Firebacks

Elizabethan royal armorial firebacks

  1. 200

    baynards_park 01 jpg.jpg
    ?1870 x ?1020 mm

    Description: Composite; rectangular with semi-circular arches in middle (large) and ends (small) of top edge; rope on all edges except bottom; central panel effectively comprises an arched fireback form with Tudor royal arms (temp. Elizabeth I) with date above, and, below, letters G M, made from rope with fleur de lys terminals between two coronets surmounted by lions; below this are fronds with roses. On either side of this panel are placed the Anne Forster inscription panels; above each of these is a rose and crown with lion and dragon supporters, beneath which are three fleurs de lys. Along the base of the inscription panels and the central panel are single rows of ‘pineapple’ shapes, beneath which are repeated trailing vine decoration from impressed wooden strips across the entire width of the fireback; 35 in all.

    Notes: Formerly at Baynard's Park, Ewhurst, Surrey; GM probably refers to Sir George More, who built Baynards Park after buying the estate in 1587, and who moved to Loseley in 1604. The central coat of arms has been noted on two other firebacks, dated 1588 and 1595. The rose and crown stamps have been noted on a fireback in Haslemere Museum, and on examples illustrated by Lower (all of which bear the date 1582 and the initials IA). The association of these stamps and the particular form of rope lettering, with the Anne Forster inscription and the ‘pineapple’ shapes, both of which have been linked with other stamps from Pounsley furnace, suggests that they, too, were part of the stock of those works.

    Inscription: 15 93 / GM / HER : LIETH : ANE : FORST/ R : DAVGHTER : AND : / HEYR : TO : THOMAS : / GAYNSFORD : ESQVIER / DECEASED : XVIII : OF: / IANVARI : 1591 : LEAVYNG / BEHIND : HER II : SONES : / AND : V : DAVGHTERS [twice]

    Arms: Tudor royal

    Manufactured: in 1593 possibly at Pounsley furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2018, 'The Anne Forster Firebacks', Surrey Archaeological Collections, 101, 99-114.

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

    Citation: Manning, O. and Bray, W., 1809, History of Surrey Vol. II (London, John White), p. 369n.

  2. 40

    cuckfield_park 01.jpg
    895 x 750 mm

    Description: Pentagonal; convex, twisted cloth edging with inner fillet; Tudor royal shield, garter, crown and supporters (crowned lion and dragon); initials split by crown; date split by garter buckle.

    Notes: Royal arms of Queen Elizabeth I; uncommon edging.

    Inscription: ER 1585

    Arms: Tudor royal (Elizabeth I)

    Manufactured: in 1585 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Cuckfield, West Sussex, England.

    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).

  3. 41

    cuckfield_park 02.jpg
    765 x 675 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; rope edging (top and sides); Tudor royal shield, garter, crown and supporters (crowned lion and dragon); date above crown; empty motto compartment with initials below.

    Notes: Identical arms can be seen on fireback formerly at Baynards Park, Cranleigh, and in private hands at Maresfield, but without the motto compartment; minor variations in the position of individual elements indicate that the garter and shield, crown, and each supporter were separately stamped; the initials are likely to be those of Henry Bowyer, ironmaster (d.1588), the fireback perhaps being made in his memory.

    Inscription: 1588 HB

    Arms: Tudor royal (Elizabeth I)

    Manufactured: in 1588 possibly at Pounsley furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Cuckfield, West Sussex, England.

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

  4. 303

    gloucester_folk museum 01.jpg
    1130 x 680 mm

    Description: Rectangle with curved shoulders and low arch joined with concave curves; fillet and ogee moulded edging; central Tudor royal shield surrounded by garter, with crown above and lion and dragon supporters; royal initials either side of crown.

    Notes: Damaged on bottom left corner; the garter motto includes ‘EQVI’ instead of ‘HONI’, making it meaningless; possibly ‘EQVI’ was a mis-transcription of ‘HONI’; the crown is distinctly continental in form; a much-copied fireback.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: E R / EQVI : SOIT : QVI : MAL : Y : PENSE

    Arms: Tudor royal - Edward VI or Elizabeth I

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

    Current location: Gloucester Folk Museum, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England.

    Museum number: GLRCM:F03526 (part of the Gloucester Museums museum group)

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

  5. 482

    maresfield,_putmans farm 02.jpg
    673 x 584 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; rope edging (top and sides); Tudor royal shield, garter, crown and supporters (crowned lion and dragon); date split by crown; lower right, initial formed of twisted rope with fleur-de-lys terminals; small fleur-de-lys stamp repeated 14 times across top edge and arch; fleur-de-lys cross repeated six times across lower part of plate.

    Notes: Identical arms can be seen on at least two other firebacks; minor variations in the position of individual elements indicate that the garter and shield, crown, and each supporter were separately stamped. The lack of definition in the decoration suggests that this is a recast plate.

    Inscription: 1595 / I H

    Arms: Tudor royal - Elizabeth I

    Manufactured: in 1595 possibly at Pounsley furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

  6. 806

    salfords,_picketts farmhouse.jpg
    1076 x 830 mm

    Description: Rectangle with curved shoulders and low arch joined with concave curves; fillet and ogee moulded edging; central Tudor royal shield surrounded by garter, with crown above and lion and dragon supporters; royal initials either side of crown; lower right, inclined rectangular stamp of a dog; extended variant.

    Notes: On clearer examples the garter motto has ‘EQVI’ instead of ‘HONI’, making it meaningless; possibly ‘EQVI’ was a mis-transcription of ‘HONI’; the crown is distinctly continental in form; a much-copied fireback.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: E R [Garter motto illegible]

    Arms: Tudor royal - Elizabeth I

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

    Current location: in private hands, Salfords, Surrey, England.

  7. 368

    schubert_(1957) 01.jpg
    900 x 715 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; twisted rope edging (top and sides); Tudor royal shield within a Garter, supported by lion and dragon stamps, a crown above, between separate ‘E’ and ‘R’ stamps; fleur de lys stamp irregularly repeated four times below right and to left of lion.

    Notes: The shield, garter and crown stamps appear on many firebacks, usually with left-facing lion and greyhound supporters; the presence of the shield and crown indicate the fireback is derived from the same source; the supporter stamps, which are over-pressed, are clearly derived from blocks intended to represent standing models. Formerly at Kirby Frith Hall, Leicestershire. Illustration from Schubert, 1957, pl. 7.

    Inscription: HONE SOYT qVEY MAL Y PENSE

    Arms: Tudor royal - Edward VI or Elizabeth I

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

    Current location: Newarke Houses, Leicester, Leicestershire, England.

    Museum number: H.101.1930.0 (part of the Leicester City Museums museum group)

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

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

  8. 692

    stawley,_cothay manor 01.jpg
    925 x 750 mm

    Description: Rectangular with inclined sides, joined by scrolls to a pedimented top; twisted rope edging (top and sides); Garter enclosing the Tudor royal arms, with crowned lion and dragon supporters, crowned helm, and lion crest with mantling; rectangular date compartment at base; initials either side of crest.

    Notes: The detached pediment is stylistically typical of the late-16th and early-17th centuries.

    Inscription: E R; Garter motto; 160[?0]

    Arms: Tudor royal - Elizabeth I

    Manufactured: in 1600 in England.

    Current location: Cothay Manor, Stawley, Somerset, England.

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