    Museum number: GTJ75111 (part of the Caerphilly County Borough Council Museums & Heritage Service museum group)

    Citation: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, 1981, An Inventory of Ancient Monuments of Glamorgan Vol IV Part 1: Domestic Architecture from the Reformation to the Industrial Revolution: the Greater Houses (Cardiff, HMSO).

  2. 232

    cardiff,_st fagans 09.jpg
    600 x 710 mm

    Description: Plain plate; central shield, helm, crest and mantling of the Lewis family: quarterly 1st, sable a lion rampant argent (Lewis of Y Fan), 2nd, sable a chevron between three fleurs de lys or (Einon ap Collwyn), 3rd gules three chevronels argent(Iestyn ap Gwrgan), 4th, sable a chevron between three spear heads argent embrued gules (Bleddyn ap Maenyrch); initials split by armorial stamp (E over-stamped); date, formed from single numerals, below arms.

    Notes: The arms are those of Sir Edward Lewis, of Van, who purchased St Fagans Castle in 1616. The same armorial stamp was used to model the arms on a lead cistern outside the front door of the castle. It is possible that this fireback was cut down from a larger fireback.

    Inscription: E L 1620

    Arms: Sir Edward Lewis of Van

    Manufactured: in 1620 in the South Wales area of Wales.

    Current location: National History Museum, St Fagans, Glamorgan, Wales.

    Museum number: 48.354/84 (part of the Welsh National History Museum museum group)

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

    Citation: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, 1981, An Inventory of Ancient Monuments of Glamorgan Vol IV Part 1: Domestic Architecture from the Reformation to the Industrial Revolution: the Greater Houses (Cardiff, HMSO).

  3. 158

    hastings_041.jpg
    965 x ?673 mm

    Description: Armorial within complex ovolo moulded edging on all sides; two plank lines; shield, helm, crest and mantling of the Trevor family; the achievement is distinguished by the elaborately festooned mantling, the whole resting on a boat-shaped compartment.

    Notes: The arms, which are those of an esquire, may be those of John Trevor, the son of Sir John Trevor, one of Charles IIs Secretaries of State. He married Elizabeth, widow of William Morley, of Glynde, Sussex, from whom passed the Glynde estates. The arms on this fireback have been variously, but incorrectly, attributed to Lord Dacre (a descendant of John Trevor), and Col. Marcus Trevor, 1st Viscount Dungannon (peers' arms have supporters). The distinctive shape is seen in similar form on several other armorial firebacks, suggesting a continuity of pattern making, if not the same pattern maker. Many copies of this fireback exist.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Arms: Trevor family, of Glynde

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

    Current location: Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Hastings, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 917.2 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

    Citation: Dawson, C., 1903, 'Sussex Iron Work and Pottery', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 46, pp. 1-54.

    Citation: Manwaring Baines, J., 1958, Wealden Firebacks (Hastings Museum)

    Citation: Straker, E., 1931, Wealden Iron (London, Bell)

  4. 1160

    trefriw,_gwydir_castle_01.jpg
    787 x 533 mm

    Description: Rectangular, with double astragal edging; three eaglets, their wings outspread, side by side; the initials IW and SW, respectively, to left and right of the central eaglet's head.

    Notes: The design is based on the arms of Wynn, of Gwydir Castle in the Conwy valley of North Wales, the blazon of which is Vert, three eagles displayed in fess or. The initials relate to Sir John Wynn (1553-1626/7) who, c.1576, married Sydney Gerrard (d.1632), dating the fireback to c.1576-1626. The conjoined wings of the eagles appear to form heart shapes.

    Inscription: IW SW

    Arms: Wynn of Gwydir

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

    Current location: Gwydir Castle, Trefriw, Conwy, Wales.

  5. 908

    unknown_62 520 x 570.jpg
    520 x 570 mm

    Description: Quasi arched rectangular shape with detached pediment above symmetrical horns within arcs; cavetto-moulded edging; shield with helm, crest and mantling; initials split by crest.

    Notes: Blazon: quarterly 1st lion rampant (poss. Lewis, descendant of Gwaethfoed); 2nd a chevron between three fleurs de lys (descendant of Einon ap Collwyn); 3rd three chevronels (descendant of Iestyn ap Gwrgan); 4th as 2nd (but possibly different tinctures); crest: a lion rampant; the initials suggest the arms may be of a member of a cadet branch of the Lewis family.

    Inscription: T L

    Arms: Possibly a member of the Lewis family

    Manufactured: in the late 16th to early 17th century in Wales.

    Current location: Ty-r-ash, Brecon Road, Crickhowell, Powys, Wales.

  6. 737

    va_13.jpg
    960 x 670 mm

    Description: Armorial within complex ovolo moulded edging on all sides; two plank lines; the achievement is distinguished by the elaborately festooned mantling, the whole resting on a boat-shaped compartment.

    Notes: The arms, which are those of an esquire, may be those of John Trevor, the son of Sir John Trevor, one of Charles IIs Secretaries of State. He married Elizabeth, widow of William Morley, of Glynde, Sussex, from whom passed the Glynde estates. The arms on this fireback have been variously attributed to Lord Dacre (a descendant of John Trevor), and Col. Marcus Trevor, 1st Viscount Dungannon. The distinctive shape is seen in similar form on several other armorial firebacks, suggesting a continuity of pattern making, if not the same pattern maker. Many copies of this fireback exist.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Arms: Trevor family, of Glynde

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

    Current location: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington & Chelsea, Greater London, England.

    Museum number: 142.1892 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

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

    Citation: Starkie Gardner, J., 1898, 'Iron Casting in the Weald', Archaeologia, 56, 1, pp. 133-164.

  7. 772

    va_48.jpg
    520 x 565 mm

    Description: Cavetto canted arched rectangle; astragal edging; oval inscription surrounding a central battlemented shield bearing an open book, with a baronet's escutcheon above; above, a helm with a crest of an arm and hand holding a wreath; on each side, a druid supporter holding a harp, each upon a horizontal fillet; below, intertwined bell flowers behind a tripartite motto scroll.

    Notes: The motto appears to have been incorrectly spelled; the Conroy baronetcy was created for Sir John Conroy, comptroller of the household of the Duchess of Kent, and much hated by her daughter, Princess (later Queen) Victoria; the 3rd (and last) baronet succeeded to the title in 1869.

    Inscription: FIDELITER ET CONSTANTER [Faithfully and constantly] / L'ANTIQIVITE NE PEVX PAS L'ABOLIR [Antiquity cannot abolish it]

    Arms: Conroy, baronet, of Llanbrynmair (Sir John Conroy, 3rd baronet, 1845-1900)

    Manufactured: in the late 19th century in England.

    Current location: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington & Chelsea, Greater London, England.

    Museum number: 502.1896 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

  8. 873

    welshpool,_powis castle 01.jpg
    660 x 640 mm

    Description: Arched shape; fillet edging; shield, supporters, earl's coronet and motto.

    Notes: The arms are those of William Herbert, 1st Earl of Powis (1626-96), created 1674, impaled with those of his wife, Lady Elizabeth Somerset, whom he married in 1654. He was created Marquess in 1687, so the fireback dates from between 1674 and 1687. The blazon: Party per pale azure and gules three lions rampant argent armed and langued or (Herbert), quarterly 1st and 4th England 2nd and 3rd France Modern (Somerset); Supporters: Dexter: A Panther rampant guardant Argent spotted of various colours fire issuing out of the mouth and ears ducally gorged Azure; Sinister: A Lion rampant Argent ducally gorged Gules; Motto: Ung je serviray (One I will serve).

    Inscription: Ung iay serviray

    Arms: William Herbert, 1st Earl of Powis

    Manufactured: in the late 17th century .

    Current location: Powis Castle, Welshpool, Powys, Wales.

    (part of the National Trust museum group)

    Citation: Anon., 1907, 'Armorial iron fire back', Montgomeryshire Collections, 34, p. 212.