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.Formerly in the collection of Dr C. L. Prince of Crowborough, Sussex.

    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).