Firebacks

Biblical firebacks

34 results

  1. 732

    va_08.jpg
    470 x 360 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.

    Notes: Intended to represent the saying, ‘The lion shall lie down with the lamb’, a popular misquotation of Isaiah 11: 6. some variants are dated 1679.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

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

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

    Museum number: 894.1901 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

  2. 769

    va_45.jpg
    560 x 475 mm

    Description: Rectangular; cavetto-moulded edge; a snake rises from a fire and bites the middle finger of the hand of a sleeved left arm that descends from a top right corner cloud; left and right, ‘S’ scrolls appear strapped to the edge of the fireback; the date, top left of centre; initials, bottom right corner.

    Notes: An illustration of New Testament, Acts 28: 3. The distinctive shape of the ‘1’ in the date and the initials, ‘IM’, together with the ‘S’ scrolls, parallel such features in other firebacks linked with Brede furnace. The design is an adaptation of an illustration in 'Devises Heroiques' by Claudius Paradin (1557) which was translated into English by Geoffrey Whitney as 'The Book of Emblemes' (1586).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1649 / IM

    Manufactured: in 1649 possibly at Brede furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: M.119-1984 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

    Citation: Hamling, T., 2010, Decorating the 'Godly' Household (New Haven, Yale), pp. 251-2.

    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., 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).

  3. 781

    west_hoathly, priest house 02.jpg
    537 x 777 mm

    Description: Rectangular with arched, mirrored, scrolls on top, surmounted by the winged face of a cherub; fillet edging continued into mirrored scrolls over the top; on either side, scrolled stylised seed pods; central scene of King David beneath a baldachin standing on a plinth, playing a harp to his left; to his left a child plays the violin, to his right another plays a trumpet, both stand on low plinths; at the bottom, a rectangular panel with an oval within a cartouche between swirled foliage.

    Notes: An untypical religious-inspired subject with notably rococo design elements.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 18th century in England.

    Current location: Priest House, West Hoathly, West Sussex, England.

    (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

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

  4. 94

    westerham,_squerryes court 01.jpg
    960 x 750 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; ovolo moulded edge all round; the fireback is divided, unequally, into three Old Testament scenes. Centre left: Joseph is pushed into a well shaft by one of his brothers; above, six other brothers, wearing cloaks and sober puritan hats, look on; below, one of Joseph’s brothers presents Jacob with Joseph’s coat; Joseph utters the words, ‘Ah it is my son’s coat’ in a speech bubble above. Top right: Isaac kneels on a wooden pyre; behind him, Abraham holds Isaac’s head with his left hand, and raises a cleaver above his head with his right hand; above Abraham, an angel stays his hand; to the right of Isaac a ram stands beside a bush. Bottom right: beneath a pergola Jacob lies on his deathbed; his twelve sons gather round his bed.

    Notes: The scenes depicted are derived from, respectively, Genesis 38: 20-24 & 32-33, Genesis 22: 6-13, and Genesis 49. The distinctive pictorial subject, the naïve figuration, as well as a number of minor features, such as the use of an ‘S’ scroll, draw parallels with the Lenard fireback, and the pattern may have been the work of the same wood carver, suggesting that it may share the same source. Another, probably contemporary, example is at Hampton Court.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: AH IT IS MY SONES COT [Genesis 38: 33]

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

    Current location: Squerryes Court, Westerham, Kent, England.

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

    Citation: Robertson, W. A. S., 1886, 'Squerryes Court, the Camp and the Pictures', Archaeologia Cantiana, 16, pp. 134-141.