Firebacks

Edwardian royal armorial firebacks

  1. 207

    bray,_ockwells manor 01.jpg
    685 x 800 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; ovolo-moulded edge; Tudor royal shield, crown, garter and supporters (dragon and greyhound). Crowned rose on left, and crowned portcullis (grid of 16) on right side of crown; the supporters stand on a horizontal fillet; date panel with ovolo-moulding on top, central putto face splitting two parts of date with faces of putti in profile at each end.

    Notes: Arms are of Edward VI. A very clear casting, almost certainly from the original pattern. There are several firebacks with the Tudor royal arms that were probably produced in the Spanish Netherlands, perhaps illustrating the association between England and Spain through the marriage of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon. The firebacks differ in several small details, such as the form and rotation of the Garter motto, the style of the crown, the positioning of the supporters in relation to the Garter, and the form and size of the crowned rose and portcullis.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: HONI SOIT QVI MAL I PENSE / 15 48

    Arms: Tudor royal Edward VI

    Manufactured: in 1548 possibly at Eisenschmitt furnace in the Eifel area of Germany.

    Current location: in private hands, Cox Green, Berkshire, England.

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

    Citation: Kippenberger, A. 1973, Die Kunst der Ofenplatten (Düsseldorf, Verlag Stahleisen), p. 107.

    Citation: Schubert, H. R., 1957, History of the British Iron and Steel Industry (London, Routledge), pp. 256-264.

  2. 236

    cardiff,_st fagans 13.jpg
    610 x 762 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with rounded corners; ovolo within fillet moulding all round; oval Tudor royal shield with garter surrounding, topped with a royal crown; dragon and greyhound supporters; initials split by crown; inscription on a fillet between legs of supporters, behind garter finial; motto on an Ionic plinth at bottom.

    Notes: The supporters are those of Henry VII or Henry VIII, but the initials suggest the fireback dates from the reign of Edward VI (1547-53). John Harvo (d.1562) was a gunfounder who has been identified as occupying Pounsley furnace, Framfield, Sussex, possibly from as early as 1547; the fireback may have been cast originally during the reign of Henry VIII (1509-47), with the initials added to an early casting using the original pattern. Probably an early copy.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: E R / HONY SOIT QUE MAL Y PAYNCE / Made in Sussex by John Harvo / DV ET MOVN DROI

    Arms: Tudor royal Edward VI

    Manufactured: in the mid 16th century probably at Pounsley furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: National History Museum, St Fagans, Glamorgan, Wales.

    Museum number: 51.96/1 (part of the Welsh National History Museum museum group)

  3. 288

    faversham,_davington priory.jpg
    675 x 710 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular with plain edges; arched rectangular inset with cavetto edging and armorial design in low relief: circular garter enclosing an ornate Tudor royal shield, surmounted by a crown; date inside top of arch; initials inside top corners of rectangle; a rose in each bottom corner of rectangle; inscription in a separate rectangular panel below, split by garter buckle.

    Notes: The earliest dated fireback in the English style. Molland was a Devon manor belonging to the Courtenay family. Noted as having been at Wells Deanery, Somerset, in 1845; a variant without the motto, the existence of which was noted in 1840, was illustrated by Llewellin (1863); the West Country provenance for both of these firebacks suggests an origin in those parts.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1553 / E R / HONV SOIT QVY MALE V PENCE / MOL LAND

    Arms: Tudor royal - Edward VI

    Manufactured: in 1553 possibly at Pentyrch furnace in the South Wales area.

    Current location: Davington Priory, Priory Road, Faversham, Kent, England.

    Citation: Collier, C. V., 1897, 'Coats of Arms in Kent Churches', Archaeologia Cantiana, 22, pp. 190-1.

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

  4. 147

    hastings_030.jpg
    623 x 755 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with rounded corners; ovolo within fillet moulding all round; oval Tudor royal shield with garter surrounding, topped with a royal crown; dragon and greyhound supporters; initials split by crown; inscription on a fillet between legs of supporters, behind garter finial; motto on an Ionic plinth at bottom.

    Notes: The supporters are those of Henry VII or Henry VIII, but the initials suggest the fireback dates from the reign of Edward VI (1547-53). John Harvo (d.1562) was a gunfounder who has been identified as occupying Pounsley furnace, Framfield, Sussex, possibly from as early as 1547. This fireback is also seen with a variety of rectangular, rope-edged side panels bearing stamps or letters, some of which link the source of this and other groups of firebacks. The pattern or model for this fireback may have been made during the reign of Henry VIII (1509-47), with the initials added to an early casting using the original pattern. The protuberance on the bottom of the plate may be the remains of the runner from a pouring basin or overflow channel used during casting.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: E R / HONY SOYT QVE MAL Y PAVNCE / Made in Sussex by John Harvo / DV ET MOVN DRO

    Arms: Tudor royal (Edward VI)

    Manufactured: in the mid 16th century probably at Pounsley furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 952.51.52 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

    Citation: Butterfield, W. R., 1916, 'Old Wealden Firebacks', The Connoisseur, 46, pp. 197-209.

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

  5. 467

    llewellyn_01.jpg
    ~675 x ~700 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular with plain edges; arched rectangular inset with cavetto edging and armorial design in low relief: circular garter enclosing an ornate Tudor royal shield, surmounted by a crown; date inside top of arch; initials inside top corners of rectangle

    Notes: Discovered by Mr Anthony Hill of the Plymouth ironworks, Glamorgan, in the 1820s, and believed by David Mushet, in his 'Papers on Iron and Steel' to have been cast at the early furnace on the opposite side of the River Taff; a variant of the same date has an inscription on the bottom panel and roses in relief at the bottom corners of the rectangle; the West Country source for both of these firebacks suggests an origin in those parts.

    Inscription: HONV SOIT QVE MALE V [illegible]

    Arms: Tudor royal - Edward VI

    Manufactured: in 1553 possibly at Pentyrch furnace in the South Wales area.

    Current location:.

    Citation: Llewellin, W., 1863, 'Sussex Ironmasters in Glamorganshire', Archaeologia Cambrensis, 3rd ser., 9, pp. 89-91.

    Citation: Mushet, D., 1840, Papers on Iron and Steel (London, John Weale), p. 393.