Firebacks

Civic firebacks

  1. 146

    hastings_029.jpg
    780 x 570 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto moulded edging; shield, helm, crest, supporters, mantling and motto of the Corporation of the City of London; initials split by crest; date split at ends of motto.

    Notes: Shield: Argent, a cross gules, in the first quarter a sword in pale point upwards of the last; crest: on a wreath argent and gules a dragon's sinister wing argent, charged on the underside with a cross throughout gules; supporters: on either side a dragon argent charged on the undersides of the wings with a cross throughout gules; motto: Domine Dirige Nos - Lord Direct Us; the earliest illustration of the arms in this form was in 1609, but their use is older.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: F W / 16 DOMINE DIRIGE NOS 59

    Arms: Corporation of the City of London

    Manufactured: in 1659 possibly in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 952.51.53 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

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

  2. 355

    kenilworth_castle.jpg
    860 x 850 mm

    Description: Rectangular joined to pediment by symmetrical scrolls; fillet edging with embattling inside; shield, helm, crest, supporters and mantling of the city of Bristol; date split by bottom of shield; inscription in an oval cartouche below shield.

    Notes: The use of embattling inside the edge and the form of the numbers ‘1’ and '6' in the date suggests that this fireback may be the work of the pattern maker identified on other firebacks as ‘RN’; both '3's have been substituted, indicating an earlier original. The pattern-maker was also responsible for carving royal coats of arms in three West Country churches.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 33 / [ARMES] BRISTOLL

    Arms: City of Bristol

    Manufactured: in 1633 possibly in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: Kenilworth Castle, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, England.

    Museum number: 88278827 (part of the English Heritage 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., 2017, 'Church Armorials and Firebacks: Evidence of an Early 17th-Century Woodcarver', Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, 135, pp. 213-223.

    Citation: Russell, A. J., 1978, 'The Fireback in Willey Farmhouse, Chaldon', Local History Records, 17 (The Bourne Society), pp. 8-9.

  3. 694

    stratford,_nashs house 01a.jpg
    >740 x 770 mm

    Description: Arched shape with scrolled side brackets; astragal edging on arch; bipartite design with side pilasters and a central pilaster surmounted by two gothic traceried arches within each of which are two roses and two fleurs-de-lys; below left arch, letter ‘W’ (possibly ‘WY’ monogram) above first half of date; below right arch, shield bearing arms of the Borough of Stratford-upon-Avon above second half of date.

    Notes: The combination of the monogram and the arms of Stratford suggest an individual with a formal office within the borough; a mixture of Gothic and Classical elements; damage to bottom right side.

    Inscription: W [Y?] / 15 85

    Arms: Borough of Stratford-upon-Avon

    Manufactured: in 1585 in England.

    Current location: Nash's House, Chapel Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England.

    (part of the Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust museum group)

  4. 952

    taddington_manor 05c.jpg
    1117 x 872 mm

    Description: Rectangular joined to pediment by symmetrical scrolls; fillet edging with embattling inside; shield, helm, crest, supporters and mantling of the city of Bristol; date split by bottom of shield; inscription in an oval cartouche below shield; rectangular side extensions with twisted rope edging; initial on each extension.

    Notes: The use of embattling inside the edge and the form of the number ‘3’ in the date suggests that this fireback may be the work of the pattern maker identified on other firebacks as ‘RN’; the mismatched ‘3’ is likely to have replaced a ‘1’ or ‘2’. The pattern-maker was also responsible for carving royal coats of arms in three West Country churches.

    Inscription: T H / 16 34 / ARMES BRISTOLL

    Arms: City of Bristol

    Manufactured: in 1634 possibly in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: in private hands Chipping Camden, Gloucestershire, England.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2017, 'Church Armorials and Firebacks: Evidence of an Early 17th-Century Woodcarver', Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, 135, pp. 213-223.