Firebacks

Shape: rectangular

260 results

  1. 174

    hastings_061.jpg
    1219 x 495 mm

    Description: Rectangular; plain plate with central crossed-square rope pattern with crosses at the corner and top; on each side a rectangular stamp with swirled tendril decoration.

    Notes: The crossed square was an alchemistic symbol for iron vitriol (i.e. ferrous sulphate or copperas), but the crosses at the extremities may indicate other symbolism or none; similar patterns are found on other firebacks probably made at Pounsley furnace, Sussex. The decorative stamp was probably derived from furniture. Recovered from a property in Burwash, Sussex.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century possibly at Pounsley furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 910.26.1 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

    Citation: Easton, T. & Hodgkinson, J. S., 2013, 'Apotropaic Symbols on Cast-Iron Firebacks', Jnl. of the Antique Metalware Soc., 21, pp. 14-33.

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

    Citation: Manwaring Baines, J., 1958, Wealden Firebacks (Hastings Museum)

  2. 179

    hastings_066.jpg
    840 x 560 mm

    Description: Rectangular; double fillet moulded edging; top centre, on a rectangular block, shield of the arms of the Fowle family - (Gules) a lion passant guardant between three roses (Or); on each side, two rectangles, each containing a helm and the crest of the Fowles - an Arm in armour holding a Battle axe issuant from a Ducal Coronet, above each being the date, 1603, and below each the initials, WF. Across the lower half of the fireback are two solid triangular prisms of iron.

    Notes: The stamps relate to William Fowle (1568-1634), ironmaster of Riverhall furnace. The shield stamp also appears on grave slabs in Wadhurst and Frant churches and on an unprovenanced graveslab in Maidstone Museum. The iron prisms were included, perhaps, to retain heat and to prevent the fireback from cracking.

    Inscription: 1603 WF [twice]

    Arms: William Fowle, of Frant and Wadhurst

    Manufactured: in 1603 probably at Riverhall furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 952.51.59 (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. 180

    hastings_067.jpg
    690 x 770 mm

    Description: Rectangular: fillet edging; top left, standing classically dressed female figure playing a lyre, with short column behind; top right, classically dressed female figure leaning on a short column; top centre, hatted figure of a bearded man with bagpipes on his back, riding a horse.

    Notes: An unusual group of stamps, possibly derived from brass chimney ornaments; the middle figure seems to have little in common with the other two.

    Manufactured: in the late 19th to early 20th century in England.

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

    Museum number: 952.51.66 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

  4. 1127

    heathfield,_best demolition 914x762x.jpg
    914 x 762 mm

    Description: Plain rectangle; no edging; top centre, date between two six-pointed stars.

    Notes: Characteristic of the last firebacks cast at Ashburnham Furnace, Sussex. One of a small series of firebacks cast in the early-19th century for farms on the Ashburnham estate.

    Inscription: * 1812 *

    Manufactured: in 1812 at Ashburnham furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:, England.

  5. 912

    heathfield,_heathfield house.jpg
    1120 x 540 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); impression of the end of a firedog repeated three times, one upright in centre, two diagonally inverted with feet angled towards top centre; a large saltire of twisted rope in each top corner, a small saltire, of twisted rope and dowel, on either side of top of central firedog; cross of twisted rope below right hand corner saltire; lower centre, two angled rope lengths either side of central firedog. At the bottom, and outside the feet of the central firedog, two excrescences formed by the pouring of the metal.

    Notes: A well-preserved example with an unusual arrangement of the firedog stamp; formerly (c.1886) in the Warbill-in-Tun inn, Warbleton, Sussex.

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

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

    Citation: Balcomb, J. T., Nov. 1886, 'An Extinct Sussex Art', The Art Journal, pp. 337-340.

  6. 922

    heathfield,_manor farm 02.jpg
    830 x 485 mm

    Description: Rectangular; no edging; arrangement of eight fleur de lys stamps formed of, at top centre, four in a cross shape, with two in line on each side; on each side of the cross arrangement is a naked standing putto stamp.

    Notes: The putti are an unusual addition to what is a quite crudely decorated fireback

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

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

  7. 923

    heathfield,_manor farm 03.jpg
    360 x 1065 mm

    Description: Rectangular; overlapping laurel leaf edging with flange on right edge; top, seated figure of a monarch with a casket at his left side and the back of a throne behind; centre, bust of a classical male figure facing to the right, surrounded by a circlet of overlapping laurel leaves; bottom, ornamental pedestal on a legged stand, floral fronds issuing from the top, between two flower heads, and descending symmetrically to the bottom.

    Notes: Not a fireback, but a left side fireplace back plate. It had a circular aperture in the centre into which, in this instance, a medallion and bust were inserted, the same being inserted into an elaborate rococo fireback.

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 18th century possibly at Robertsbridge furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

  8. 192

    helston,_godolphin house 02.jpg
    910 x 520 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); irregular arrangement of four stamps in three rows: face mask with ?crown and ruff (3), flower head with four petals and leaflets (4), fleur de lys (5), and profile of a head with 'Roman' crest (2); initials replace stamps in top corners.

    Notes: A larger variant, undated and with other initials but the same four stamps, is also known.

    Inscription: TBI I旳🯒🯔 / TA S

    Manufactured: in 1618 possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Godolphin House, Helston, Cornwall, England.

    Museum number: 169481 (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).

  9. 902

    herstmonceux,_blackford farm.jpg
    1210 x 625 mm

    Description: Rectangular with ogee moulded edging (top and sides); symmetrically spaced along the top, initials, IMF, between split date in well-defined characters.

    Notes: The initials are believed to be of John Meers Fagg, who owned Blackford Farm, Herstmonceux, at that date. Fagg purchased three firebacks from Heathfield Furnace, Sussex, in September 1758, costing 4 10s. 6d. They were cast by Thomas Cavie, who was paid a shilling a piece (East Sussex Record Office, Brighton, SAS-RF/15/3/35, f.22). At least one other fireback is known with some of the same character set.

    Inscription: 17 IMF 58

    Manufactured: in 1758 at Heathfield furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

  10. 1174

    hertford_museum_01.jpg
    1297 x 737 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); top centre, crowned shield bearing initials, KH, above a fleur-de-lys, between a leopard passant guardant sinister (on the left) and a leopard passant (on the right); below the rear legs of each leopard, a fleur-de-lys, each inclined slightly outwards at the top; beneath, and slightly to the left of the shield a circular stamp bearing the letter C.

    Notes: The style of fleur-de-lys is one of two seen on this series of firebacks. The fireback was formerly at Marden Hill House, Tewin, Hertfordshire.

    Inscription: C

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

    Current location: Hertford Museum, 18 Bull Plain, Hertford, Hertfordshire, England.

    Museum number: HETFM2893.2 (part of the Hertford Museum museum group)