Firebacks

Commemorative firebacks

13 results

  1. 216

    brighton_museum 08.jpg
    620 x 878 mm

    Description: Rectangular with plait-effect border and a column of beads down each side; pictorial scene of a male figure in gown and full-bottom wig, holding a foolís cap in his right hand, standing behind a seated male figure, bald and bearded, with the papal triple crown falling off his head; he is seated at a desk on which are two books; behind him and to the right, three books are on a small shelf. Above the figures, a longer shelf, the width of the plate, supports other books and papers, together with the figure of a dog, from whose mouth a scroll issues bearing an unreadable inscription. On top, two putti hold hands in front of a flaming grenade.

    Notes: The design is copied from a cartoon of c.1672 showing Titus Oates, the instigator of the Popish Plot, presenting a foolís cap to the Pope.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 17th century in England.

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

    Museum number: HA105014 (part of the Brighton Museum museum group)

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

  2. 813

    canons_ashby 02.jpg
    710 x 930 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead and fillet edging; two-handled vase with flowers issuing from it, a triple plume of ostrich feathers above, and in the bottom right corner the inscribed inscription, 'CofA' [Charteris of Amisfield]; arched rectangular border with fillet edging; central rose at top of arch with other flowers to each side; successive bunches of pears, grapes and apples descending down each side; inscription in relief in two rows along the bottom, with circular badges of the National Heritage Memorial Fund to left, and National Trust to right; on top, rope knotted in two loops, each containing half of the date in relief, with descending leaves and flowers on each side.

    Notes: This fireback was cast for Martin, Lord Charteris of Amisfield (1913-99), Trustee of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, from a pattern he designed and made, to commemorate the completion of restoration work to Canons Ashby.

    Inscription: 1984 / CofA / HAEC TABULA DOMUS IN- / STAURATAE FOCUM ORNAT [this plate adorns the hearth of a restored house]

    Manufactured: in 1984 in England.

    Current location: Canons Ashby, Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire, England.

    Museum number: NT/CAN/M/77 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  3. 1084

    chastleton_house 02.jpg
    ? x ? mm

    Description: Ogee-arched rectangular shaped central panel with fillet edging; pictorial scene with three figures dressed in clothing of the early 17th century, with wide-brimmed hats, the central figure to the fore and wearing doublet and belt, the two others in coats; across the bottom a trpartite scroll bearing the inscription CHASTLETON on the upper part, and the date MCMXCV and C of A (Charteris of Amisfield) & [illegible] R split between the lower parts, with three tulips beneath; resting on each outer part of the scroll, a barrel with a cat; an ogee-arched rectangular border with fillet edging with floral guilloche decoration and daisy flowers at the top and in the top corners; in the bottom left corner the circular badge of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, and in the bottom right corner the circular badge of the National Trust.

    Notes: This fireback was cast for Martin, Lord Charteris of Amisfield (1913-99), Trustee of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, from a pattern he designed and made, to commemorate the 390th anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot; cast with figures associated with Robert Catesby, owner of a previous house on the site and one of the chief conspirators, and the cats belonging to the then owner, Mrs Barbara Clutton-Brock.

    Inscription: CHASTLETON / MCMXCV / C of A & [?]R

    Manufactured: in 1995 in England.

    Current location: Chastleton House, Chastleton, Oxfordshire, England.

    Museum number: 1430298 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  4. 37

    cowbeech,_court horeham.jpg
    850 x 670 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped; cavetto moulded edging; male figure in dress of the period, right hand on hip, left hand holding reins, astride a prancing horse; date and inscription (letter 'N' reversed) follow inside top edge.

    Notes: Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax of Cameron (1612-1671), commander of the New Model Army, which probably prompted the epithet, conqueror. 1649 was the year of Charles Iís execution, to which Fairfax was opposed.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1649 LD FAIRFAX COVNQVIROR

    Manufactured: in 1649 in England.

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

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

  5. 1134

    dreweatts,_newbury 5 jun 2019 lot 183 530x740.jpg
    530 x 740 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; astragal edging; central, vertically orientated, rectangular design comprising four circular copmpartments each containing a shield, surrounding an oval central compartment containing a castle surmounted by a crest of a hand between leafy branches all emerging from a mural crown, above is a crescent mark of cadency; the compartments are set within ears of corn with a flower head top and bottom centre.

    Notes: The central design is a cast of the pattern for two panels, one on each of the pedestals of the outward-facing main columns on the Norwich Gates at Sandringham House, Norfolk. The shields are of Norfolk towns: (top left) Norwich, (top right) Great Yarmouth, (bottom left) King's Lynn, and (bottom right) Thetford. The central arms are those used by the county of Norfolk (before its official grant of arms in 1904) with the crest of the then Sheriff, Robert John Harvey of Crown Point Norwich. The gates were designed by Thomas Jeckyll and made by Messrs Barnard, Bishop and Barnard of Norwich for the International Exhibition at South Kensington in 1862. With some modifications, including the addition of the panel on the fireback, the gates were given by the people of Norfolk to the Prince and Princess of Wales (later King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra) as a wedding gift in 1863. The design on the fireback was impressed into the mould from a panel originally used in the casting of the gates. Lot 183, Dreweatts sale, Newbury, 5 June 2019.

    Arms: City of Norwich, Borough of Great Yarmouth, Borough of King's Lynn, Borough of Thetford, County of Norfolk

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 19th century probably at Norfolk Ironworks, Norwich, furnace in the Norfolk area of England.

    Current location: Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire, England.

  6. 276

    ellesborough,_chequers 01.jpg
    880 x 725 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto moulding all round; spreading oak tree, with leaves and acorns, filling the whole plate; three royal crowns, one at the top of the tree, the other two symmetrically on the ends of branches towards the top corners; initials GR towards the bottom corners, the remaining inscription on a scroll across the base.

    Notes: The design is derived from the celebrated occasion when Charles II evaded his pursuers by hiding in an oak tree at Boscobel House, near Wolverhampton, following the final Royalist defeat at the battle of Worcester in 1651. This popular fireback has been copied frequently, and in this recast example the inscription has been re-modelled, with the traditional CR (for Carolus Rex) replaced by GR (for Georgius Rex - George V).

    Inscription: G THE ROYALL OAK R

    Manufactured: in the early 20th century in England.

    Current location: Chequers, Ellesborough, Buckinghamshire, England.

  7. 280

    ellesborough,_chequers 06.jpg
    745 x 660 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped central panel, bead edging (top and sides), pedestal bearing a supine male figure with headband being trampled by a horse, facing left, mounted by a rider with long hair, facing to the front; on each side of the plinth is a seated figure wearing a hat, with a basket of fruit; above the rider are crescent lines representative of clouds; the inscription is split either side of the horse; the date (Ď7í rotated and, with Ď4í, reversed) is on the die of the pedestal; arched rectangular shaped border, fillet edging, on each side a Solomonic column with vine decoration; in the arch, symmetrical parallel curved lines with a central oval cartouche beneath a crown; on top of each shoulder of the plate a figure in repose.

    Notes: The equestrian figure is derived from the statue of Charles II erected in Stocks Market, London, in 1672. Originally to be of Jan Sobieski, later king of Poland, riding down a Tatar, it was altered to represent Charles, and the Tatarís face was changed to that of Oliver Cromwell; the statue attracted a fair degree of derision. The statue is now at Newby Hall, near Ripon, North Yorkshire.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: C R / 1674

    Manufactured: in 1674 in England.

    Current location: Chequers, Ellesborough, Buckinghamshire, England.

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

    Citation: Lloyd, N., 1925, 'Domestic Ironwork I', Architectural Review, 58, pp. 58-67.

  8. 396

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 030.jpg
    700 x 660 mm

    Description: Cavetto-canted rectangle with arched top; astragal and cavetto edging (top and sides); pictorial; back-to-back figures of a bearded man and a woman in a poke bonnet, both dressed in tunics, their arms raised, respectively left and right; they are chained to a vertical pole; below, flames issue from vertically stacked logs, while smoke rises above them; the physical proportions of the figures are naÔve, the manís eyes being over-large, as are the hands of both.

    Notes: The design is a free adaptation of an illustration from The Book of Martyrs by John Foxe (1563), a recasting of a back originally noted at Brick Cottage, Burwash, Sussex, in 1871. This may be the design of fireback referred to in an enquiry printed in the St James's Chronicle, or British Evening Post, of 9 August 1788, which described it as 'having two Bishops burning at Stakes thereon' at a house in Warwickshire. At an auction sale in 2017 the same design of fireback was interpreted as the burning of Bishops Latimer and Ridley in 1555. Protestants were burnt to death at several Wealden locations as well as elsewhere in the south-east of England during the reign of Mary I, notably at Canterbury and Lewes. The subject of the fireback should regarded as symbolic rather than commemorating any individual martyrs.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    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: LH000.903 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

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

    Citation: Dawson, C., 1903, 'Sussex Iron Work and Pottery', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 46, pp. 1-54.

    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

    Citation: Paine, C., Aug 2013, 'Mystery of the Two Martyrs', Sussex Past and Present, 130, 6-7.

    Citation: Straker, E., 1931, Wealden Iron (London, Bell)

  9. 464

    little_horsted, college farm 02.jpg
    715 x 608 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped central panel, bead edging (top and sides), pedestal bearing a supine male figure with headband being trampled by a horse, facing left, mounted by a rider with long hair, facing to the front; on each side of the plinth is a seated figure with a basket of fruit; the inscription is split either side of the horse; arched rectangular shaped border, fillet edging, on each side a Solomonic column with vine decoration; in the arch, symmetrical parallel curved lines intertwined beneath a crown; on top of each shoulder of the plate a female figure in repose.

    Notes: The equestrian figure is derived from the statue of Charles II erected in Stocks Market, London, in 1672. Originally to be of Jan Sobieski, later king of Poland, riding down a Tatar, it was altered to represent Charles, and the Tatarís face was changed to that of Oliver Cromwell; the statue attracted a fair degree of derision. The 'CC' monogram is likely to be for Charles and Catherine (of Braganza). The statue is now at Newby Hall, near Ripon, North Yorkshire.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: CC [interlocked, and the first reversed] R

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 17th century in England.

    Current location: in private hands, Little Horsted, East Sussex, England.

  10. 573

    petworth_052.jpg
    645 x 755 mm

    Description: Rectangular with fillet sides and bottom; scrolled foliage on outside edges; date in narrow rectangular panel at bottom; central pictorial representation of four historical figures (see below), three male in mid-17th century armour, and one female; tripple arched top formed of rococo scrolls, a putto forming the middle arch.

    Notes: The inscription may relate to the defeat of the Spanish at s'Hertogenbosch (den Bosch - ENDE BUSH) in 1629, and Wesel. von den Driesch states that the figures, from left to right, are: Prinz Fredrik Henrik of Oranje, his daughter, Luise Henriette, Prince Maurice of Nassau, and the Elector Friedrich Wilhelm of Brandenburg, who married Luise Henriette. Foreign craftsmanship may account for the incorrect spelling of Dutch names.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: PRESNTZI VAN WESEL ENDE BVSH

    Manufactured: in 1667 possibly in the Siegerland area of Germany.

    Current location: Petworth House, Petworth, West Sussex, England.

    Museum number: NT/PET/M/64 (part of the National Trust museum group)

    Citation: Driesch, K. von den , 1990, Handbuch der Ofen-, Kamin- und Takenplatten im Rheinland (Cologne, Rheinland-Verlag).