Firebacks

Biblical firebacks

34 results

  1. 651

    bridgewater_collection 02.jpg
    530 x 430 mm

    Description: Rectangular; cavetto edging; a left-facing cockerel grasps a snake in its beak, another snake writhes on the ground behind it; date to left of the cockerel’s tail; four vertical planklines.

    Notes: The design may have religious significance, the snake symbolising sin and the cockerel denoting St Peter’s denial of Christ. The ‘1’ of the date is hooked, suggesting a common source with firebacks designed by the pattern-maker, IM.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1652

    Manufactured: in 1652 possibly at Brede furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:.

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

  2. 1001

    broadway,_ashmolean museum 03.jpg
    455 x 700 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular panel with a Salomonic column on each side enclosing a scene of Abraham about to sacrifice Isaac but being restrained by an angel; below, bottom panel of indeterminate decoration (due to corrosion); above each column a burning torch, with symmetrical floriate scrolls over the arch.

    Notes: Given the biblical subject, this is probably of German manufacture although the Salomonic columns are more often encountered on English pastiches of the 'Dutch' style.

    Manufactured: in the late 17th to early 18th century possibly in the Siegerland area of Germany.

    Current location: Ashmolean Museum Broadway, 65 High Street, Broadway, Worcestershire, England.

    (part of the Ashmolean Museum museum group)

  3. 21

    burwash,_batemans 01.jpg
    695 x ?975 mm

    Description: Rectangular central panel with bead edging all round, pictorial representation of the Annunciation by the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, the angel carries a lily, Mary kneels at a desk, between them is a basket, above them a dove descends from clouds amid sunbeams, to the left is an arch, in the centre a bed, and to the right a window and a canopy; above the panel is a bead-edged arch with a central scallop shell and a floral swag suspended from scrolls; arched rectangular shaped border with fillet edging, a cascade of leaves and fruit (inc. apples, grapes, pears and pomegranates) descending from a wreath, at the base two cartouches conjoined by a scallop shell and containing the inscription; on top a scallop shell between two dolphins.

    Notes: Whole pattern. A common fireback design originating in the Siegerland of north Germany and made for the Dutch market. A good clear casting. The illustration is probably drawn from V. Solis, 'Biblische Figuren'.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: ANNO 1667

    Manufactured: in 1667 in the Siegerland area of Germany.

    Current location: Bateman's, Burwash, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: NT/BAT/M/8 (part of the National Trust museum group)

    Citation: Herskamp, W, 2007, Die Eiserne Bibel (Helios, Aachen)

  4. 874

    chastleton_house.jpg
    ?714 x ?985 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with ovolo linking curves and eyelet astragal edging; pictorial scene of Delilah, seated above a pavement, supervising the cutting of Samson's hair by a barber, a putto to the left and a small figure lower right; drapery above; arched rectangular border with ovolo linking curves and fillet edging; symmetrical pattern of plant tendrils with leaves and seed pods; at bottom, monogram 'EB' in a cartouche between symmetrical leaves and ears of wheat; on top, two mirrored sea serpents.

    Notes: One of a small series of firebacks identified by the EB monogram; the pictorial scene is of Delilah and the sleeping Samson with a Philistine cutting his hair; the scene may be based on an engraving by the Dutch artist Philip Galle (1537-1612) after a painting by Maerten van Heemskerck.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: EB

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in England.

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

    (part of the National Trust museum group)

  5. 139

    hastings_021.jpg
    535 x 790 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped central panel with bead-and-pellet edging; figure of Abraham, a scimitar in his raised right hand, which is being restrained by an angel emerging from a cloud; Isaac is kneeling to Abraham's left and a ram is caught in a bush to the left of the plate; the initials are in the top corners; arched rectangular shaped border with fillet edging, and swags of leaves suspended from flowers; on top, symmetrical foliate swirls.

    Notes: The design is an adaptation of an engraving by Adriaen Collaert (1555-1623) of a painting by Maarten de Vos (1532-1603), Plate 5 of The Story of Abraham. In the 'Thesaurus sacrarum historiarum veteris testamenti', published in Antwerp by Gerard de Jode (1509-1591) in 1579, 1585 and, subsequently, by Visscher in 1589. One of a small group of firebacks, all of similar shape, some with biblical designs, others mythological, all dated around 1700 and bearing the letters GK.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: G K / 1700

    Manufactured: in 1700 in the Siegerland area of Germany.

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

    Museum number: 052.51.37 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

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

  6. 162

    hastings_museum 045a.jpg
    565 x 420 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped; cavetto-moulded edge; figure of St Paul, a sword in his left hand, holding a viper in his right hand over flames rising from the ground.

    Notes: The scene illustrates an episode in the New Testament, Acts 28: 3. The design shows stylistic similarities to other firebacks where simple, well-executed relief has overlapped the cavetto edging.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 17th century possibly in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 952.51.25 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

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

    Citation: Hamling, T., 2015, 'Seeing Salvation in the Domestic Hearth in Post-Reformation England' in J. Willis (ed.), Sin and Salvation in Reformation England (Farnham, Ashgate Publishing), 223-44.

    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.

  7. 159

    hastings_museum_042.jpg
    610 x 521 mm

    Description: Rectangular with ‘pediment’ arch linked by cavetto curves; fillet and cavetto edging; pictorial, a cylindrical furnace with inscribed stone courses, flames issuing from the top, with the heads of three people, a hand raised from two of them, and an angel with wings and arms outstretched; the furnace has a small arched opening bottom centre; above the angel, the inscription THE THREE CHILDREN is inscribed.

    Notes: The scene represents Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego being delivered from the burning fiery furnace by the angel of God (Daniel 3), the phrase, The Three Children, being a reference to the eponymous apocryphal verses from the Book of Daniel.

    Inscription: THE THREE CHILDREN

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 17th century possibly in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 913.58 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

    Citation: Browne, P. J., 27 Jul 1967, 'Sussex Firebacks ... History of an Early Application of Cast Iron', Foundry Trade Journal, 109-111.

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

    Citation: Butterfield, W. R., 23 Feb 1935, 'A Scriptural Fireback', Hastings and St Leonards Observer.

    Citation: Hamling, T., 2015, 'Seeing Salvation in the Domestic Hearth in Post-Reformation England' in J. Willis (ed.), Sin and Salvation in Reformation England (Farnham, Ashgate Publishing), 223-44.

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

    Citation: Manwaring Baines, J., 1958, Wealden Firebacks (Hastings Museum)

  8. 843

    ilkley,_old manor house.jpg
    665 x 655 mm

    Description: Canted rectangular shape; double fillet edging (top and sides) with alternating roses and diamonds between the fillets; pictorial scene of Adam and Eve, both naked, taking fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, between them, around which is entwined the serpent.

    Notes: Boldly sculpted, stylised figures; the serpent is shown with a human face.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the late 16th to early 17th century possibly in the Lorraine area of France.

    Current location: Old Manor House, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, England.

    (part of the Bradford Museums and Art Galleries museum group)

  9. 408

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 042.jpg
    580 x 480 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto moulded edge all round; holes pierced in top corners; a fouled anchor with one fluke resting on the base, a scroll below each top corner, foliage above the text, which is above the anchor; the initials either side of the lower fluke.

    Notes: The inscription is a quotation from Psalms 139, v. 1: ‘Domine, probasti me et cognovisti me’ (Lord, thou hast searched me and known me).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: PROBASTI / ME / I M 16 5[0?]

    Manufactured: in the mid 17th century possibly at Brede furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: LH000.908 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

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

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2014, 'A Seventeenth-Century Sussex Woodcarver: The Evidence of Cast Ironwork', Regional Furniture, 28, pp. 39-48

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

  10. 413

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 047.jpg
    360 x 605 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead edging; standing figure of Abraham about to sacrifice a kneeling Isaac, Abraham's raised right hand holding a sword is retrained by an angel; behind Abraham is a ram; initials are placed in a triangle above behind and in front of the group; arched rectangular border with fillet edging and descending floral and fruit bunches on a ribbon, hanging from rings, foliate swirls at base; vases on rectangle shoulders and at top, between two putti

    Notes: The initials appear to have been added subsequently.

    Inscription: B / E A

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 17th century possibly in the Siegerland area of Germany.

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

    Museum number: LH000.946 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)