Date & initials firebacks

161 results

  1. 1228

    1570 x 760 mm

    Description: Canted rectangular shape; double fillet edging (top and sides); top centre, date; initials, SP, repeated in top corners; a fleur-de-lys below each pair of initials and the date; between the initials and the date, a flower head, with two more flower heads arranged vertically on each side below the initials.

    Notes: The style of the fleurs-de-lys, and the distinctive form of the number '8', indicate that this fireback is one of a small series. Bishop & Miller auction, Stowmarket, Suffolk, 25 May 2022, lot 292 & 23 Feb 2023 lot 250, and Auctionet 4 Aug 2023, lot 2960707.

    Inscription: SP 1689 SP

    Manufactured: in 1689 possibly in the Shropshire area of England.

    Current location: not known.

  2. 1209

    1130 x 1285 mm

    Description: Individually designed quasi-arched rectangular shape; astragal edging; central portico with framed doorway and sloping roof, in which stands a male figure dressed in contemporary style; above the roof, the date, and above that, the initials R R separated by a flower head, this inscription enclosed within a five-sided ribbon compartment held at the top corners by a pair of mirrored dancing cherubs each of which holds in their outer hand a wand surmounted by a fleur-de-lys; below them are mirrored vine designs terminating in a grape bunch, and below each of them a mirrored swirled snake, its head reversed; towards the outer side of these snakes are a pair of mirrored birds within a curved cartouche of slightly raised relief that is associated with a swirl on each side of the fireback that terminates the astragal edging on each side and which ascends via a step surmounted by a miniature urn on each shoulder of the back to the top which is surmounted by an acorn shape; above the ribbons held by the cherubs, is a stylised crown between the initials GR; the above features are limited by a horizontal astragal, though the portico descends below it, and which is supported at each end by a simple Doric column enclosing the bottom panel which is otherwise plain.

    Notes: The initials GR are of Georgius Rex - King George I. Finely cast but of naïve design, another fireback of the same design but with different inscriptions and dated 1714 is at Low Graythwaite in Hawkshead parish, which was home to the Rawlinson family who, in 1711, built the first blast furnace in what was then the northern part of Lancashire.

    Inscription: G R / R R / 1723

    Manufactured: in 1723 possibly at Backbarrow Furnace in the Furness area of England.

    Current location: Blackwell House, Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria, England.

    Citation: Cowper, H. S., 1899, Hawkshead: its History, Archaeology, Industries, Folklore, Dialect, etc., etc. (London, Bemrose).

  3. 875

    bradford-on-avon,_westwood manor 04a.jpg
    1300 x 760 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; double fillet edging (top and sides); repeated 'X' stamp parallel to edging, horizontally across centre, and in two parallel lines from top to centre, dividing top half of plate into three sections; 'daisy' stamp approximately in middle of top left and right sections, repeated four times in triad in top middle section, and thrice along top of bottom section; small roundel stamp repeated 3-3-1 in top left section, and 3-1-3-1 in top right section; date split between top left and right sections; initials split in top centre section.

    Notes: An arrangement with several elements likely to have been repeated on other firebacks.

    Inscription: 16 D[reversed] B 81

    Manufactured: in 1681 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: Westwood Manor, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, England.

    Museum number: 222490 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  4. 218

    brighton_museum 10.jpg
    910 x 350 mm

    Description: Rectangular; cyma recta moulded edging formed of short lengths probably derived from furniture; top left, initials arranged in triad; top right, date; top centre, rose-and-crown between two small fleurs de lys, with two concentric rope-patterned roundels outside, above two small roses; four roses evenly spaced across lower middle, with a fleur between each outer pair, and another rose below the date.

    Notes: One of a series of firebacks cast between the 1670s and 1690s bearing small, simple stamps, initials and dates; the style of rose and crown is similar to that used in gun founding in the Tudor period, suggesting that the furnace that was the source of this fireback may have been used for that purpose.

    Inscription: HEM [triad] 1685

    Manufactured: in 1685 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Brighton, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: R3341/2 (part of the Brighton Museum museum group)

    Citation: Gardner, J. S., 1898, 'Iron Casting in the Weald', Archaeologia, 56, 1, pp. 133-164.

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

    Citation: Lindsay, J. S., 1927, Iron & Brass Implements of the English House (London, The Medici Society).

  5. 1088

    brightwells,_leominster 27 jul 2016 lot 694.jpg
    ?900 x ?500 mm

    Description: Canted rectangular shape; cavetto-moulded edging (top and sides); across the top, double star stamp repeated nine times; below and top centre, date between initials in triad; below date, large hollow fleur-de-lys stamp repeated three times in a line between two triads of stylised fleur-de-lys stamps, with one of the same stamps in each bottom corner; lower centre, woodblock stamp repeated three times in a line.

    Notes: The initials 'IIA' in triad probably relate to a couple whose surname initial was 'I' or 'J'; a fireback, dated 1659, with some of the same stamps is at the Dean Heritage Centre, Soudley, Gloucestershire, and another, dated 1667, has been noted at Upper End Farm, Hope Mansell, Herefordshire. Brightwells Auctioneers, Leominster, 27 Jul 2016, lot 694 (£480 inc. grate).

    Inscription: IIA [triad] 1668 IIA [triad]

    Manufactured: in 1668 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: not known.

  6. 999

    broadway,_ashmolean museum 01.jpg
    555 x 853 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with cyma recta shoulders; astragal edging (top and sides); top centred, date split by a mirrored 'TC' monogram.

    Notes: A bold, simple design, its dimensions reflecting the reduced size of fireplaces in the period.

    Inscription: 16 TCTC 93

    Manufactured: in 1693 in England.

    Current location: Ashmolean Museum Broadway, 65 High Street , Broadway, Worcestershire, England.

    (part of the Ashmolean Museum museum group)

  7. 1027

    broadway,_lygon arms 01a.jpg
    905 x 760 mm

    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 (no. 293).

    Inscription: IDA [triad] / R D / 16 32

    Manufactured: in 1632 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: The Lygon Arms, High Street, Broadway, Worcestershire, England.

  8. 1028

    broadway,_lygon arms 02a.jpg
    1010 x 930 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides); date in arch; initial triads in top shoulders of plate; small mask patera repeated once above date and on each side of 'H' initials.

    Notes: The small mask patera has not been seen on other firebacks.

    Inscription: 1631 / WHK [triad] WHK [triad]

    Manufactured: in 1631 in England.

    Current location: The Lygon Arms, High Street, Broadway, Worcestershire, England.

  9. 811

    990 x 640 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; twisted rope edging (top and canting only); centre top, date (written as 1018); below to left and right, initials.

    Notes: It has been suggested that the initials IR relate to King James I but the lack of any other royal decoration makes this unlikely.

    Inscription: 1618 / IR IR

    Manufactured: in 1618 possibly in the Shropshire area of England.

    Current location: 50, Church Street, Broseley, Shropshire, England.

    Citation: Calcutt, V., Autumn 2021, 'Cast iron fire-back from East Shropshire', Base Thoughts, Newsletter of the Antique Metalware Society, p. 10.

    Citation: Callcut, V., Nov 2004, 'Shirlot (or Shirlett?) Hearth Iron', Newsletter of the Broseley Local History Society, pp. 8-9.

    Citation: Randall, J., 1879, Broseley and its Surroundings (Madeley, The Salopian and West-Midland Journal), pp. 98-99.

  10. 29

    burwash,_batemans 07c.jpg
    897 x 490 mm

    Description: Rectangular; cavetto moulded edging; initials in top left corner; date in top right corner.

    Notes: The style of lettering and numerals is reminiscent of those seen on firebacks associated with the Sidneys, Earls of Leicester, and may suggest a common source.

    Inscription: IB 1695

    Manufactured: in 1695 possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Bateman's, Burwash, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 761128 (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).