Firebacks

Dagger stamp firebacks

  1. 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 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.

  2. 373

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

    Description: Rectangular, edged with twisted leather lengths on top and sides; three stamps of a ballock dagger (390mm) with hollow-ground cruciform blade, point down, arranged vertically; 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 dates from c1575-1625. The probable use of twisted leather is hitherto unknown. 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).

  3. 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 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.

    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)

  4. 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 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).

  5. 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 (c.350mm) 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).

  6. 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 letter P twice, contraposed, 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 'P' monogram shields, bases uppermost, 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; the bird shield stamp has been seen on another fireback, establishing its French provenance too.

    Inscription: PP [in five shields]

    Arms: Kingdom of France (Modern)

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 16th century in France.

    Current location: The Antiques Emporium, Lynn Road, Tottenhill, Norfolk, England.

  7. 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 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., 2012, 'Pre-Restoration Iron Firebacks', Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, 20, pp. 2-15

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

  8. 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: 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).