Firebacks

Square cross Dean series

  1. 1142

    binegar,_mendip auction rooms 01.jpg
    605 x 540 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with quadrant extensions on top corners; twisted rope edging (top and sides); vertical rope line parallel to each side, forming two separate side panels; horizontal rope line joined to vertical lines enclosing the following: inside arch, initials IBA in triad; below initials, double fleur-de-lys stamp between split date; below horizontal line, a double fleur stamp in each top corner of central lower panel; in each side panel, a single bead above a vertical sequence of squared cross stamps repeated eight times.

    Notes: The distinctive squared cross and fleur stamps are seen on other firebacks; the initials in triad may relate to a husband and wife. A taller variant of the same fireback is at Northgate House, Warwick. Mendip Auctions, Binegar, Somerset, 7 Sep 2019, lot 374.

    Inscription: IBA [triad] / 16 93

    Manufactured: in 1693 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location:, England.

  2. 1000

    broadway,_ashmolean museum 02.jpg
    1285 x 692 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; stepped fillet edging (top and sides); straight twisted rope lengths parallel to top and parallel to each side, forming inner rectangle with rope quadrants across top corners; side compartments: line of 12 beads along top inside rope line, 3 semi-circular at corners, with a single bead in each corner quadrant, and 8 down each side; top centre, date with single bead above; cross with a cross stamp repeated 10 times to right of date and 9 time to left, one in each corner, and 13 down the left side and 12 down the right.

    Notes: The arc shape and use of repeated beads suggests a common source with other firebacks of the same period.

    Inscription: 1686

    Manufactured: in 1686 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: Ashmolean Museum Broadway, 65 High Street, Broadway, Worcestershire, England.

    (part of the Ashmolean Museum museum group)

  3. 1155

    chorleys_gloucester,_20_nov_2019,_lot_634_1200x580.jpg
    1200 x ~680 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; fillet edging (top and sides); across the top, line of squared cross stamps in three groups (5, 5 and 7), with six more continued down each side; below the top line of stamps, central date with initials in triad to each side, interrupting the top line of stamps, with two fleurs-de-lys to each side and a single bead; below, three sides of a rectangular compartment, fillet edged with irregular quadrants at the top corner enclosing two fleurs-de-lys each, between which is a line of about 10 beads between single fleurs.

    Notes: A large and badly corroded fireback linking the Square Cross series and Hollow Saltire series stylistically. The initials probably relate to a husband and wife. Chorley's Auctioneers sale, Gloucester, 20 November 2019, lot 634.

    Inscription: WCK [triad] 1668 WCK [triad

    Manufactured: in 1668 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location:, England.

  4. 1023

    coombes,_old rectory.jpg
    975 x 610 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; hatched fillet edging (top and sides); initials in triad to the left; fleur-de-lys stamp repeated seven times across top; date and initial pairs below; full width, horizontal hatched fillet below inscription; zig-zag formed of short, hatched fillets down each side below horizontal fillet; space within bordered by squared cross stamp repeated 12 times horizontally and six times on each side.

    Notes: The distinctive squared cross and fleur stamps are seen on other firebacks; the initials in triad may relate to a husband and wife, the pairs of initials to their children; an almost identical fireback seen at Smith's Funeral Services, close to the site of Elmbridge Furnace, at Newent, Gloucestershire, differs only in the alignment of the left-hand column of squared crosses.

    Inscription: AHE [triad] 1671 WH MH

    Manufactured: in 1671 possibly at Elmbridge (Newent) furnace in the Forest of Dean area of England.

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

  5. 884

    cranbrook,_george hotel.jpg
    1343 x 614 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; stepped fillet edging (top and sides); twisted rope lengths parallel to top and parallel to each side, forming six compartments; side compartments: seven double fleurs-de-lys in vertical line; top corner compartments: one double fleur-de-lys angled parallel to canting; top compartment: date in centre, initials repeated at each end, three fleurs between date and initials, centre fleur perpendicular to others; main compartment: one fleur in each top corner, line of beads inside rope line, semi-circular at corners.

    Notes: The arc shape and use of repeated beads suggests a common source with other firebacks of the same period.

    Inscription: RR / 1688 / RR

    Manufactured: in 1688 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: The George Hotel, Stone Street, Cranbrook, Kent, England.

  6. 832

    honiton,_marwood house 01.jpg
    921 x 514 mm

    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

    Manufactured: in 1683 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: in private hands Sible Hedingham, Suffolk, England.

  7. 1097

    leland_little auctions 3 mar 18 lot 260 hillsborough nc 699x635.jpg
    699 x 635 mm

    Description: Rectangular; cavetto-moulded edging; [?]fillet frame parallel with edging; on top, central date between two groups of initials in triad, with six 'daisy heads' above; on each side, vertical line of at least four squared cross stamps; inside frame, four fleurs-de-lys between two oval 'buttons' on a rectangular base at least five 'daisy heads' in a vertical line on each side.

    Notes: A significant fireback, it comprises decorative stamps from at least three series of firebacks produced in the Forest of Dean area, linking their production to the same (unidentified) ironworks. The attached grate is of 19th century construction.

    Inscription: THM [triad] 1669 THM [triad]

    Manufactured: in 1669 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location:, United States of America.

  8. 860

    terry_sparks 02a.jpg
    695 x 490 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; fillet edging (top and sides); top centre, initials, above date, between repeated fleur-de-lys stamp; from top corners to bottom corners, repeated V-shape pattern formed of stamped short fillets, with an L-shape inserted between the top two Vs on each side.

    Notes: The fleurs de lys are of a distinctive style seen on a small group of firebacks.

    Inscription: RH / 1662

    Manufactured: in 1662 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Checkendon, Oxfordshire, England.

  9. 1106

    warwick,_northgate house b.jpg
    ~590 x ~719 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with quadrant extensions on top corners; twisted rope edging (top and sides); vertical rope line parallel to each side, forming two separate side panels; horizontal rope line joined to vertical lines enclosing the following: inside arch, initials IBA in triad; below initials, double fleur-de-lys stamp between split date 1693; below horizontal line, a double fleur stamp in each top corner of central lower panel; in each side panel, a single bead above a vertical sequence of squared cross stamps repeated nine times.

    Notes: The distinctive squared cross and fleur stamps are seen on other firebacks; the initials in triad may relate to a husband and wife. The photograph had to be taken through a perspex sheet marked with bird droppings.

    Inscription: IBA [triad] / 16 93

    Manufactured: in 1693 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: Northgate House, Northgate, Warwick, Warwickshire, England.