Firebacks

Dagger stamp firebacks

  1. 1219

    bishop_and_miller,_27_jan_2022,_lot_88,_1060x630.jpg
    1060 x 630 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides); top centre, cross-shaped arrangement of four fleurs-de-lys between to crosses formed of lengths of twisted rope with single fleurs outside and beyond each of them a dagger, point upwards; to the right, a single fleur; bottom centre, a triangle formed of three lengths of twisted rope, vertex to the bottom, between two non-identical groups of three fleurs arranged in star pattern.

    Notes: The style of the fleurs-de-lys associates this fireback with a series with several examples. The dagger type (approximate length 32cm) is different to others in the same series. Bishop & MIller Auctioneers, Stowmarket, 27 Jan 2022, lot 88.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:, England.

  2. 1100

    east_grinstead, sackville college 01 (2).jpg
    940 x 520 mm

    Description: Quasi-rectangular shape with inward curving sides; twisted rope edging (top and sides); arrangement of fleurs-de-lys: top centre, four in a star formation with two horizontally below; two vertically to left and right; vertical dagger, pommel to base, stamped twice inside outer fleurs.

    Notes: A uniquely shaped fireback with fleurs and daggers (each about 35cm long) seen on other firebacks.

    Manufactured: in the mid 16th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Sackville College, Church Lane, East Grinstead, West Sussex, England.

  3. 373

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 008.jpg
    1140 x 550 mm

    Description: Rectangular, edged with twisted leather lengths on top and sides; a ballock dagger with hollow-ground cruciform blade, point down, impressed vertically three times and evenly spaced across the width of the back; between each, two short lengths of twisted leather, arranged in a cross; at either end, the same short lengths of dowel arranged in an inverted ‘V’.

    Notes: The dagger (length approx. 38cm) dates from c1575-1625. The probable use of twisted leather is seen occasionally on other firebacks. The grouping of three daggers may also have apotropaic significance in relation to the Trinity.

    Manufactured: in the late 16th to early 17th century in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.035 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Easton, T. & Hodgkinson, J. S., 2013, 'Apotropaic Symbols on Cast-Iron Firebacks', Jnl. of the Antique Metalware Soc., 21, pp. 14-33.

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

  4. 1047

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 109.jpg
    1090 x 602 mm

    Description: Sub-rectangular shape, no edging; three impressions formed of a dagger (c.350mm) with fleur-de-lys terminals: two, at each end, with the handle uppermost, the other inverted lower right of centre.

    Notes: The dagger (length approx. 39cm) can be described as a 'cross-hilt' or 'quillon' type, possibly of German origin (ex. inf. Tobias Capwell). The grouping of three daggers may also have apotropaic significance in relation to the Trinity. Formerly part of the J. H. Every collection.

    Manufactured: in the 16th century in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: LH000.920 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

  5. 587

    plaxtol,_tree house.jpg
    1070 x 615 mm

    Description: Quasi-rectangular; grooved dowel edging (top and sides); four impressions of a rondel dagger (c.330mm) saltirewise between two dowel crosses; two vertical lengths of dowel in line along right edge.

    Notes: Rondel daggers were common in the 15th and 16th century. Grooved lengths of dowel are to be seen on other firebacks suggesting a common source. The arrangement of the daggers (each approx. 35cm long) in a saltire may also have apotropaic significance.

    Manufactured: in the mid 16th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Plaxtol, Kent, England.

    Citation: Easton, T. & Hodgkinson, J. S., 2013, 'Apotropaic Symbols on Cast-Iron Firebacks', Jnl. of the Antique Metalware Soc., 21, pp. 14-33.

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

  6. 660

    rolvenden,_hole park 03.jpg
    840 x 500 mm

    Description: Rectangular; plain plate; central, vertical cross-hilt dagger stamp; left side, fleur de lys stamp repeated five times, irregularly arranged in three rows, two above and below and one in the middle; right side, fleur de lys stamp repeated six times, four in a star above two in a row.

    Notes: The dagger (length approx. 35cm), seen on two other firebacks, may be of Italian manufacture. The form of the fleurs de lys identifies this fireback as one of the ‘Royal’ series, a large group bearing heraldic stamps.

    Manufactured: in the mid 16th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Hole Park, Rolvenden, Kent, England.

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

  7. 1109

    tottenhill,_the antiques emporium a.jpg
    940 x 527 mm

    Description: Rectangular; plain edging; asymmetrical arrangement of stamps: top right, three 'renaissance' style shield stamps with a 'PL' monogram above two [?]bougets, in a triangular arrangement bases uppermost; top centre, a shield, indented at the top, charged with a bird upon a branch; top left, crowned shield of France Modern between two inverted 'PL' monogram shields above a bird shield; to the right, a broad bladed dagger, point uppermost.

    Notes: The dagger is of the cinquedea style, introduced from Italy in the early-16th century, length approx. 38cm; the bird shield stamp has been seen on other firebacks.

    Inscription: PL [in five shields]

    Arms: 'France Modern'

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 16th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:, England.

  8. 727

    va_02.jpg
    720 x 460 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); canted rope lengths across top corners; three impressions of a rondel dagger (c. 410mm) with a baluster-turned grip, the middle one per fess, pommel in chief, the other two on either side, per bend, points in chief.

    Notes: The arrangement of daggers is similar to the arms of Vigures, of Launceston, Cornwall, but inverted; the plate has been pierced on each side for fixing to the back of the fireplace; the dagger (length approx. 41cm) may be of German design.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington & Chelsea, Greater London, England.

    Museum number: 896.1901 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

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

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2012, 'Pre-Restoration Iron Firebacks', Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, 20, pp. 2-15.

  9. 595

    wigmore,_chapel_farm_03a.jpg
    1640 x 770 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); top centre; crowned Tudor royal shield with angled lion passant guardant sinister to the left, and an angled lion passant to the right; below, a crowned shield with a fleur-de-lys below initials (over-pressed), between two four-petalled, crowned roses; the same crowned rose repeated in each top corner, below each a vertical dagger, point upwards; inside the roses and daggers, two tiered pairs of ‘imp’ figures, one of each with arm raised, above a single figure, its arms lowered.

    Notes: Each dagger, which is seen on two other firebacks, is approx. 35cm long. Formerly at Riverhall, Wadhurst, Sussex; one of the ‘Royal’ series.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: KH

    Arms: Tudor royal arms of England

    Manufactured: in the mid 16th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Wigmore, Herefordshire, England.

    Citation: Lower, M. A., 1849, 'Iron Works of the County of Sussex', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 2, pp. 169-220 (esp. pp. 188-9).