Date & initials firebacks

155 results

  1. 190

    hawkshead,_hill top.jpg
    760 x 840 mm

    Description: Arched rectangle; bevelled edge to arch and top of shoulders; initials at centre top of arch, in triangle 'S' at top; date below initials.

    Notes: Possibly the work of David Robertson (1716-93), the King's Smith, whose iron grates are commonly to be found in houses designed by the prominent Scottish architects, Robert, John and James Adam, of whom he was a kinsman; the form of the plate is typical of grate-backs Robertson made in a variety of sizes, notably at Dumfries House, Ayrshire, although the lack of evidence of fixings suggest that this may have been made to be free-standing. Until 1756/7 Robertson had his forge in a tenement in Niddery's Wynd, Edinburgh, between High Street and Cow Gate, next door to John Adam's premises, although it is not known if he had a foundry there.

    Inscription: S / W A / 1745

    Manufactured: in 1745 possibly in the Edinburgh area of Scotland.

    Current location: Hill Top, Sawrey, Hawkshead, Hawkshead, Cumbria, England.

    Museum number: NT/HIL.M.38 (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).

  2. 902

    herstmonceux,_blackford farm.jpg
    1210 x 625 mm

    Description: Rectangular with ogee moulded edging (top and sides); symmetrically spaced along the top, initials, IMF, between split date in well-defined characters.

    Notes: The initials are believed to be of John Meers Fagg, who owned Blackford Farm, Herstmonceux, at that date. Fagg purchased three firebacks from Heathfield Furnace, Sussex, in September 1758, costing £4 10s. 6d. They were cast by Thomas Cavie, who was paid a shilling a piece (East Sussex Record Office, Brighton, SAS-RF/15/3/35, f.22). At least one other fireback is known with some of the same character set.

    Inscription: 17 IMF 58

    Manufactured: in 1758 at Heathfield Furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

  3. 1038

    1105 x 550 mm

    Description: Canted rectangular shape; edging formed of lengths of cross-cut dowel (top and sides); inscription across upper centre probably formed of thumb prints; the last digit of the date may be an incomplete 5 rotated left.

    Notes: A crudely executed fireback; the cross-cut dowel used for the edging has not been noted on any other fireback.

    Inscription: 16 wo 15[?]

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

    Current location: Herstmonceux Castle, Herstmonceux, East Sussex, England.

  4. 1176

    864 x 610 mm

    Description: Canted rectangular shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides); top left, date 1622; top right, initials T H.

    Notes: The surface excrescences on the lower half of the fireback are likely to have resulted from the displacement of the casting sand by the pouring of the iron. Formerly at Marden Hill House, Tewin, Hertfordshire. There is no basis for the suggestion by Hertford Museum that this fireback might have been cast by a Thomas Hogge.

    Inscription: 1622 T H

    Manufactured: in 1622 possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Hertford Museum, 18 Bull Plain, Hertford, Hertfordshire, England.

    Museum number: HETFM2893.1 (part of the Hertford Museum museum group)

  5. 832

    honiton,_marwood house 01.jpg
    921 x 514 mm

    Description: Canted rectangular; astragal edging (top and sides), inside of which are repeated panels carved with overlapping fleurs-de-lys; upper centre, date evenly spaced in individual numerals; below date, initials evenly spaced in individual letters; at each end of date, single small fleur-de-lys stamp; at each end of initials, large hollow fleur-de-lys; diagonally from each lower corner of canting, line of six squared cross stamps; in bottom corners, triad of small fleur-de-lys stamps each enclosing a large fleur below; bottom centre, woodblock stamp.

    Notes: The repeated fleur panels are likely to have derived from furniture. Varied use of the same stamps are on other firebacks, including one dated 1667 at Upper End Farm, Hope Mansell, Herefordshire.

    Inscription: 1683 / AK

    Manufactured: in 1683 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: in private hands Sible Hedingham, Suffolk, England.

  6. 1233

    915 x 605 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; no edging; upper centre, initials 'HI'; lower centre, date '1795'.

    Notes: Simple design with bold, well-carved characters.

    Inscription: H I / 1795

    Manufactured: in 1795 in England.

    Current location: in private hands Hook, Hampshire, England.

  7. 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.

  8. 332

    horsham_museum 10.jpg
    1075 x 764 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto moulded edging; top centre within arch, initials above date.

    Notes: Plain elegant fireback from a late series, probably cast in the south east of England. The crack emanating from the top right corner of the fireback seems to be a weakness on all the recorded examples, and may have caused by thinness of the base board at that point.

    Inscription: TW / 1852

    Manufactured: in 1852 in England.

    Current location: Horsham Museum, Causeway, Horsham, West Sussex, England.

    (part of the Horsham Museum museum group)

  9. 337

    huddington_court 05.jpg
    713 x 630 mm

    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.


    Manufactured: in 1658 possibly at Tintern Furnace in the Forest of Dean area of Wales.

    Current location: in private hands, Huddington, Worcestershire, England.

    Citation: Chambers, L. H., 26 Sep 1912, 'Fireback: Relic of 1660', Notes and Queries, 11th series, 6, p. 230.

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

  10. 339

    huddington_court 07.jpg
    503 x 504 mm

    Description: Rectangular with rebated top corners; ovolo moulded edging (top and sides); topcentre, date above initials.

    Notes: The rebated corners are an unusual feature.

    Inscription: 1653 / T · L ·C

    Manufactured: in 1653 in England.

    Current location: in private hands, Huddington, Worcestershire, England.

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