Firebacks

Date & initials firebacks

161 results

  1. 611

    ripley_023a.jpg
    1360 x 725 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides) with fillet inside; top centre, rose-and-crown between four concentric roundels, two on each side in line, with two more below the inner ones; small fleurs-de-lys in triad below rose-and-crown; top left, initials; top right, date; small rose below date; triad of small roses to right of, and below, initials.

    Notes: 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. Sold at Christie's Masters and Makers auction, 30 November 2010, lot 524 (£688).

    Inscription: RP 1692

    Manufactured: in 1692 in the Weald area of England.

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

  2. 618

    ripley_031.jpg
    745 x 590 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; twisted rope edging (top and sides); top centre, initials in triad between split date.

    Notes: A late date for a very simple design.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 17 T M M 48

    Manufactured: in 1748 possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Mark Ripley Forge & Fireplaces, Northbridge Street, Robertsbridge, East Sussex, England.

  3. 623

    ripley_038.jpg
    675 x 560 mm

    Description: Rectangular; ovolo moulded edging (top and sides); at top, date split by initials (with dot between).

    Notes: A bold, elegant plate with characters in high relief. The character set is known to have been used for another fireback cast at Heathfield Furnace, Sussex. Sold at Christie's Masters and Makers auction, 30 November 2010, lot 521 (£1000 part with no. 601, no. 637 and no. 634).

    Inscription: 17 I·P 54

    Manufactured: in 1754 at Heathfield Furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: not known.

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

  4. 634

    ripley_054.jpg
    558 x 360 mm

    Description: Rectangular; astragal and fillet moulding on top and side edges; symmetrical layout of date and initials; date split between left and right sides, initials in middle.

    Notes: One of a series of backs dating to the 1730s and 40s using very similar sets of letters and numerals. Sold at Christie's Masters and Makers auction, 30 November 2010, lot 521 (£1000 part lot with no. 601, no. 623 and no. 637).

    Inscription: 17 RM 39

    Manufactured: in 1739 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: not known.

  5. 1166

    ripley_069.jpg
    1065 x 610 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; wide fillet and ogee-moulded edging; approximately top centre, initials RH, with date 1701 centred below.

    Notes: A heavy casting, approx. 3cm thick; the character set for the initials and date lacks uniformity, some carved crudely, others more carefully; three horizontal planklines. The lettering differs from another fireback (see no. 1282), with the same initials and date, by the position and shape of the letter 'R'. Formerly in a house at Netherfield, East Sussex. The former location in the Netherfield area of these two firebacks suggests a possible association with Richard Hay, owner of land in that area at that time and ironmaster at Beech Furnace nearby.

    Inscription: RH / 1701

    Manufactured: in 1701 possibly at Beech Furnace, Battle in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Ripley Forge & Fireplaces, Northbridge Street, Salehurst, East Sussex, England.

  6. 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.

    Museum number: 196857 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  7. 1099

    saltash,_stax reclamation.jpg
    600 x 390 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; ovolo-moulded edging; raised central rectangular panel with inset stylised design of a rounded arch upon Ionic columns, the inside edge indented; at quarter angles outside the arch, two trefoils; within the arch, sequence of linked hollow strapwork rhomboids and circles; between the columns, a roundel with the internal edge indented; left of the central panel, 16 above upper-case M in low relief; right of the central panel, 56 above upper-case G in low relief.

    Notes: An unusually small but well-preserved back with a stylised design. The style of the numerals, particularly the 6 and 5, can be seen on a larger fireback of 1653.

    Inscription: 16 56 / M G

    Manufactured: in 1656 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Avery Way, Tamar View Industrial Estate, Saltash, Cornwall, England.

  8. 1098

    scm_13, 284, palfrey farm, petworth.jpg
    ~1300 x ~700 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; indeterminate moulded edging; central initials (A? D M)in triad, between split date (6 reversed).

    Notes: The characters have been derived from an odd assortment: the numbers appear to be a recognisable character set, with the 6 and 9 interchangeable, although 6 has been inadvertently reversed; the 6/9 has also been used, with the same stamp as has been used to form the uprights of the M, to construct a probable capital A (or R); the nature of the stamps forming the M is unclear. Noted in 1939 at Palfrey Farm, near Petworth, West Sussex, which from the mid-16th century had been home to the Penycod family, suggesting that the fireback had not been original to the house.

    Inscription: 16 / A[?] D M [triad] / 49

    Manufactured: in 1649 possibly at Frith Furnace, Northchapel in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: not known.

    Citation: Smail, H. C. P., Apr 1939, 'Iron Firebacks' [letter], Sussex County Magazine, 13, 4, p. 284.

  9. 1287

    seaford,_15-17_high_street.jpg
    760 x >470 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; ovolo-moulded edging; top centre, date between split initials.

    Notes: The letters and numerals are particularly well formed. The fireback is displayed out of doors against a wall at the side of the street and the lower part is recessed into the pavement.

    Inscription: R 1755 I

    Manufactured: in 1755 possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: 15-17 High Street, Seaford, East Sussex, England.

  10. 1236

    shearman_a.jpg
    914 x 559 mm

    Description: Rectangular; ogee moulding on top and side edges; symmetrical layout of date and initials; date split between left and right sides, initials in middle.

    Notes: One of a series of backs dating to the 1730s and 40s using very similar sets of letters and numerals. Formerly at Yeomans, Mayfield, Sussex.

    Inscription: 17 / WH / 34

    Manufactured: in 1734 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: not known.