Firebacks

Mayfield 'Dutch' series

  1. 215

    brighton_museum 07.jpg
    476 x 702 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with canted, cavetto-canted shoulders and bead edging on a broad fillet; seated female figure in a chariot drawn by dogs, symmetrical hanging drapery above right; same-shaped border with fillet edging at top, and suspended ribbons with floral bunches; at base, symmetrical palm leaves tied with ribbon; symmetrical serpents on top their tails intertwined.

    Notes: The design is derived from a personification of America, one of a set of playing cards entitled Jeu de la Géographie, designed by Stefano della Bella (1677). The pattern for this fireback, from which the protuberances above the serpents’ heads is missing, is in Rottingdean Grange. The pattern, however, has a base panel of a chain-link design, which is missing from this casting.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Brighton, East Sussex, e.

    Museum number: HATMP002214 (part of the Brighton Museum museum group)

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

  2. 143

    hastings_026.jpg
    660 x 610 mm

    Description: Central panel of arched rectangular shape with cavetto canted corners and bead edging; crowned female figure holding a sceptre in her right hand, seated in a chariot drawn by two caparisoned ponies, a cornucopia at their feet; below, sloping ground with plants, clouds with rain above; identically shaped border with fillet edging and symmetrical swags of flowers and drapery suspended from ribbons; at the base two symmetrical palm fronds tied with a ribbon.

    Notes: The figure may represent Ceres, goddess of plenty. The fireback is one of a series designed and made in England, copying the prevailing 'Dutch' style. Its style echoes that of a fireback pattern preserved at Rottingdean Grange, Sussex

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century possibly in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 952.51.63 (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).

  3. 456

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 096.jpg
    452 x 711 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped central panel with canted, concave top corners and bead edging; figure of Mars facing right, holding a laurel wreath in his right hand, surrounded by martial objects (flags, cannon, drums etc.), symmetrical hanging drapery above; same-shaped border with fillet edging and suspended ribbons with floral bunches; at base, symmetrical reeds tied with ribbon; base panel with nine linked rings; symmetrical serpents on top.

    Notes: Other firebacks have the same central panel and border shape, suggesting the same pattern maker.

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.079 (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. 930

    rottingdean_04(2j).jpg
    470 x 740 mm

    Description: Carved wooden fireback pattern. Arched rectangular central panel with cavetto-canted shoulders and bead edging on a broad fillet; seated female figure in a chariot drawn by armadillos, symmetrical hanging drapery above right; same-shaped border with fillet edging at top, and suspended ribbons with floral bunches; at base, symmetrical palm leaves tied with ribbon; symmetrical serpents on top their tails intertwined.

    Notes: The design is derived from a personification of America, on one of a set of playing cards entitled Jeu de la Géographie, designed by Stefano della Bella (1677); reputedly from Mayfield; presented to Brighton Museum by Henry Willetts.

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

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

    Museum number: R3341/7 (part of the Rottingdean Preservation 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: Hughes, G. B., 1955, 'Old English Firebacks', Country Life, 117, 21 April, pp. 1056-60.