Firebacks

Stepped firebacks

  1. 206

    bramber,_st marys 01a.jpg
    695 x 600 mm

    Description: Rectangular with two-stepped top; double astragal edging on sides; top centre, stamp formed of a talbot statant guardant upon a wreath; date split either side of crest; initials below date, + below letters.

    Notes: The talbot crest is seen on other firebacks indicating a common source.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 22 / I + H

    Manufactured: in 1622 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: St Mary's House, Bramber, West Sussex, England.

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

  2. 324

    horne,_chithurst farm (dbrg).jpg
    ~700 x ~600 mm

    Description: Rectangular with two-stepped top; undefined edging; in arch, stamp formed of a talbot statant guardant upon a wreath; date below crest; vertical carved billet stamped three times, the centre one higher than the other two, between the initials, below each pair of which is a cross stamp.

    Notes: The talbot crest is seen on other firebacks indicating a common source; from a drawing in report 2553 of the Domestic Buildings Research Group (Surrey). The fireback is obscured behind a stove.

    Inscription: 16 30 / IM EM

    Manufactured: in 1630 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Horne, Surrey, England.

  3. 385

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 020.jpg
    690 x 525 mm

    Description: Rectangular with two-stepped top; plain plate; date across lower step; rope saltire in upper step; initials split below outer shoulders.

    Notes: The similarities between this and other stepped firebacks imply a common source.

    Inscription: 1615 / R T

    Manufactured: in 1615 in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.050 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Anon., 30 Dec 1911, 'Sussex Backs and their Story', The Ironmonger.

    Citation: Hughes, G. B., 1955, 'Old English Firebacks', Country Life, 117, 21 April, pp. 1056-60.

    Citation: Hughes, G. B., May 1940, 'Old English Firebacks', Apollo, 31, 185, pp. 117-120.

  4. 945

    lindfield,_woodsland farm 01.jpg
    785 x 590 mm

    Description: Rectangular with two-stepped top; twisted rope edging (top and sides) formed of short rope sections, with top vertical sections extending down beyond the join with the next horizontal section; top centre, stamp formed of a talbot statant guardant upon a wreath; date separated by crest stamp; initials below and separated by date.

    Notes: The talbot crest has been seen on other firebacks indicating a common source.

    Inscription: 16 21 / R T

    Manufactured: in 1621 in the Weald area of England.

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

  5. 1015

    rogate,_fyning manor.jpg
    1760 x 940 mm

    Description: Rectangular with two-stepped top; twisted rope edging (top and sides); twisted rope extensions enclosing intermediate step with rope continued parallel to sides; central rope octagram with reversed date above between repeated inverted shield shapes off-set (left higher than right); the shield blazon: barry wavy impaling quarterly, overlaid with a small bird stamp and an indistinct ?bird shape in the top left quarter as viewed; within the rope, a roughly parallel arrangement of 23 double-loop-patterned stamps, with the faint impression of an additional stamp in the top right corner of the arrangement; outside the loop stamps and partially overlying the vertical rope extensions, the impressions of two classically designed firedogs with Ionic capitals and fluted pilasters, bearing the date 1594, but with the '1' missing; the fluting on the pilasters has been overlaid by the repeated impression of a turned peg.

    Notes: A large and remarkably elaborate fireback: the octagram, a device seen as uncommonly on continental firebacks as on English ones, suggests an apotropaic purpose; the impression of the firedogs was clearly made after the laying of the rope lengths and impressed less deeply as the rope impression has not been obliterated by the firedog on the left side. A fireback with the same loop stamps bears the same date using the same numerals but impressed the correct way round. Currently obscured behind a wood stove.

    Inscription: 4951 [951 reversed] / 594 594

    Manufactured: in 1594 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Fyning Manor, Rogate, West Sussex, England.

  6. 960

    titsey_place 01.jpg
    832 x 632 mm

    Description: Rectangular with two-stepped top; twisted rope edging to top of main plate and sides of lower step, reused frame moulding for sides of main plate; top centre, stamp formed of a talbot statant guardant upon a wreath; date below crest stamp; initials in triad, separated by, and below, date.

    Notes: Straight elements in the letters and numbers are formed of the same short lengths of twisted rope that are used to form the edging; curved elements appear to have been formed by hand drawing in the casting sand; the talbot crest, which in this instance has been over pressed and shows the shape of the backing, has been seen on other firebacks indicating a common source, and is associated with firebacks with a stepped-shape.

    Inscription: N 1615 W / K

    Manufactured: in 1615 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Titsey Place, Titsey, Surrey, England.