Firebacks

Shape: rectangular

295 results

  1. 914

    abinger,_goddards.jpg
    1180 x 780 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides) with fillet edging at bottom; cast of a 1598 fireback within a recessed panel, the arch of the original fireback being overlaid with twisted rope and diagonal lengths of rope laid alongside. The original fireback is described as follows: Composite of three elements; central panel has a complex ‘knot’ pattern with a fillet edge; side panel, repeated on either side of the central panel, contains a vase of flowers, possibly stylised thistles, within an arched frame and fillet edge; arched panel above, also with fillet edge, contains the date and inscription; the spandrels of the side panels, and the arched top panel, contain a series of 'bullseye' motifs comprising concentric rings deepening towards the centre.

    Notes: The central fireback measures 795mm wide by 735mm high and is from a different casting to that seen at Linchmere, Sussex (no. 475).

    Inscription: 1598 / IM IB

    Manufactured: in the late 16th to early 17th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Goddards, Abinger Common, Abinger, Surrey, England.

  2. 1122

    accrington,_garden street 1020x690.jpg
    1020 x 690 mm

    Description: Plain rectangular plate with cyma reversa, or ogee, moulding on top and sides.

    Notes: A base board without other decoration. Other firebacks may have been cast using it.

    Manufactured: in the 17th century in England.

    Current location: 10 Garden Street, Accrington, Lancashire, England.

  3. 1291

    ahrweiler,_ahrgau_museum.jpg
    ~600 x ~500 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; astragal with cavetto-moulded edging; decoration in three vertical sections each divided by a fillet; central section: three ostrich feathers within a coronet and a motto scroll - ICH DIEN (I serve); at the top, the date split either side of the uppermost feather; at the bottom, initials - SG - split either side of the quills; left panel: on a pedestal, an arrangement of musical and scientific instruments and books below a floral swag with a central rose; right panel: on a palisade, a triumph of martial arms - cannon, drum, shield, spear, flag etc. - beneath a floral swag and handful of arrows.

    Notes: The three ostrich feathers within a coronet and the motto, Ich Dien, are the badge of the Prince of Wales. Probably a fireback in honour of Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, oldest son and heir of King James VI of Scotland, I of England, with the date added to commemorate his death in 1612. The initials are likely to be those of the pattern maker.

    Inscription: 16 12 / ICH DIEN / S G

    Manufactured: in 1612 in the Eifel area of Germany.

    Current location: not known.

    Museum number: RBA 37533 (part of the Ahrgau-Museum, Ahrweiler museum group)

  4. 10

    alfriston_clergy house.jpg
    1280 x 540 mm

    Description: Rectangular; rope edging (top and sides); central Tudor royal shield with encircling garter (motto reversed: HONE SOVT QVEY … PEN), separate greyhound and lion supporters, separate crown; a bird, repeated in each top corner, its wings displayed and inverted and its head facing behind and to the left, standing on a scroll; a fleur de lys repeated in the bottom corners; inside the birds is a repeated stamp, half of one similar to a stamp on a fireback in Hastings Museum.

    Notes: The particular form of the Tudor arms and supporters is encountered on other firebacks, as are the distinctive style of fleurs de lys and the birds (probably swans, a Lancastrian icon). The plain scroll upon which the bird is perched suggests that there might have been a painted inscription on it originally and that the stamp had not been made specifically for the decoration of firebacks but was, perhaps, redundant from interior domestic decoration. Formerly at Framfield, East Sussex.

    Arms: Tudor royal (prob. Henry VIII)

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 16th century possibly at Pounsley Furnace, Framfield in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: The Clergy House, Alfriston, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 200044 (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).

  5. 12

    ardingly_church.jpg
    >730 x 660 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging on top and sides; inscription panel with repeated trailing vine decoration from impressed wooden strips — one horizontal line at top, one vertical strip on right side (missing but probably repeated on left), at least ten short vertical strips below inscription.

    Notes: Formerly at Fulling Mill Cottages, and possibly formerly at Wakehurst Place, Ardingly; it was moved to Ardingly church sometime after 1915. The inscription panel is identical to that on the memorial plate to Anne Forster in Crowhurst church, Surrey; at least ten other firebacks are known with the same inscription panel. Edward Culpeper (1561-1630), of Wakehurst, was fourth cousin, once removed, of Anne Forster. Assuming the vine strip and rope edging on the left side were of approximately the same width as on the right the overall original width of the fireback is estimated to have been 837mm.

    Inscription: HER : LIETH : ANE : FORST/ R : DAVGHTER : AND : / HEYR : TO : THOMAS : / GAYNSFORD : ESQVIER / DECEASED : XVIII : OF: / IANVARI : 1591 : LEAVYNG / BEHIND : HER II : SONES : / AND : V : DAVGHTERS

    Manufactured: in the late 16th century possibly at Pounsley Furnace, Framfield in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: St Peter's Church, Church Lane, Ardingly, West Sussex, England.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2018, 'The Anne Forster Firebacks', Surrey Archaeological Collections, 101, 99-114.

    Citation: Holgate, M. S., 1918, 'The Anne Forster Grave Slab', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 59, pp. 130-1.

    Citation: Holgate, M. S., n.d., The Parish Church of St Peter, Ardingly: Historical and Architectural Notes.

  6. 13

    ardingly_rivers farm 01.jpg
    1360 x 925 mm

    Description: Rectangular; composite: complex (cavetto/cyma recta/ovolo) moulded edging (top and sides), derived from domestic carpentry; two firebacks used as patterns: on the left, 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; on the right, arched rectangular with fillet edging indented on the inner side, surrounding a circular clock face with Roman numerals, each interspaced with a bead, and a button outside each quarter, a triangular design of swirled foliage in each bottom spandrel; initials in triad between firebacks; below, stamp formed of a talbot statant guardant upon a wreath; date split: ‘1’s in top corners, ‘6’s above initials; bottom third of fireback plain.

    Notes: The talbot crest, which in this instance has been over pressed and shows the shape of the backing, is seen on other firebacks indicating a common source; the 'salamander' fireback (see no. 851) is one of the Stapled Scroll series; composite firebacks (where the impression of one or more other firebacks are used as part of the decoration) are uncommon in England but less so in France.

    Inscription: 16 61 / IBM [triad]

    Manufactured: in 1661 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Ardingly, West Sussex, England.

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

  7. 201

    baynards_park 02 jpg.jpg
    ?900 x ?520 mm

    Description: Rectangular; moulded fillet edging on top and sides; TCI, also arranged symmetrically, in a widely spaced triad; below, symmetrical layout of central rose and crown between two concentric roundels, with two fleurs-de-lys outside.

    Notes: The style of rose and crown is similar to that used in gun founding in the Tudor period, suggesting that the furnace that was the source of this fireback may have been used for that purpose. Formerly at Baynards Park, Cranleigh, Surrey.

    Inscription: 16 T C I [triad] 70

    Manufactured: in 1670 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: not known.

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

  8. 1057

    beaulieu,palace_house 02.jpg
    1000 x 685 mm

    Description: Rectangular; moulded fillet edging (top and sides); left justified text in upper case, in two lines: Tunc bonus est ignis cum pendet stiria tignis (Then fire is good when icicles hang from the eaves); below left, 'SOWLY' in a block; below right, '1721' in individual numerals; a swirling foliage stamp repeated down each side; initials 'I' and 'B' separately in bottom corners.

    Notes: The source of the inscription is 'A Dictionarie in English and Latine for Children' by William Clark (London, Thomas Purfoot, 1602), p. 13. Sowley was the iron furnace in Hampshire owned in 1721 by the 2nd duke of Montagu and operated by John White of Monmouth. The swirled foliage stamp is seen on other firebacks identified by the letters 'IB' between 1703 and 1721, probably indicating the same founder.

    Inscription: TUNC BONUS EST IGNIS / CUM PENDET STIRIA TIGNIS / SOWLY 1721/ I B

    Manufactured: in 1721 at Sowley Furnace, Beaulieu in the New Forest area of England.

    Current location: Palace House, Beaulieu, Hampshire, England.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., Autumn 2020, 'A Series of Distinctive Firebacks', Base Thoughts, Newsletter of the Antique Metalware Society, pp. 7-8.

  9. 1058

    beaulieu,palace_house 03.jpg
    645 x 755 mm

    Description: Rectangular; cavetto-moulded edging with an astragal inside; baroque-style shield of Montagu impaling Wriothesley.

    Notes: Ralph Montagu (1638-1709), afterwards Earl of Montagu and later Duke, married Elizabeth Percy, née Wriothesley, daughter of the 4th Earl of Southampton, in 1673. She died in 1690; thus the fireback dates to between 1673 and 1690; Blazon: (Montagu) Argent, three lozenges conjoined in fess gules, a border sable; (Wriothesley) Azure, a cross or between four falcons close argent.

    Arms: Montagu impaling Wriothesley

    Manufactured: in the late 17th century probably at Sowley Furnace, Beaulieu in England.

    Current location: Palace House, Beaulieu, Hampshire, England.

  10. 18

    billingshurst,_six bells.jpg
    850 x 590 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging; otherwise plain plate with inscription panel centre top.

    Notes: Inscription panel identical to that on the memorial plate to Anne Forster in Crowhurst church, Surrey. At least ten other firebacks are known with the same inscription panel.

    Inscription: HER : LIETH : ANE : FORST/ R : DAVGHTER : AND : / HEYR : TO : THOMAS : / GAYNSFORD : ESQVIER / DECEASED : XVIII : OF: / IANVARI : 1591 : LEAVYNG / BEHIND : HER II : SONES : / AND : V : DAVGHTERS

    Manufactured: in the late 16th century possibly at Pounsley Furnace, Framfield in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: The Six Bells Inn, High Street, Billingshurst, West Sussex, England.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2018, 'The Anne Forster Firebacks', Surrey Archaeological Collections, 101, 99-114.