Firebacks

Shape: rectangular with detached pediment

  1. 831

    burlington_house 1894 01.jpg
    ~1037 x ~1004 mm

    Description: Rectangular with small detached pediment; cavetto-moulded edging; upper centre, shield, helm, crest and mantling, with date, 1635, split either side of crest; top, date, 1649, split either side of armorial; initials split either side of armorial, below date.

    Notes: The armorial, tentatively associated with the family of Brooke or Broke of Lapley, Staffordshire (blazon: chequy argent and sable, impaling a chevron between three estoiles), dated 1635, was formed from a pattern designed for a smaller fireback (q.v.), but positioned on a larger backing board with the later date and initials added separately, most of the frame of the original fireback being pared away. From an illustration in the catalogue of an exhibition on heraldry at Burlington House, London, in 1894.

    Inscription: 16 35 / 16 49 / R B

    Arms: poss. Brooke or Broke of Lapley, Staffordshire

    Manufactured: in 1649 in England.

    Current location:.

    Citation: St John Hope, W. H. (ed.), 1894, Illustrated Catalogue of the Heraldic Exhibition at Burlington House, Society of Antiquaries.

  2. 917

    cambridge_folk museum.jpg
    600 x 760 mm

    Description: Rectangular with detached pediment joined by S-curves; cavetto-moulded edging; shield, helm, bird crest and mantling, with date, 1635, split either side of crest; bottom of casting missing due to corrosion.

    Notes: Tentatively identified as the arms of Brooke or Broke of Lapley, Staffordshire (blazon: chequy argent and sable), impaling a chevron between three estoiles; this fireback, or its pattern, have been used as a stamp on another fireback with a later date and initials added separately (see Fireback no. 831).

    Inscription: 16 35

    Arms: poss. Brooke of Lapley, Staffordshire

    Manufactured: in 1635 in England.

    Current location: Cambridge and County Folk Museum, 2/3 Castle Street, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England.

    (part of the Cambridge and County Folk Museum museum group)

  3. 857

    croft_castle 01.jpg
    790 x 670 mm

    Description: Rectangular with detached pediment linked by S-curves, protruding from each of which is a small scroll; cavetto-moulded edging (top and sides); quartered shield with helm, crest and mantling; initials in top corners.

    Notes: The arms are of Sir Julius Caesar (1558-1636), judge and politician, Chancellor of the Exchequer 1606-13. Blazon: Quarterly, 1st and 4th, Gules, three roses argent, on a chief of the second three roses of the first (Caesar); 2nd, argent, two bars sable, on a chief of the second three swans of the first (?Martin); 3rd, gules, three crescents argent (Peryent/Perin). Crest: a dolphin embowed in the sea vert. This example has the additional initials, TC. The style of the carving is the same as on two other firebacks in the same county.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: T C

    Arms: Caesar

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

    Current location: Croft Castle, Yarpole, Herefordshire, England.

    Museum number: CRO.M.002.1 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  4. 355

    kenilworth_castle.jpg
    860 x 850 mm

    Description: Rectangular joined to pediment by symmetrical scrolls; fillet edging with embattling inside; shield, helm, crest, supporters and mantling of the city of Bristol; date split by bottom of shield; inscription in an oval cartouche below shield.

    Notes: The use of embattling inside the edge and the form of the numbers ‘1’ and '6' in the date suggests that this fireback may be the work of the pattern maker identified on other firebacks as ‘RN’; both '3's have been substituted, indicating an earlier original. The pattern-maker was also responsible for carving royal coats of arms in three West Country churches.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 33 / [ARMES] BRISTOLL

    Arms: City of Bristol

    Manufactured: in 1633 possibly in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: Kenilworth Castle, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, England.

    Museum number: 88278827 (part of the English Heritage museum group)

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

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2017, 'Church Armorials and Firebacks: Evidence of an Early 17th-Century Woodcarver', Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, 135, pp. 213-223.

    Citation: Russell, A. J., 1978, 'The Fireback in Willey Farmhouse, Chaldon', Local History Records, 17 (The Bourne Society), pp. 8-9.

  5. 682

    sedlescombe,_mabbs cottage.jpg
    860 x 680 mm

    Description: Rectangular, with detached pediment joined by mirrored S-shaped scrolls; fillet edging with scalloping on inside edge (top and sides of rectangle, and pediment, only); central Tudor rose with surrounding garter, crowned lion and dragon supporters, surmounted by a helmet, mantling and crowned lion passant crest; initials, ER, separated by crest; initials, TP, in top corners of rectangle; ‘date’ split between bottom corners.

    Notes: Stylistically of the late 16th or very early 17th centuries, the date is absent from some versions, and is likely to have been added spuriously to later recastings, of which this is one, the style of the numerals being identical to a series of firebacks cast in 1648-58.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: E R / T P / 1558

    Manufactured: in the mid 17th century possibly at Laytons (Tintern) furnace in the Forest of Dean area of Wales.

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

  6. 952

    taddington_manor 05c.jpg
    1117 x 872 mm

    Description: Rectangular joined to pediment by symmetrical scrolls; fillet edging with embattling inside; shield, helm, crest, supporters and mantling of the city of Bristol; date split by bottom of shield; inscription in an oval cartouche below shield; rectangular side extensions with twisted rope edging; initial on each extension.

    Notes: The use of embattling inside the edge and the form of the number ‘3’ in the date suggests that this fireback may be the work of the pattern maker identified on other firebacks as ‘RN’; the mismatched ‘3’ is likely to have replaced a ‘1’ or ‘2’. The pattern-maker was also responsible for carving royal coats of arms in three West Country churches.

    Inscription: T H / 16 34 / ARMES BRISTOLL

    Arms: City of Bristol

    Manufactured: in 1634 possibly in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: in private hands Chipping Camden, Gloucestershire, England.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2017, 'Church Armorials and Firebacks: Evidence of an Early 17th-Century Woodcarver', Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, 135, pp. 213-223.