Firebacks

Shape: rectangular

260 results

  1. 920

    wigmore,_chapel farm 01x.jpg
    800 x 820 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging; top centre, quartered shield between four 'imp' figures, left facing, one with right arm raised, one of each on each side; below each pair of figures, a rope cross above an inverted V in rope, with an 'imp' figure, arms lowered, below the shield; along the bottom, eight 'imp' figures, alternately arms raised and lowered.

    Notes: The 'imp' figures are common on a group of firebacks, the rope designs having a probable apotropaic significance. The arms are probably of Thomas Wriothesley, who was Henry VIII's last Lord Chancellor and created Earl of Southampton in 1547; he married c.1533 so the arms could date to before then, but the same arms are displayed on his enamelled stall plate in St George's Chapel, Windsor, of 1545, and in stained glass in a window at South Warnborough, Hampshire. The same armorial stamp is seen on at least one other fireback.

    Arms: Wriothesley (Earl of Southampton)

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

    Current location: in private hands, Wigmore, Herefordshire, England.

  2. 595

    wigmore,_chapel farm 03a.jpg
    1640 x 770 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); top centre; crowned Tudor royal shield with angled lion passant guardant sinister to the left, and an angled lion passant to the right; below, a crowned shield with a fleur-de-lys below initials (over-pressed), between two four-petalled, crowned roses; the same crowned rose repeated in each top corner, below each a vertical dagger, point upwards; inside the roses and daggers, two tiered pairs of ‘imp’ figures, one of each with arm raised, above a single figure, its arms lowered.

    Notes: Formerly at Riverhall, Wadhurst, Sussex; one of the ‘Royal’ series.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: KH

    Arms: Tudor royal arms of England

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

    Current location: in private hands, Wigmore, Herefordshire, England.

    Citation: Lower, M. A., 1849, 'Iron Works of the County of Sussex', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 2, pp. 169-220 (esp. pp. 188-9).

  3. 797

    wisborough_green, idehurst.jpg
    1247 x 653 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); three impressions of an ornate firedog, each incorporating lion’s legs, above it a pedestal with a lion’s head, surmounted by a caryatid, a shield shaped cartouche over its lower trunk, and with a floral vase headdress. The dog impressions are not evenly stamped, the middle one lying to the right.

    Notes: The firedogs are much more elaborate than those customarily used as stamps on firebacks and indicate a later date; they probably included brass elements and were possibly French.

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

    Current location: in private hands, Wisborough Green, West Sussex, England.

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

  4. 801

    withyham,_dorset arms.jpg
    1211 x 668 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); irregular arrangement of four stamps in three rows: face mask with ruff (7), flower head with four petals and leaflets (4), fleur-de-lys (7), and profile of head with ‘Roman’ crest (2); initials replace stamps top left and centre.

    Notes: A smaller, dated variant is at Godolphin House, Helston.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: AT nS

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

    Current location: The Dorset Arms, Withyham, East Sussex, England.

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

  5. 799

    withyham_rectory 01.jpg
    860 x 700 mm

    Description: Rectangular; plain plate with shield, supporters, ducal coronet, motto and garter of the Duke of Dorset: Quarterly, Or and gules, a bend vair.

    Notes: Almost certainly the arms of Lionel Sackville KG (1688-1765), created first duke of Dorset in 1720; many different firebacks exist, all with precisely the same armorial stamp.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: [around shield] HONY SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE / [on motto scroll] AUT NUNQUAM TENTES, AUT PERFICE

    Arms: Lionel Sackville, 1st Duke of Dorset

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

    Current location: in private hands, Withyham, East Sussex, England.

  6. 800

    withyham_rectory 02.jpg
    1115 x 695 mm

    Description: Rectangular; plain plate with shield, supporters, ducal coronet, motto and garter of the Duke of Dorset: Quarterly, Or and gules, a bend vair.

    Notes: Almost certainly the arms of Lionel Sackville KG (1688-1765), created first duke of Dorset in 1720; many different firebacks exist, all with precisely the same armorial stamp.

    Inscription: HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE / AUT NUNQUAM TENTES, AUT PERFICE [Either do not attempt, or complete]

    Arms: Lionel Sackville, 1st Duke of Dorset

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

    Current location: in private hands, Withyham, East Sussex, England.

  7. 943

    woodchurch,_cherry gardens.jpg
    1373 x 752 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; ogee moulded edging (top and sides); crowned falcon stamp repeated three times and spaced evenly along the top; separated initials close inside outer falcon stamps; two andiron slots.

    Notes: The stamp, which was originally a badge of Queen Anne Boleyn, and first used in the letters patent of her Marquisate of Pembroke, comprises a falcon with a crown upon its head and holding a sceptre, standing upon a tree stump, from which extends a sprig of red and white roses. The badge was later adopted by Queen Elizabeth I.

    Inscription: T B

    Manufactured: in the 16th or 17th century in the Weald area of England.

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

  8. 1105

    worth,_rowfant house 3.jpg
    ~406 x ~296 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; cyma recta moulded edging (top and sides); top centre, rose and crown; top right, date; top left, initials, DI (with D reversed); small rose stamp between initials and rose/crown; concentric, rope-patterned roundel below date and below initials, with fleur-de-lys separating each from the rose/crown; below, uneven alternating line of three fleurs and two small rose stamps.

    Notes: One of a series of firebacks cast between the 1670s and 1690s bearing small, simple stamps, initials and dates; 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. Alleged to have been formally at Rowfant House, Worth, Sussex.

    Inscription: D [reversed] I 1685

    Manufactured: in 1685 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:.

  9. 636

    worth,_saxon road 02.jpg
    1445 x 597 mm

    Description: Rectangular; no edging; quasi-symmetrical arrangement of crosses and buckle outlines: a cross at each corner and one to right of middle, three buckles along the top and three buckles in triad, level with, and below, the central cross; two horizontal plank lines; lower left part of back missing due to wear and corrosion. The fireback has a small accumulation of iron slag on the reverse side, probably caused by a failure, by the founder, to tap off all the slag from the furnace hearth before casting.

    Notes: The buckles, which could have been stamped using a branding iron, suggest a connection with the Pelham family. This is almost certainly the fireback noted in 1861 at Warbleton Priory, Sussex, which the Pelhams endowed in 1413; the priory was dissolved in 1535 suggesting that the fireback dates from before then. The excrescence, left of centre, on the surface of the fireback was probably caused by molten iron being poured from a ladle into the sand mould and displacing some of the sand.

    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.

    (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).

    Citation: Turner, E., 1861, 'The College and Priory of Hastings and the Priory of Warbleton', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 13, p. 161.

  10. 1008

    wye_college.jpg
    1230 x 730 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging on top and (probably both) sides; fillet-edged rectangle top centre, enclosing date between initials; 13 shields of Ayloffe impaling Sulyard in three rows (5-4-4), the bottom row having a gap between the middle pair of shields; Ayloffe: sable, a lion rampant Or, collared gules, between three crosses formy of the second; Sulyard: argent, a chevron gules between three pheons inverted sable.

    Notes: William Ayloffe (c1535-1584) of Hornchurch, Essex, Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench, married (c1560) Jane, dau. of Sir Eustace Sulyard, of Runwell, Essex. About 110mm of the left side has broken off suggesting an original width of 1340mm. The initials 'CT' are likely to be those of Charles Tyler, a founder whose working life and that of his family have strong parallels with the occurrence of these firebacks.

    Inscription: C 1610 T

    Arms: Ayloffe impaling Sulyard (William Ayloffe of Hornchurch)

    Manufactured: in 1610 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Wye College, High Street, Wye, Kent, England.

    Citation: Cowper, H. S., 1911, 'A Series of Kentish Heraldic Firebacks and the Identification of the Arms', Archaeologia Cantiana, 29, pp. 40-6.

    Citation: Hodgkinson. J. S., 2018, 'A series of Kentish firebacks and the possible identification of their founder', Archaeologia Cantiana, 139, pp. 312-15.