Firebacks

Brede group

26 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. 851

    bridgewater_collection 04.jpg
    ?525 x ?455 mm

    Description: Rectangular with mirrored floriate scrolled top; simulated overlapping tile edging at sides, with fillet bottom edge; a mythical salamander in the form of a dog with an arrow-shaped tongue, standing among flames; a stapled scroll inside the left and right edges.

    Notes: This fireback was used to create a composite fireback design on a plate at Rivers Farmhouse, Ardingly.

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

    Current location:.

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

  3. 1064

    dunsfold,_pound farm a.jpg
    1270 x 850 mm

    Description: A rectangular field with a central circle containing a fouled anchor, the rope gathered in eleven loops around it; in the top spandrels the initials HH, on the left, and IH, on the right; below the circle, the initials IM inset in a square; on each side, a strapwork Ionic pilaster formed of alternate hollow squares, with a pyramidal infill in low relief, and hollow circles; outside each pilaster, a crouching stylised humanoid figure, facing inwards, disgorging a fructed vine; above the figures two opposed volutes, forming part of the edging; above the central field, a semi-circular compartment containing a bird, its wings inverted, and three hollow diamond shapes irregularly arranged; the date above the bird; protruding from the edging above each pilaster is a small, inward-facing scroll. Three vertical plank lines can be discerned, one in front of the right-hand figure, one through the I of the initials IH, and one to the right of the second H of the initials HH. The whole design is in low relief.

    Notes: This is a reworking of a design seen on a fireback of 1608 (see Phoenix Firebacks no. 585) though intentionally stylised. The decorative elements have yet to be fully interpreted; on the 1608 version the figures are fauns, the vines disgorged from their mouths being related to the 'green man' tradition associated with woodland spirits and symbolising resurrection, the latter echoed by the bird which, on the earlier version is a phoenix. However, in the form in which they appear on both firebacks they may be purely decorative devices. By contrast, the cabled anchor is the badge of the Lord High Admiral but in 1633 the office was vacant. The initials IM indicate that this is an early work by a prolific fireback pattern-maker more usually associated with the eastern Weald.

    Inscription: 1633 / HH IH / IM

    Manufactured: in 1633 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Pound Farm, Common Road, Dunsfold, Surrey, England.

    Citation: Wall, J. R. S., 20 May 1965, 'Wealden Fireback' [letter], Country Life, p. 1208.

  4. 81

    guildford_museum 06.jpg
    677 x 620 mm

    Description: Rectangular with two mirrored scrolls on top, a lion’s face between; bas-relief semi-circle edging (sides and bottom); central pilaster with vine scrolling, Corinthian capital, initials on the pedestal; on either side, an arched alcove, each with a halberdier in mid-17th century clothes, their feet pointing to the middle.

    Notes: Stylistically similar to the Lenard fireback, the initials also appear on other firebacks from Brede. All known examples of this fireback are poorly modelled and cast.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: IM

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

    Current location: Guildford Museum, Guildford, Surrey, England.

    Museum number: S.7108 (part of the Guildford Museum museum group)

    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).

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

  5. 171

    hastings_058.jpg
    730 x 584 mm

    Description: Quasi-rectangular with raised symmetrical scrolls between semi-circular re-entrants on top edge; ovolo-moulded edge on bottom and sides, with fillet edging on top; grotesque face with swirled hair locks, above an inverted floral spike, between two moustachioed male figures in tunics, holding pikes, standing on a cavetto-moulded compartment, date beneath.

    Notes: Alleged to represent the 'Brede Ogre', Sir Goddard Oxenbridge (1478-1531) who, legend states, was sawn in half by local children. Stylistically similar to other firebacks with connections with Brede furnace.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 52

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

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

    Museum number: 924.42 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

    Citation: Butterfield, W. R., 10 Mar 1934, 'The Brede Ogre', Hastings and St Leonards Observer.

    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).

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

  6. 354

    keighley,_east riddlesden hall.jpg
    433 x 463 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular shaped; unique, cavetto moulded edging, which loops upon itself three times. A mythical salamander shown in the flames which legend states it is able to resist; behind is what appears to be a palm tree, on either side of which the date is stamped. Two plank-lines.

    Notes: Whole pattern with added date; one of a series of firebacks where the number ‘1’ is hooked at both ends. A variant, at Lewes, is incorrectly dated 1550.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1650

    Manufactured: in 1650 possibly at Brede furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: East Riddlesden Hall, Keighley, Yorkshire, England.

    Museum number: NT/ERH/M/40 (part of the National Trust 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., 2010, British Cast-Iron Firebacks of the 16th to Mid-18th Centuries (Crawley, Hodgers Books).

    Citation: Schubert, H. R., 1957, 'A Forgery in Iron', Journal of the Iron & Steel Institute, 165, p. 125.

  7. 400

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 034.jpg
    675 x 620 mm

    Description: Rectangular with two mirrored scrolls on top, a lion’s face between; ogee-moulded edging; central pilaster with vine scrolling, Corinthian capital, a diamond on the pedestal; on either side, an arched alcove with fillet edging, each with a halberdier in mid-17th century clothes, their feet pointing to the middle.

    Notes: A more common version has different edging and a pattern-maker’s mark.

    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: 1944.24.064 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

  8. 407

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 041.jpg
    435 x 470 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular shaped; unique, cavetto moulded edging, which loops upon itself three times. A mythical salamander shown in the flames which legend states it is able to resist; behind is what appears to be a palm tree, on either side of which the date is stamped.

    Notes: The fireback has been incorrectly dated 1550 instead of 1650, which Schubert asserted was a forgery claiming indications that a ‘6’ had been erased. Undoubtedly the '6' is more prominent than the other figures though the exact method by which it has been substituted is not clear.

    Inscription: 1550

    Manufactured: in 1650 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: LH000.901 (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., 2010, British Cast-Iron Firebacks of the 16th to Mid-18th Centuries (Crawley, Hodgers Books).

    Citation: Schubert, H. R., 1957, 'A Forgery in Iron', Journal of the Iron & Steel Institute, 165, p. 125.

    Citation: Starkie Gardner, J., 1898, 'Iron Casting in the Weald', Archaeologia, 56, 1, pp. 133-164.

  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. 429

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 065.jpg
    523 x 552 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with symmetrical floral scrolls on top; three horizontal plank lines; ovolo moulding all round edge of main panel; inscription along top edge of panel; central figure of a bearded man wearing knee-length coat, belted at waist, and holding a sledge hammer in his right hand, his left arm akimbo; both feet pointing to his right; various ‘tools’ of his trade arranged about him; (clockwise from top left) shield, the quarters containing a masonry hammer, a firedog, a weight, and a pair of pincers; the date split on either side of his head; a floral console supporting a shelf bearing a flagon, a tankard and a goblet; a fireback bearing the letters RL and a diamond shape; from the top of the fireback a dog leaping up at its master; between the man’s legs a long-handled ladle, a weight and a cooking pot; a ringer, used to pull slag off molten iron; part of the elevation of a blast furnace, with wooden framework, casting house, and flames issuing from the top; an ore basket, wheelbarrow and a charcoal clamp

    Notes: The ‘Lenard’ fireback; a much-copied plate. Items relating to the founder's working life are displayed to the left of the figure, those to the right reflecting his domestic life. Its individualistic design and naïve figuration are the key to identifying a distinct group of firebacks, all probably made at Brede.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: RICHARⱭ LENARⱭ FOVNⱭER AT BREⱭ FOVRNIS [each D is reversed] / 1636 / RL

    Manufactured: in 1636 at Brede furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: LH000.906 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Anon., 30 Dec 1911, 'Sussex Backs and their Story', The Ironmonger.

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

    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: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2012, 'Pre-Restoration Iron Firebacks', Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, 20, pp. 2-15

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

    Citation: Starkie Gardner, J., 1898, 'Iron Casting in the Weald', Archaeologia, 56, 1, pp. 133-164.