Firebacks

Hand print firebacks

  1. 1113

    crowborough,_luxford house 04.jpg
    840 x 570 mm

    Description: Quasi-rectangular with a three-facetted arch; top centre, left hand print; around each shoulder, M W mirrored.

    Notes: The likelihood is that the M and W are formed of a double-V (virgo virginum) intended to symbolise the Virgin Mary and have an apotropaic (evil-averting) purpose. It may be of significance that hand prints seen on firebacks are always of the left hand.

    Inscription: MW WM

    Manufactured: in the early 17th century possibly in the Weald area of England.

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

  2. 60

    etchingham,_king johns lodge  01.jpg
    >1130 x 670 mm

    Description: Fragment; rectangular; flanged top edge; probable symmetrical arrangement of crowned Tudor royal shield stamps (4 above 3); vertical line on either side of each shield; left hand print in bottom left corner, probably mirrored on right.

    Notes: The right side of the fireback is missing. Very crude modelling of stamp suggests an early date; the same crowned shield and use of hand print can be seen on a fireback at Rolvenden, indicating a common source..

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

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

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

  3. 73

    groombridge,_bird in hand st 01a.jpg
    783 x 497 mm

    Description: Plain rectangular plate; print of a left hand, lower centre.

    Notes: The excrescence above and to the left of the hand print shows where the pouring iron displaced the casting sand.

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

    Current location: in private hands, Groombridge, Kent, England.

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

  4. 370

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 005.jpg
    >590 x >560 mm

    Description: Fragment; left side only; twisted rope edging to left, canted moulded batten above; left hand print with dividers to its right.

    Notes: An unusual combination of edging. The dividers may refer to the occupation of the person for whom this fireback was cast.

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

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

    Museum number: LH000.798 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Anon., 30 Dec 1911, 'Sussex Backs and their Story', The Ironmonger.

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

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

    Citation: Schubert, H. R., 1957, History of the British Iron and Steel Industry (London, Routledge), pp. 256-264.

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

  5. 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, 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).