Description: Arched rectangular shaped; ovolo-moulded edging (top and sides); central stamp of a carved bracket figure of a bearded man in a loincloth and cap; rhyme in capitals across rectangular plate, letters carved on strips, split by figure.
Notes: The twin miseries of a smoky house and a scolding wife are mentioned several times in literature. The dress of the figure suggests work as a miner, possibly linking this back with the Forest of Dean. Variants with initials and dates are also known.
Inscription: FROM ·A·-·SMOKY ·LIFE·/ AND·A SCOVL DING·WIFE·/ALL MEN THAT-DOE·ME·SE/ TAKE·PETIE- AND·DELIVER ME
Current location: Westwood Manor, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, England.
Museum number: 222507 (part of the National Trust museum group)
Description: Canted rectangle; inset twisted rope edging (top and sides); stamp formed of a statuette of an standing angel with left hand at the waist, and holding a sceptre in the right hand; date split either side of angel; initials 'RD' split above date; initials 'IDA' in triad above angel; small face stamp in each top corner.
Notes: The identity of those to whom the initials refer is not known; the use of the angel statuette is a rare inclusion of a religious motif on an English fireback. A variant of this fireback is at Flaxley Abbey, Gloucestershire.
Inscription: IDA [triad] / R D / 16 32
Current location: The Lygon Arms, High Street, Broadway, Worcestershire, England.
1035? x ? mm
Description: Rectangular with furniture-derived mounding (top and sides); double-loop 'lens' pattern stamp repeated inside the moulded edging nine times along the top and three times down each side; top left, initials RBD in triad; right of top centre, date; top right, initials RB split between two repeated dog stamps; four other dog stamps in pairs below, and one below date; becapped human figure stamp, with his left arm raised to his head and his right arm akimbo, repeated four times below initial triad and two singly, one below lone dog stamp and one centre right; top centre, stamp of a crest formed of a stag 'lodged' (i.e. sitting) upon a wreath, in this instance only with pseudo legs drawn below, also repeated six times in two rows of three left of lower centre, with one to the left of the six; 'renaissance' shield bearing an 'IE' monogram with continuous loop between the letters, repeated lower left and right with a third bottom centre impressed partially over the centremost stag crest.
Notes: Acquired in 1900 by Sir Spencer Maryon-Wilson for Charlton House (Country Life, 23 April 1904); several of the stamps have been noted on two other firebacks, both dated 1617, and suggesting by their location an origin in the Horsham area of the Weald.
Inscription: R B D [triad] 1602 R T / IE IE / IE
Description: Triple arched rectangular shape, centre arch higher; each arch supported by pilasters; within centre arch, cloaked, bearded male figure wearing a crown and carrying a ewer and what appear to be a pile of plates; in left arch, above first half of date, a clothed female figure carrying a goblet and possibly a candle on a staff; in the right arch, above the second half of the date, a clothed female figure holding a distaff and a length of wool; there is a narrow panel at the bottom; on the outside of the arches are scroll-shaped protusions.
Notes: The shape of this fireback is relatively uncommon, and the significance of the figures may relate to a particular narrative.
Inscription: 16 28
Current location: in private hands, Cowden, Kent, England.
- Attached to series:
- Figurine firebacks
Description: Canted rectangle; inset twisted rope edging (top and sides); stamp formed of a statuette of an standing angel with left hand at the waist, and holding a sceptre in the right hand; date split either side of angel; initials in triad above angel; small face stamp repeated three times, one each side of angel, and one below.
Notes: The identity of those to whom the initials refer is not known; the use of the angel statuette is a rare inclusion of a religious motif on an English fireback. A variant of this fireback is at the Lygon Arms Hotel, Broadway, Worcestershire.
Inscription: IHI [triad] / 16 33
Current location: Flaxley Abbey, Flaxley, Gloucestershire, England.
Description: Rectangular; low-relief moulded edging along top, then down sides; double-looped 'lens' pattern stamp repeated six times across the top, inside the edging and, rotated, three times down each side; becapped human figure stamp, with his left arm raised to his head and his right arm akimbo, repeated in each top corner; between these, 'IE' monogram with continuous loop between the letters repeated five times, two in line above and three below, the centre one slightly raised; the date between the top two; a lifting handle on each side.
Notes: Said to have been at Horsham, Sussex; on another fireback, at Upper Beeding in Sussex, cast with the same stamps, and also dated 1617, the monogram stamp is clearly carved on a 'renaissance' shield, indicating that in this instance the stamps were not impressed as deeply. Drawing by J. Lewis André in the J. Starkie Gardner Collection, Victoria & Albert Museum, Archive of Art and Design (AAD/2014/8). Possibly the fireback referred to by Lewis André in 1882 as belonging to a Miss Alman, of East Street, Horsham (Sussex Archaeological Collections XXXII, p.76).
Inscription: IE 1617 IE / IE IE IE
Description: Arched rectangular shape with stepped angles; twisted rope edging (top and sides); small flower bud stamp repeated inside edging, with ‘pineapple’ stamp repeated inside; lower part comprises three concentric half-rectangles formed from undulating vine strips and repeated ‘pineapple’ stamp; above, three vertical vine strips with parallel ‘pineapple’ stamps, human face stamps above them; two diagonal vine strips below the vertical strips.
Notes: A most remarkable fireback, incorporating stamps seen on other firebacks.
Current location: in private hands, Grayswood, Surrey, England.
Description: Rectangular; no edging; arrangement of eight fleur de lys stamps formed of, at top centre, four in a cross shape, with two in line on each side; on each side of the cross arrangement is a naked standing putto stamp.
Notes: The putti are an unusual addition to what is a quite crudely decorated fireback
Current location: in private hands, Heathfield, East Sussex, England.
Description: Arched rectangular shaped; ovolo moulded edging (top and sides); central stamp of a carved bracket figure of a bearded man in a loincloth and cap; date and monogram in arch, split by figure, ‘T’ elevated; rhyme in capitals across centre, letters carved on strips, split by figure; date and initials as individual stamps.
Notes: The twin miseries of a smoky house and a scolding wife are mentioned several times in literature. The dress of the figure suggests work as a miner, possibly linking this back with the Forest of Dean. Variants exist without date or initials, or with other dates. A version of this fireback with the date 1660, instead of 1658, was noted at Bellamy's Farm, Longney, Gloucestershire in 1912 (Notes and Queries, 11th ser., 6 (Sep 1912), p.230.).
Copies of this fireback are known.
Inscription: 1658 LTB; ·FROM ·A·-·SMOKY ·LIFE·/ AND·A SCOVL DING·WIFE·/ALL MEN THAT-DOE·ME·SE/ TAKE·PETIE- AND·DELIVER ME
Current location: in private hands, Huddington, Worcestershire, England.
Description: Damaged; rectangle, flanged edging; two vertical panels, each with a row of lancet arches along the top: on right, robed figure with a crown, head tilted to left, left hand raised in benediction, right hand holding a chalice, standing on a bracket; on right, similar figure facing forward.
Notes: Stoveplate. Similar plates suggest these may be two of the Magi.
Current location: Anne of Cleves House, Southover High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, England.
Museum number: LH000.795 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)