Religious firebacks

  1. 176

    hastings_museum 063b.jpg
    >1010 x 780 mm

    Description: Probably rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); two (originally probably three) panels divided by vertical twisted rope, each containing a rounded shield with fillet edge with 'ihs' (the 'h' crossed), between two cartouche-style shields with fillet edge, bearing a cross rising from two concentric rings.

    Notes: The overtly religious symbolism may indicate a pre-Reformation or Marian date. The christogram, 'ihs', derived from the first three letters of 'IESUS' in Greek, was first noted in England in the 14th century. The cross rising from the rings may be intended to indicate christian dominion over the globe. Possibly as much as the right third of the fireback is missing. The fireback is believed to have been in Robertsbridge Abbey.

    Inscription: ihs

    Manufactured: in the early 16th century possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, John's Place, Bohemia Road, h, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: HASMG: 1914.38 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

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

  2. 382

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 017.jpg
    1050 x 660 mm

    Description: Rectangular; broad fillet edging; 'IhS' stamp repeated five times (4-1-4) centrally.

    Notes: The use of the christogram suggests a Catholic, and therefore a possibly pre-Reformation or Marian date.

    Inscription: IhS [repeated 5 times]

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 16th century in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.036 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

  3. 1116

    ticehurst,_authentic reclamation 07.jpg
    660 x 670 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with ovolo-curved shoulders; astragal eding (top and sides); central stepped cross with initials separated to each side above the date similarly separated.

    Notes: The crucifix suggests a Roman Catholic source; the letters and numerals appear to have been inscribed with a pointed instrument or finger.

    Inscription: AR / 17 61

    Manufactured: in 1761 in France.

    Current location: Authentic Reclamation, Lymden Lane, Ticehurst, East Sussex, England.