Description: Arched rectangular shape; ovolo moulded edging; Tudor royal shield, garter, crown, motto and supporters (crowned lion and dragon); plain panels at sides and bottom.
Notes: A common variant has a rose and portcullis either side of the crown, and the top of the lion's crown and the dragon's ear do not overlap the edging; without the extension panels, the approximate dimensions of the main plate are 805mm wide by 590 high.
Inscription: [Garter] HONI SOIT QVI MAL E PENSE / [motto] DIEV ET MON DROIT
Arms: Tudor royal
Current location: in private hands, Wisborough Green, West Sussex, England.
Description: Arched rectangular shape with canted top corners; astragal-and-fillet and cavetto moulded strip on each side, angled at top; raised central square panel bearing main inscription in sans-serif characters justified to left (2s formed like Zs); irregular arrangement of small ‘serrated’ square stamps repeated 29 times in two vertical groups of 12 on each side of the inscription panel (6 on the outside, side to side, 6 on the inside, roughly corner to corner); 2 squares, side to side, below each side of the arch, above the inscription panel; 1 square at top of arch between non-matching initials.
Notes: The inscription is the same as on the iron plate above the grave of Richard Gray in Withyham church; another fireback, said to have the same inscription, was formerly at Wolvesey Palace, Winchester, and later in Winchester Museum, but is now missing; the moulding strips are likely to have been derived from furniture. Frances Ashbie and Richard Graye's godson, Richard, the son of William Ashbie, were among the beneficiaries of Richard Graye's will and the initials, IA, on the fireback may relate to another member of that family. The fireback was noted at Sompting, near Lancing, West Sussex, in the 1820s.
Inscription: I A / ANNO·DOMINI·1582 / THE·27·DAY·OF·· / FEBRVARYE·DYED· / RICHARDE·GRAYE / PARSON·OF· · / WYTHIHAM·
Current location: St Michael's church, Withyham, East Sussex, England.
Description: Arched rectangular shaped; astragal edging (top and sides); mainly symmetrical vine arrangement, emerging from a vase, some fronds ending in an eagle’s head, other in leaves; at top of arch, initials ‘HB’ split by date (reversed) with an additional ‘I’; below, initials ‘AIS’ (reversed).
Notes: Two planklines; ‘HB’ refers to Henry Bell, who acquired Rake Manor, Witley, in 1592. ‘AIS’ refers to Anthony Smith, his nephew and heir, and his wife, Joan (née Hore); the form of the date is confused by the addition of an ‘I’, and the somewhat clumsy arrangement of the inscription suggests that it was added to the otherwise foliate pattern priot to casting. The letter 'H' seems to belong to a different character set
Copies of this fireback are known.
Inscription: H I0361B / AIS
Current location: Rake Manor, Witley, Surrey, England.
Description: Arched rectangular shape; ovolo moulded edging; date in arch; below arch two parallel, vertical straps, each with a buckle at the top and six prong holes; initials left and right of centre; in top corners, rectangular framed stamp with inset bird; top centre, to left and right of buckle, circular 'butter mould' stamp with stylised fleur-de-lys design, the left one angled top to left; between each initial and strap, rectangular framed stamp with inset deer with antlers, and star in top left corner; below this, adjacent to each strap end, a circular stamp with symmetrical pattern; to left and right of this, a rectangular stamp with an unidentified animal, possibly a dog..
Notes: The buckles, the date and the initials all appear to be separate stamps but attached to the base board before being impressed to form the mould, as they are identically positioned on all castings. The buckles suggest a connection with the Pelham family; the initials may relate to Sir Thomas Pelham, Bt. (1597-1654) who owned and operated ironworks at Waldron in Sussex. The fleur stamp and, in particular, the circular stamp with the symmetrical pattern bear striking similarities to stamps seen on other firebacks. This would appear to be a casting of the original pattern with the addition of five pairs of stamps. The same stamps, and others, are seen in greater profusion on a fireback formerly at Huggetts Farm, Waldron, Sussex and drawn by Edward Hughes, of Heathfield, in a scrapbook of images compiled by J. Starkie Gardner. Nicholson's auction, Fernhurst, 3 Jul 2021, lot 100.
Inscription: 1642 / T P
Current location: in private hands, Worth, West Sussex, England.
Description: Arched rectangular shape; no edging; date in arch; initials in wide triad below.
Notes: A rather crudely cast fireback; rivets indicate repair. Wotton Auctions, Wotton-under-Edge, 30 Apr-1 May 2019, lot 1138.
Inscription: 16 59 / W R [or P] F [triad]
Current location: Wotton Auctions, Tabernacle Pitch, Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, England.
- Attached to series:
- Date & initials firebacks