Firebacks

IB series

  1. 1056

    beaulieu,palace_house 01.jpg
    920 x 685 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; moulded fillet edging (top and sides); top line, 'daisy' plant stamp repeated three times, spaced evenly, with 'SOWLY' in a block, a ducal coronet above, between the left two, and '1721' in individual numerals, a ducal coronet above, between the right two; a swirling foliage stamp repeated down each side, a 'daisy' plant below each; initials 'I' and 'B' separately in bottom corners.

    Notes: Sowley was the iron furnace in Hampshire owned in 1721 by the 2nd duke of Montagu, whose coronet is seen in the decoration, and operated by John White of Monmouth. The swirled foliage stamp is seen on other firebacks identified by the letters 'IB' between 1703 and 1721, probably indicating the same founder.

    Inscription: SOWLY 1721 / I B

    Manufactured: in 1721 at Sowley furnace in the New Forest area of England.

    Current location: Palace House, Beaulieu, Hampshire, England.

  2. 1057

    beaulieu,palace_house 02.jpg
    1000 x 685 mm

    Description: Rectangular; moulded fillet edging (top and sides); left justified text in upper case, in two lines: Tunc bonus est ignis cum pendet stiria tignis (Then fire is good when icicles hang from the eaves); below left, 'SOWLY' in a block; below right, '1721' in individual numerals; a swirling foliage stamp repeated down each side; initials 'I' and 'B' separately in bottom corners.

    Notes: The source of the inscription is 'A Dictionarie in English and Latine for Children' by William Clark (London, Thomas Purfoot, 1602), p. 13. Sowley was the iron furnace in Hampshire owned in 1721 by the 2nd duke of Montagu and operated by John White of Monmouth. The swirled foliage stamp is seen on other firebacks identified by the letters 'IB' between 1703 and 1721, probably indicating the same founder.

    Inscription: TUNC BONUS EST IGNIS / CUM PENDET STIRIA TIGNIS / SOWLY 1721/ I B

    Manufactured: in 1721 at Sowley furnace in the New Forest area of England.

    Current location: Palace House, Beaulieu, Hampshire, England.

  3. 225

    cardiff,_st fagans 03.jpg
    1005 x 668 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; cavetto moulded edging (top and sides); single horizontal fillet below canted corners and vertical fillet parallel to each side, dividing the fireback into two side panels, two top corner panels, top panel and main central panel; corner panels, ‘daisy’ plant stamp; top panel, date between ‘daisy’ stamps, between initials in triad at each end; side panels, swirling foliage stamp repeated each side above initials, I to left, B to right; centre panel, stamp of ‘Indian’ smoking a pipe at top left, stamp of seated ‘gentleman’ smoking a pipe and holding another, at top right.

    Notes: The 'daisy' stamp and the IB initials are identical to those on similar firebacks dated between 1703 and 1721, and probably indicating the same founder. The use of stamps relating to tobacco smoking may suggest an origin near Bristol, the main entry port for the tobacco trade at that time. Formerly at Lilly Hall, Ledbury, Herefordshire.

    Inscription: TVI [triad] 1708 TVI [triad] / I B

    Manufactured: in 1708 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: National History Museum, St Fagans, Glamorgan, Wales.

    Museum number: 13.90/2 (part of the Welsh National History Museum museum group)

  4. 55

    dyrham_park 01.jpg
    1016 x 610 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; cavetto moulded edging (top and sides); single horizontal fillet below canted corners and vertical fillet parallel to each side, dividing the fireback into two side panels, two top corner panels, top panel and main central panel; ‘daisy’ plant stamp in top corners, and at outer end of top panel enclosing two, opposite facing, lion passant stamps with date between; swirling foliage stamp repeated in each side panel above initial, I to left, B to right; stamp of ‘Indian’ smoking a pipe in top left of central panel, stamp of seated ‘gentleman’ smoking a pipe and holding another, at top right.

    Notes: The 'daisy' stamp and the IB initials are identical to those on similar firebacks dated between 1703 and 1721, and probably indicating the same founder. The use of stamps relating to tobacco smoking may suggest an origin near Bristol, the main entry port for the tobacco trade at that time. Lent to Dyrham Park by the late John Workman OBE, of Sheepscombe, Gloucs. in 1963, and given in 1996.

    Inscription: 1708 / I B

    Manufactured: in 1708 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: Dyrham Park, Dyrham, Gloucestershire, England.

    Museum number: NT/DYR/M/5 (part of the National Trust museum group)

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

  5. 841

    lechlade,_old bell antiques b.jpg
    1110 x 725 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; cavetto-moulded edging (top and sides); single horizontal fillet below canted corners and vertical fillet parallel to each side, dividing the fireback into two side panels, two top corner panels, top panel and main central panel; corner panels, ‘daisy’ plant stamp; top panel, date between ‘daisy’ stamps, between initials in triad at each end; side panels, swirling foliage stamp repeated each side above a fleur-de-lys; centre panel, stamp of ‘Indian’ smoking a pipe at top left, stamp of seated ‘gentleman’ smoking a pipe and holding another, at top right; below each, a lion passant stamp, facing right on the left and facing left on the right; initials IB in bottom corners of centre panel.

    Notes: The 'daisy' stamp is identical to those on similar firebacks dated between 1703 and 1721, and probably indicating the same founder; the use of stamps relating to tobacco smoking may suggest an origin near Bristol, the main entry port for the tobacco trade at that time. Previously noted at Little Faringdon House, near Lechlade.

    Inscription: TME [triad] 1706 TME [triad] / I B

    Manufactured: in 1706 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: Old Bell Antiques, High Street, Lechlade, Gloucestershire, England.

  6. 910

    pimlico,_gifford mead 06a.jpg
    762 x 508 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; cavetto-moulded edging (top and sides); single horizontal fillet below canted corners and vertical fillet parallel to each side, dividing the fireback into two side panels, two top corner panels, top panel and main central panel; corner panels, ‘daisy’ plant stamp; top panel, central initials between split date, separated by 'daisy' stamps; side panels, swirling foliage stamp repeated each side, initial at bottom of panel: I to the left, B to the right.

    Notes: The 'daisy' stamp and IB initials are identical to those on similar firebacks dated to between 1703 and 1721, probably indicating the same founder. Christie's Interiors - Masters & Makers (Sale 5462), South Kensington, London, 8 July 2014, lot 126.

    Inscription: 17 IS 07 / I B

    Manufactured: in 1707 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location:.

  7. 890

    rotherfield_greys,_greys_court_a.jpg
    930 x 835 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; cavetto moulded edging (top and sides); single horizontal fillet below canted corners and vertical fillet parallel to each side, dividing the fireback into two side panels, two top corner panels, top panel and main central panel; corner panels, ‘daisy’ plant stamp; top panel, date between ‘daisy’ stamps, between initials in triad at each end; side panels, swirling foliage stamp repeated each side above a fleur-de-lys, above initial 'I' on left and 'B' on right; centre panel, stamp of ‘Indian’ smoking a pipe at top left, stamp of seated ‘gentleman’ smoking a pipe and holding another, at top right; below each, a seated monkey stamp, that on the left seated facing right, its paws in front of it and its tail below, that on the right seated facing left, its tail drawn across its chest.

    Notes: The IB initials are identical to those on similar firebacks dated between 1703 and 1721, probably indicating the same founder. The number 3 of the date and the fleur-de-lys on the lower left side have been over-pressed showing the backs of the stamps. The use of stamps relating to tobacco smoking may suggest an origin near Bristol, the main entry port for the tobacco trade at that time.

    Inscription: IES [triad] 1703 IES [triad] / I B

    Manufactured: in 1703 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: Greys Court, Rotherfield Greys, Oxfordshire, England.

    (part of the National Trust museum group)

  8. 837

    shuffrey_(1912) p139 fig 134.jpg
    ~520 x ~405 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; cavetto-moulded edging; single horizontal ?rope strip below canted corners and vertical ?rope strip parallel to each side, dividing the fireback into two side panels, two top corner panels, top panel and main central panel; top corner panels, a plant stamp repeated in each; top panel, date between repeated plant stamp; side panels, fleur-de-lys stamp repeated twice on each side in a vertical arrangement, a single plant stamp below, above one initial on each side; central panel plain.

    Notes: The 'daisy' stamp, fleurs de lys and the IB initials are identical to those on similar firebacks dated between 1703 and 1721, and probably indicating the same founder. Illustration from Shuffrey 1912, p.139.

    Inscription: 1710 / I B

    Manufactured: in 1710 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location:.

    Citation: Shuffrey, L. A., 1912, The English Fireplace, London, Batsford

  9. 714

    unknown_15 600 x 690 somerset.jpg
    600 x 690 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; cavetto moulded edging (top and sides); single horizontal fillet below canted corners and vertical fillet parallel to each side, dividing the fireback into two side panels, two top corner panels, top panel and main central panel; corner panels, lion passant stamp, left facing in right corner, right facing in left corner; top panel, date between fleurs-de-lys; side panels, suspended vine stamp repeated each side; centre panel, flower stamp in each top corner.

    Notes: The lion stamps and design elements (canted shape, vertical and horizontal divisions) are identical to those on similar firebacks dated to the first decade of the 18th century, and indicate a common source.

    Inscription: 1699

    Manufactured: in 1699 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location:, Somerset, England.