Firebacks

Rose-en-soleil series

  1. 713

    christies_24-05-01_1155mm_x_755mm_b.jpg
    1155 x 755 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); top row, two square-within-a-square arrangements of twisted rope between three stamps formed of Gothic tracery cresting; 2nd row, two more tracery cresting stamps between two crowned, star-embossed butter mould stamps with a crowned rose-en-soleil in the middle; 3rd row, three star-embossed butter mould stamps with two pairs of fleurs-de-lys between them; bottom row, seven fleurs-de-lys; plus intersepersed fragments of tracery and short rope lengths, and a vertical, zig-zag arrangement of rope lengths on the left side.

    Notes: The rose-en-soleil was the badge of King Edward IV and, thus, a Yorkist symbol. Many of the stamps employed on this fireback are seen, with other stamps, on a wide variety of firebacks, suggesting a common source; similar gothic tracery cresting can be seen as pierced cresting on a rare late-Medieval, wooden Easter sepulchre at the redundant church of St Michael at Cowthorpe, North Yorkshire. A similar fireback is at Anne of Cleves House, Lewes. Christie's auction, 24 May 2001.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century possibly at Pounsley furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:, Oxfordshire, England.

  2. 1194

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    1615 x 740 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; twisted rope or strap edging (top and sides); semi-random arrangement of three stamps interspersed with rope crosses and rope 'squares' with saltires or linked smaller squares within; low centre, a crowned rose-en-soleil stamp repeated, more or less regularly, five times across the width of the fireback; above, four circular butter mould stamps with a hexagonal design, between which are two rope squares with saltires and, to the left, a rope square containing a smaller square with its corners linked to the corners of the outer square; above, a horned sheep standing on a base repeated four times, between which are two crowned rose-en-soleil stamps and four rope crosses, with a square-within-a-square at the right end.

    Notes: The rose-en-soleil was the badge of King Edward IV and, thus, a Yorkist symbol. It, together with the butter mould and rope squares, are seen on other firebacks associating them with the same producer/foundry. Formerly at Heringdales/Heronsdale Manor, Waldron, East Sussex. Illustration from Christy 1908.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century possibly at Pounsley furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Wickham Manor, Winchelsea, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: NT/WMF/M/007 (part of the National Trust museum group)

    Citation: Christy, M., 30 May 1908, 'The Old Flat Hearth and its Appliances, III - The Fire-back', The Crown, The Court and County Families' Newspaper, XCIX, Vol. 8, No. 9, pp. 383-6.

  3. 131

    hastings_022.jpg
    1060 x 540 mm

    Description: Rectangular with lifting handles; twisted rope edging (top and sides); elaborate central rope design of concentric squares with eight symmetrical arms each with six branches; two crowned rose en soleil stamps left and right centre; three roses across the bottom interspersed with two fleurs de lys; in top corner, two carved furniture-derived stamps. The width of the main plate is 876mm.

    Notes: The rose-en-soleil was the badge of King Edward IV and, thus, a Yorkist symbol. The individual stamps are to be seen, separately or together, on other firebacks, indicating a common source; lifting handles are infrequently encountered on firebacks. The elaborate central rope array may be an interpretation of the escarbuncle, which was the principal heraldic charge on the arms of the Duchy of Cleves (1515-57), possibly associating this fireback with the brief marriage of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century possibly at Pounsley furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 952.51.44 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

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

  4. 371

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 006.jpg
    1170 x 770 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); top row, two square-within-a-square arrangements of twisted rope between three stamps formed of Gothic tracery cresting; 2nd row, two more tracery cresting stamps (the one on the right over stamping a fleur-de-lys) between two crowned, star-embossed butter mould stamps with a crowned rose-en-soleil in the middle; 3rd row, three star-embossed butter mould stamps with two pairs of fleurs-de-lys between them; bottom row, seven fleurs-de-lys; plus intersepersed short rope lengths, and a vertical, double zig-zag arrangement of rope lengths on each side.

    Notes: The rose-en-soleil was the badge of King Edward IV and, thus, a Yorkist symbol. Many of the stamps employed on this fireback are seen, with other stamps, on a wide variety of firebacks, suggesting a common source; similar gothic tracery stamps can be seen as pierced cresting on a rare late-Medieval, wooden Easter sepulchre at the redundant church of St Michael at Cowthorpe, North Yorkshire.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century possibly at Pounsley furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: LH000.940 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

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

  5. 383

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 018.jpg
    970 x 705 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; thin twisted rope edging on top and sides; trailing vine strips frame a row of repeated bird (probably swan) stamps (5) above repeated rose en soleil stamps (5); single bird stamp with two short, slanting vine strips in top arch.

    Notes: The rose-en-soleil was the badge of King Edward IV and, thus, a Yorkist symbol, while the swan had been adopted by Henry IV and was, therefore, a Lancastrian symbol.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century possibly at Pounsley furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: LH000.941 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Butterfield, W. R., 1916, 'Old Wealden Firebacks', The Connoisseur, 46, pp. 197-209.

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

  6. 474

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    >750 x ~750 mm

    Description: Fragment; arched rectangular shape with rounded corners; ovolo within fillet moulding all round; oval Tudor royal shield with garter surrounding, topped with a royal crown; dragon and greyhound supporters; initials split by crown; inscription on a fillet between legs of supporters, behind garter finial; motto on an Ionic plinth at bottom; left hand rectangular extension panel with twisted rope edging on top and side: initials in top left corner, ‘dragon’s head’ in top right corner, rose-en-soleil stamp in centre, rose stamp bottom centre.

    Notes: The letters on the extension panel are the same form and size as those on the top of the armorial pattern, indicating that they were added to the armorial, perhaps to indicate a change of reign. The letter 'E' has also been noted on another fireback of the same series. The rose-en-soleil was the badge of King Edward IV and, thus, a Yorkist symbol; it is seen on other firebacks.

    Inscription: E R / E / R / HONY SOIT QUE MAL Y PAYNCE / Made in Sussex by John Harvo / DV ET MOVN DR...

    Arms: Tudor royal

    Manufactured: in the mid 16th century possibly at Pounsley furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:.

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

    Citation: Lower, M. A., 1849, 'Iron Works of the County of Sussex', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 2, pp. 169-220 (esp. pp. 188-9).