Armorial panel firebacks

  1. 144

    991 x 699 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular shaped with cyma recta curved shoulders and 'pinnacles'; ovolo moulded edging with a deep base panel; shield, helm, crest and mantling of the Maynard family; plain motto scroll below.

    Notes: The arms, which are those of an esquire, can be identified from the first four quarters on the memorial to Raffe Maynard, d.1613, in St Albans Cathedral, son of John Maynard (d.1556); quarterly, 1, Maynard: argent, a chevron azure between three sinister hands couped at the wrist gules; 2, Filleigh: gules, a fess vairy between six crosses formy or; 3, Hewis: gules fretty argent a canton of the second; 4, Lyons: argent a chevron sable between three lions dormant coward gules; the crest, a stag statant, is of Maynard. Contemporaneously, there were Maynards who operated ironworks in the Rotherfield area in Sussex, with whom this fireback may be connected. Significantly the motto scroll is blank, suggesting that the wooden pattern for the fireback had been originally intended as a decorative panel with the motto painted rather than carved in relief. The top right corner of the shield was evidently broken on the original pattern prior to being impressed into the casting sand to form the mould. Formerly part of the Ade Collection (from Grove Hill, Hellingly, Sussex).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Arms: Maynard family

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

    Current location: Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, John's Place, Bohemia Road, Hastings, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: HASMG: 1952.51.14 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

    Citation: Demain-Saunders, C., Dec 1934, 'The Early Maynards of Devon and St Albans', Genealogists Magazine, pp. 591-641.

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

  2. 188

    hatfield_house 01.jpg
    1147 x 1013 mm

    Description: Cavetto-canted rectangle with arch; ovolo-moulded edging; shield, garter, helm, mantling, crest and supporters of William Cecil, 1st Lord Burghley, KG (1520-98). Date below garter.

    Notes: William Cecil was Queen Elizabeth I's first minister. The wooden pattern for this fireback (no. 926), itself a fine carved, wooden painted panel, is at Hatfield House, Hertfordshire.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE 15 75

    Arms: William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley KG

    Manufactured: in 1575 possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Hatfield House, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England.

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

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2012, 'Pre-Restoration Iron Firebacks', Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, 20, pp. 2-15.

  3. 1021

    sutton,_greenhill 02b.jpg
    870 x 500 mm

    Description: Rectangular; cavetto-moulded edging; shield mounted on a strap-work cartouche, helm, crest, motto scroll and elaborate swirled mantling.

    Notes: The arms of the Ironmongers' Company; blazon: Argent, on a chevron gules, between three gads of steel azure, three swivels or; crest: two talbots combatant encoupled together or. The true crest of the company has two salamanders (originally 'scaly lizards') rather than talbots, and it has been noted on other firebacks that salamanders are not always represented as amphibians; Samuel Lyne, in his Heraldry Display'd (1741), described the crest as 'two talbots', etc. The motto scroll is blank, indicating that the pattern was an armorial panel with a painted, rather than a carved, motto. A variant of the same fireback has the date 1660 and initials GI (Country Life, 8 March 1946, p. 450; 29 March 1946, p.588). Reeman Dansie auction, Colchester, 13 Apr 2016, lot 1224; Bellman's auction, Wisborough Green, 13 Oct 2021, lot 588 (£220).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Arms: Worshipful Company of Ironmongers

    Manufactured: in the mid 17th century in England.

    Current location:, not known.