Firebacks

Garden design types

  1. 914

    abinger,_goddards.jpg
    1180 x 780 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides) with fillet edging at bottom; cast of a 1598 fireback within a recessed panel, the arch of the original fireback being overlaid with twisted rope and diagonal lengths of rope laid alongside. The original fireback is described as follows: Composite of three elements; central panel has a complex ‘knot’ pattern with a fillet edge; side panel, repeated on either side of the central panel, contains a vase of flowers, possibly stylised thistles, within an arched frame and fillet edge; arched panel above, also with fillet edge, contains the date and inscription; the spandrels of the side panels, and the arched top panel, contain a series of 'bullseye' motifs comprising concentric rings deepening towards the centre.

    Notes: The central fireback measures 795mm wide by 735mm high and is from a different casting to that seen at Linchmere, Sussex.

    Inscription: 1598 / IM IB

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

    Current location: Goddards, Abinger Common, Abinger, Surrey, England.

  2. 1121

    buxted,_old popeswood cottage.jpg
    1110 x 550 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; cavetto-moulded edging; central abstract arrangement in low relief of a horizontally positioned oval surrounded by four separated spandrels forming a rectangular shape over all; at each side, on a raised rectangular field, a stylised bud or cone of helical form, within a calyx above a semi-circular base, one mirroring the other. A deep plankline is evident half way up the left plant.

    Notes: An excrescence on the right side may have been caused by iron being poured from a ladle disturbing the casting sand. There are no parallels for this fireback design. The central abstract arrangement may be associated with a formal plan of a garden parterre, the stylised plants continuing that theme.

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

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

  3. 475

    lynchmere,_shulbrede 03.jpg
    795 x 750 mm

    Description: Composite of three elements; central panel has a complex ‘knot’ pattern with a fillet edge; side panel, repeated on either side of the central panel, contains a vase of flowers, possibly stylised thistles, within an arched frame and fillet edge; arched panel above, also with fillet edge, contains the date and inscription; the spandrels of the side panels, and the arched top panel, contain a series of 'bullseye' motifs comprising concentric rings deepening towards the centre.

    Notes: One of an unusual series formed from separate panels arranged, in this instance, with the outer panel repeated.‘Knot’ patterns were popular in gardens of the period. The garden theme is continued with the side panels. A version of the same design, recorded in a photograph of 1904 at Willesden, London, is a different casting, the top panel with the date and initials, being straight not slightly askew as in this example.

    Inscription: 1598 / IM IB

    Manufactured: in 1598 in the Weald area of England.

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

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

  4. 1063

    va_e4376-2000.jpg
    ~790 x ~745 mm

    Description: Composite of three elements; central panel has a complex ‘knot’ pattern with a fillet edge; side panel, repeated on either side of the central panel, contains a vase of flowers, possibly stylised thistles, within an arched frame and fillet edge; arched panel above, also with fillet edge, contains the date and inscription; the spandrels of the side panels, and the arched top panel, contain a series of circular motifs comprising concentric rings deepening towards the centre.

    Notes: ‘Knot’ patterns were popular in gardens of the period. The garden theme is continued with the side panels. An example of the same design, noted at Linchmere, West Sussex, is a different casting, the top panel with the date and initials being slightly askew. From a photograph in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; photographed at Mapesbury House, Willesden in 1904.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1598 / IM IB

    Manufactured: in 1598 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:.

    Museum number: E.4376-2000 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)