Firebacks

Biblical firebacks

34 results

  1. 569

    petworth_049.jpg
    638 x 720 mm

    Description: Rectangular central panel with bead edging all round, pictorial scene of a landscape at the fore of which Jesus sits at a well with the woman of Samaria; above the panel is a bead-edged arch with a floral wreath; arched rectangular border with canted top corners and cavetto-moulded edging; repeated low-relief pattern of linked squares and diamonds; at the bottom, indistinct floral swirls; on top, a small crown with descending mirrored swirls.

    Notes: The scene is from John 4.

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

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

    Museum number: NT/PET/M/61 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  2. 572

    petworth_051.jpg
    589 x 825 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with bead-on-fillet edging; pictorial scene of St Michael the Archangel fighting the Devil; on top, a pomegranate with serpents descending down each side of the arch; a pomegranate on top of each shoulder of the plate.

    Notes: Notable for the absence of a border and the lack of a background to the scene.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

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

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

    Museum number: NT/PET/M/63 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  3. 610

    ripley_019.jpg
    580 x 800 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with additional arch above; bead and fillet edging; pictorial scene of Solomon, rising from a scallop-backed, canopied throne, greeting the Queen of Sheba, with other figures in attendance; identical shaped border with fillet edging; on top, a cockle shell with a descending serpent on each side, and a cockle shell on each shoulder of the plate.

    Notes: Several contemporary paintings are of similar scenes; this design may have been derived from any of them.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

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

    Current location: Mark Ripley Forge & Fireplaces, Northbridge Street, Robertsbridge, East Sussex, England.

  4. 624

    ripley_039.jpg
    470 x 370 mm

    Description: Rectangular; cavetto edging all round; seated lion on right, its tail rising above its back and its head turned to face the viewer; a seated sheep on the left; date split across top.

    Notes: Intended to represent the saying, ‘The lion shall lie down with the lamb’, a popular misquotation of Isaiah 11: 6.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1679

    Manufactured: in 1679 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Mark Ripley Forge & Fireplaces, Northbridge Street, Robertsbridge, East Sussex, England.

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

  5. 669

    rottingdean_grange 02.jpg
    560 x 475 mm

    Description: Rectangular; reversed cavetto-moulded edge on top and sides; pictorial scene depicting Abraham about to sacrifice Isaac; Abraham is on the left, holding the top of Isaac’s head with his left hand, his right hand holding a sword; in the middle stands a pyre; above and to the right an angel emerges from the clouds, while below a ram stands beside a bush; the inscription is above and to the left.

    Notes: The scene is drawn from Genesis 22: 11; And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham”: and he said, “Here am I”. The subject and the naïve figuration is similar to a fireback incorporating two other Old Testament scenes.

    Inscription: ABRAHAM ABRAHAM [Genesis 22: 11]

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

    Current location: Rottingdean Grange, Rottingdean, East Sussex, England.

    (part of the Rottingdean Preservation Society museum group)

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2007, 'A Godly chimney plate and other firebacks from Brede', Wealden Iron, 2nd ser., 27, pp. 18-26

    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).

  6. 673

    saffron_walden museum 01.jpg
    513 x 805 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel and bead edging; pictorial scene probably showing the annunciation of the Virgin Mary; Mary sits beneath a canopy on the left, to which an angel descends, behind two figures seated on a stepped dais; above, two figures sit above a cloud, a curtain to the right; arched rectangular border with fillet edging, containing twisted ribbon; palm fronds gathered with a ribbon along the bottom. On top, two vases, one on each shoulder of the border, with swirled foliage descending from a central scallop shell.

    Notes: Probably a pastiche of a Dutch design.

    Manufactured: in the late 17th century in England.

    Current location: Saffron Walden Museum, Saffron Walden, Essex, England.

    Museum number: 2819 (part of the Saffron Walden Museum museum group)

  7. 696

    stratford,_nashs house 03a.jpg
    ? x ? mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with nutshell edging on a broad fillet; pictorial scene of a standing, winged male figure draped with a cloth, holding a staff in his left hand, above a ground, and with drapery over; arched rectangular border with fillet edging; alternating acanthus leaves with swirled tendrils; on top, two mirrored sea serpents.

    Notes: Presumably intended to represent an angel; similarities in the design and execution of the pattern suggest the work of the pattern-maker identified as ‘N’ (q.v.); the missing segment has been filled with a piece from another fireback (removed in this photo).

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in England.

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

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

  8. 697

    stroud_museum 01.jpg
    605 x 480 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; embattled, cavetto moulded edging; central tree with fruit and leaves, a snake, facing right, with a human face in profile entwined, in ‘S’ shape, around the trunk and lower branches; to the left, a naked, bearded male figure holding an apple in his left hand and a branch in his right for modesty; to the right a naked female figure with apple and branch also; the date split either side of the snake and tree trunk.

    Notes: Similarities with an armorial in the date, numerals and edging suggest a common pattern-maker.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 19

    Manufactured: in 1619 in England.

    Current location: Stroud District Museum, Stroud, Gloucestershire, England.

    Museum number: STGC 2371 (part of the Stroud Museum museum group)

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

  9. 716

    unknown_22 990 x 740.jpg
    740 x 990 mm

    Description: Cavetto canted rectangular central panel with ovolo-moulded edging, enclosing a pictorial scene of a naked female seated at a fountain on the left, with two clothed males to her right; behind, a part of a domed brick building with the inscription around the top of the wall; enclosing the scene, twin floral festoons suspended from top centre; on top, a central crown between two descending dolphins.

    Notes: The scene depicts the Apocryphal story of Susanna and the Elders.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: SVSANA

    Manufactured: in the late 17th to early 18th century in Germany.

    Current location:.

  10. 726

    va_01.jpg
    660 x 990 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead-on-fillet edging; pictorisl scene of a central cross-shaped pillar entwined with a snake; two pavilions to the left with human figures lying before them; two standing figures to the right, one holding a staff; above, clouds with snakes descending from the sky; arched rectangular border with fillet edging; on each side, descending festoons of fruit entwined with ribbon; at the bottom, a central cartouche between palm fronds; on top, foliate swirls.

    Notes: The scene is an illustration of the plague of serpents visited upon the children of Israel by God (Numbers 21: 6).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

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

    Current location: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington & Chelsea, Greater London, England.

    Museum number: 291-1893 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

    Citation: Anon., 2 Dec 1905, 'Old Kent and Sussex Fire-backs', Country Life, pp. 767-768.