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 circular 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 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. 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)