Firebacks

Miscellaneous pattern firebacks

36 results

  1. 560

    pet-m-54.jpg
    830 x 585 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular shape with symmetrical double fillet rococo edging; high relief pictorial battle scene with mounted knights carrying lances and pennants.

    Notes: The battle scene may have been inspired by more than one classical portayal of a battle in history; likely sources are 'The Defeat of the Pisans at the Tower of St Vicenzo' by Giorgio Vasari and 'Alexander the Great's crossing of the Granicus' by Charles Le Brun. An engraving by Daniel Kellerthaler (1574-1648) has a similar frame enclosing an unidentified cavalry conflict.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the late 18th to early 19th century in England.

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

    Museum number: NT/PET/M/54 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  2. 582

    pet-m-73.jpg
    448 x 543 mm

    Description: Arched shape with ovolo-moulded edging; figure of a classical warrior with plumed helmet and shield, holding a sword in his right hand; inscription to left of head, probably continued to right by now no longer visible.

    Notes: An unusually striking fireback of simple design.

    Inscription: ANNO ...

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

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

    Museum number: NT/PET/M/73 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  3. 533

    pet-m-86.jpg
    447 x 587 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; fluted pilasters supporting a lintel with nine evenly spaced flowers arranged horizontally; central standing female figure, holding a basket of flowers, a child upon her back, another child by her side, and a sheep to her left; on top, a symmetrical arrangement of an anchor, two paddles and two cornucopiae.

    Notes: The figure would seem to represent Charity. One of a series with a distinctly Empire style.

    Manufactured: in the late 18th to early 19th century in France.

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

    Museum number: NT/PET/M/86 (part of the National Trust museum group)

    Citation: Carpentier, H., 1912, Plaques de Cheminées (Paris & Florange, published by the author).

  4. 585

    petworth_064.jpg
    910 x 756 mm

    Description: Central arched rectangular shape formed of fluted Ionic pilasters supporting a rounded arch, with fillet edging, bearing the date between two flower heads; beneath is a fouled anchor within a circlet of rope gathered into eight loops; a phoenix, its wings displayed and inverted, rises from the flames above the rope; mirrored outside each pilaster, a crouching, naked faun, facing inwards, disgorges a vine with bunches of grapes; above each faun a volute forms the top corner of the plate.

    Notes: The decorative elements of this fireback have yet to be fully interpreted; the vines disgorged from the mouths of the fauns are related to the 'green man' tradition associated with woodland spirits and symbolising resurrection, the latter echoed by the phoenix, though in the form in which they appear on this fireback they may be a purely decorative device. By contrast, the cabled anchor is the badge of the Lord High Admiral who, in 1608, was Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Nottingham (previously Lord Howard of Effingham). A pastiche of this fireback, dated 1633, is also known (no. 1064).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1608

    Manufactured: in 1608 in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: NT/L/PET/M/117.1 (part of the National Trust museum group)

    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. 605

    ripley_014.jpg
    785 x 785 mm

    Description: Rectangular with ovolo-moulded edging; elaborate symmetrical rococo design framing a pictorial representation of an old man and two young women.

    Notes: Carpentier (p.116) ascribes this design to Fontaine's fable of Les Oies de frere Philippe - Brother Philip's Geese.

    Manufactured: in the 18th century in France.

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

    Citation: Carpentier, H., 1912, Plaques de Cheminées (Paris & Florange, published by the author).

  6. 609

    ripley_018.jpg
    620 x 870 mm

    Description: Rectangular with plait-effect border and a column of beads down each side; pictorial scene of a male figure in gown and full-bottom wig, holding a fool’s cap in his right hand, standing behind a seated male figure, bald and bearded, with the papal triple crown falling off his head; he is seated at a desk on which are two books; behind him and to the right, three books are on a small shelf. Above the figures, a longer shelf, the width of the plate, supports other books and papers, together with the figure of a dog, from whose mouth a scroll issues bearing an unreadable inscription. On top, two putti hold hands in front of a flaming grenade.

    Notes: The design is copied from a cartoon of c.1672 showing Titus Oates, the instigator of the popish Plot, presenting a fool’s cap to the Pope (see Hodgkinson 2010, p.209).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the late 17th century in 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).

  7. 629

    ripley_046.jpg
    525 x 515 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with cavetto canted shoulders; wide fillet edging with cavetto moulding inside; within a baroque frame, the seated figure of an old man clasping his cloak, a smoking urn to his left.

    Notes: Probably the allegorical figure of Winter.

    Manufactured: in the 18th century in France.

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

  8. 646

    rochester_03.jpg
    450 x 560 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; fillet edging; bell-flower column repeated on each side; at bottom, central rectangular panel, fillet edged, enclosing outstretched wings; above, intertwined leaves in figure-of-eight, enclosing a crown at the top.

    Notes: This fireback incorporates features of the ‘Dutch’ style but within an English form.

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

    Current location: Eastgate House, High Street, Rochester, Kent, England.

    Museum number: A3484 (part of the Rochester Guildhall Museum museum group)

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

  9. 658

    rolvenden,_hole park 01.jpg
    552 x 570 mm

    Description: Canted rectangular shape; stepped fillet edging; indistinct pictorial scene of two men on the prow of a sailing ship, their arms in the air, passing a naked figure, arms also in the air.

    Notes: Possibly a representation of Odysseus and one of the Sirens.

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in France.

    Current location: in private hands, Rolvenden, Kent, England.

  10. 668

    rottingdean_grange 01.jpg
    500 x 540 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with symmetrical floral scrolls on top; three horizontal plank lines; ovolo moulding all round edge of main 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; various ‘tools’ of his trade arranged about him; (clockwise from top left) a circular cartouche with a central bead; the date split on either side of his head; a floral console supporting a shelf bearing a flagon, a tankard and a goblet; a circular cartouche with a central bead, a mirrored image of the one in the top left corner; from the top of the cartouche 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: A pastiche of the 1636 original Lenard fireback (no. 429), now often mistaken for it; the inscription is missing, as are the fireback and the shield each being replaced by a form of cartouche; the figure of the man is more naturalistically modelled, yet wearing similar clothes; his feet face outwards.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1639

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