Pelham family firebacks

13 results

  1. 829

    swanborough_manor 03.jpg
    663 x 470 mm

    Description: Rectangular; ovolo-moulded edging (top and sides); repeated guilloche pattern inside top and side edges; upper centre, lozenge stamp with ovolo edges and recessed daisy flower in centre, between buckle stamp repeated twice; the lozenge stamp is repeated over-stamping the lower part of the first.

    Notes: The lozenge stamp is a design also seen on domestic interior panelling; the buckles suggest a Pelham family association; the buckle and lozenge are separate stamps, and in each example their relative positions differ slightly; the guilloche design appears to have been carved on the base panel; an example at The Star Inn, Alfriston, Sussex measures 665mm x 480mm.

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

    Current location: in private hands, Iford, East Sussex, England.

  2. 636

    worth,_saxon road 02.jpg
    1445 x 597 mm

    Description: Rectangular; no edging; quasi-symmetrical arrangement of crosses and buckle outlines: a cross at each corner and one to right of middle, three buckles along the top and three buckles in triad, level with, and below, the central cross; two horizontal plank lines; lower left part of back missing due to wear and corrosion. The fireback has a small accumulation of iron slag on the reverse side, probably caused by a failure, by the founder, to tap off all the slag from the furnace hearth before casting.

    Notes: The buckles, which could have been stamped using a branding iron, suggest a connection with the Pelham family. This is the fireback noted in 1861 at Warbleton Priory, Sussex, which the Pelhams endowed in 1413; the priory was dissolved in 1535 suggesting that the fireback dates from before then. The excrescence, left of centre, on the surface of the fireback was probably caused by molten iron being poured from a ladle into the sand mould and displacing some of the sand.

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

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

    (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).

    Citation: Turner, E., 1861, 'The College and Priory of Hastings and the Priory of Warbleton', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 13, p. 161.

  3. 1204

    805 x 645 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; ovolo moulded edging; date in arch; below arch two parallel, vertical straps, each with a buckle at the top and six prong holes; initials left and right of centre; in top corners, rectangular framed stamp with inset bird; top centre, to left and right of buckle, circular 'butter mould' stamp with stylised fleur-de-lys design, the left one angled top to left; between each initial and strap, rectangular framed stamp with inset deer with antlers, and star in top left corner; below this, adjacent to each strap end, a circular stamp with symmetrical pattern; to left and right of this, a rectangular stamp with an unidentified animal, possibly a dog..

    Notes: The buckles, the date and the initials all appear to be separate stamps but attached to the base board before being impressed to form the mould, as they are identically positioned on all castings. The buckles suggest a connection with the Pelham family; the initials may relate to Sir Thomas Pelham, Bt. (1597-1654) who owned and operated ironworks at Waldron in Sussex. The fleur stamp and, in particular, the circular stamp with the symmetrical pattern bear striking similarities to stamps seen on other firebacks. This would appear to be a casting of the original pattern with the addition of five pairs of stamps. Some of the same stamps, and others, are seen in greater profusion on a fireback formerly at Huggetts Farm, Waldron, Sussex and drawn by Edward Hughes, of Heathfield, in a scrapbook of images compiled by J. Starkie Gardner. Nicholson's auction, Fernhurst, 3 Jul 2021, lot 100.

    Inscription: 1642 / T P

    Manufactured: in 1642 probably at Waldron Furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Worth, West Sussex, England.