Firebacks

Shape: arched rectangular

207 results

  1. 288

    faversham,_davington priory.jpg
    675 x 710 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular with plain edges; arched rectangular inset with cavetto edging and armorial design in low relief: circular garter enclosing an ornate Tudor royal shield, surmounted by a crown; date inside top of arch; initials inside top corners of rectangle; a rose in each bottom corner of rectangle; inscription in a separate rectangular panel below, split by garter buckle.

    Notes: The earliest dated fireback in the English style. Molland was a Devon manor belonging to the Courtenay family. Noted as having been at Wells Deanery, Somerset, in 1845; a variant without the motto, the existence of which was noted in 1840, was illustrated by Llewellin (1863); the west country provenance for both of these firebacks suggests an origin in those parts.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1553 / E R / HONV SOIT QVY MALE V PENCE / MOL LAND

    Arms: Tudor royal - Edward VI

    Manufactured: in 1553 possibly at Pentyrch Furnace in the South Wales area.

    Current location: Davington Priory, Priory Road, Faversham, Kent, England.

    Citation: Collier, C. V., 1897, 'Coats of Arms in Kent Churches', Archaeologia Cantiana, 22, pp. 190-1.

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

    Citation: Llewellin, W., 1863, 'Sussex Ironmasters in Glamorganshire', Archaeologia Cambrensis, 3rd ser., 9, pp. 89-91.

  2. 941

    fawley_court  01.jpg
    914 x 762 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; scalloping within wide fillet edging; shield, knight's helm, crest and mantling; date split either side of armorial.

    Notes: The arms are of Kyrle (vert, a chevron between three fleurs de lys or; crest: on a mount vert a hedgehog or) of Much Marcle, Herefordshire, quartered with Abrahall (azure three hedgehogs or; the fess appears to be erroneous) and Warnecombe (sable, on a fess dancetty argent between three bezants each charged with an escallop of the field as many lions rampant argent armed and langued gules). The second part of the date appears to have been altered by hand for the present casting as the style of lettering for the final two numerals is crude compared with the first two. Sir John Kyrle may have operated the iron furnace at Whitchurch, between Monmouth and Ross on Wye; the style of the carving is the same as on two other firebacks in the same county. It is apparent, from another example, that this fireback has either been broken and repaired, or deliberately reduced in height. Originally the mantling of the helm extended further down, ending in tassels on each side, making the height of the fireback approximately equal to its width. An early photograph of the Fawley fireback, taken by Alfred Watkins, the Herefordshire antiquarian, shows the division of the two parts more clearly (Herefordshire Record Office, AW339b). A copy of the original, un-reduced fireback has been noted with the date 1685 in the distinctive numerals seen on firebacks from Flaxley Furnace, Gloucestershire.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 20

    Arms: Kyrle quartering Abrahall and Warnecombe

    Manufactured: in 1620 possibly at Whitchurch Furnace in the Herefordshire area of England.

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

    Citation: Anon., 1918, 'Second Field Meeting 25th June 1918', Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club, p. xvi.

  3. 66

    fernhurst,_vanlands 01.jpg
    905 x 755 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular shape; twisted rope edging on top and sides of rectangle, and separately around arch; the rope ends extend beyond both ends of the top edge; vertical rope lengths, to full height, inside left and right edges; rope crosses in arch and in upper centre of rectangle.

    Notes: Probably an early vernacular example of a design mimicking the ‘Palladian’ style. The crosses suggest Christian significance.

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

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

  4. 297

    gainsborough,_old hall 02 (1889).jpg
    620 x 881 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; wide fillet edging with alternate bead and pellet on top and sides, the pellets rotated over the arch where they are separated in triplets by blocks; shield, helm, crest and mantling of Saunderson, with a strapwork compartment at the bottom; initials split by wreath; date split by crest.

    Notes: The arms are probably those of Thomas Saunderson of Gainsborough (c.1568- before 1642).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 19 / T S

    Arms: Thomas Saunderson of Gainsborough

    Manufactured: in 1619 in England.

    Current location: Museum of Lincolnshire Life, Burton Road, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England.

    (part of the Lincolnshire County Council museum group)

    Citation: Gamble, H. G., 1 Nov 1889, 'Metal-work from the Old Hall, Gainsborough', The Building News, Vol LVII, no. 1817, pp. 586 & 588.

  5. 1284

    gardner_03.jpg
    ~760 x ~650 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; gadrooned edging (top and sides); initials, in separate stamps, at top of arch; date probably in separate stamps, below; spindle used as a stamp repeated three times, one between date and initial stamps, the other two below to left and right.

    Notes: The same base board and spindle have been used for other firebacks of the same period. A similar casting (no. 299) has the 'W' in a slightly different position. Formerly at Warnham Court, Sussex.

    Inscription: I W / 16 22

    Manufactured: in 1622 possibly at Cuckfield Furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:, not known.

    Citation: Gardner, J. S., 1898, 'Iron Casting in the Weald', Archaeologia, 56, 1, pp. 133-164.

  6. 900

    gardner_21.jpg
    ? x ? mm

    Description: Low stepped-arched rectangular shape; ovolo-moulded edging; central shield backed by a cartouche, surrounded by grape bunches, vines and leaves.

    Notes: Arms of the Worshipful Company of Vintners - sable, a chevron between three tuns argent - were granted in 1442. From a photograph in the J. Starkie Gardner Collection, Victoria & Albert Museum, Archive of Art and Design (AAD/2014/8).

    Arms: Worshipful Company of Vintners

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 17th century in England.

    Current location:, not known.

  7. 1281

    garths,_30_jan_2015,_lot_2347.jpg
    737 x 584 mm

    Description: Composite; arched rectangular shaped, armorial fireback, cavetto edging, with Stuart Royal arms, garter, supporters, crown and motto, and 1639 date above crown; this overlies a rectangular plate with fillet edging; top centre in the space each side of the central shield, an initial letter - W to left, C to right.

    Notes: One of several variants using a fireback with the English Stuart royal arms, the date probably altered according to when it was cast. The original date of the fireback was probably 1619. Garth's Auctioneers, Columbus, OH, 3 Jan 2015, lot 2347 ($300).

    Inscription: 1639 / W C

    Arms: English Stuart royal

    Manufactured: in 1639 possibly in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location:, not known.

  8. 898

    gentle_and feild 623x699.jpg
    623 x 699 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular; ovolo-moulded egg and dart edging; shield surmounted by helm and indistinct crest, with elaborate mantling.

    Notes: Blazon (bordure bezanty impaling a chevron between three bugle horns) is unidentified. The date of c.1730 suggested by Gentle and Feild is unlikely to be correct.

    Arms: Not known

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 17th century in England.

    Current location:, not known.

    Citation: Gentle, R. & Feild, R., 1994, Domestic Metalwork 1640-1820 (Woodbridge, Antique Collectors' Club), pp. 332-3.

  9. 70

    godalming_museum 01.jpg
    730 x 490 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; simulated twisted rope edging (top & sides); symmetrical arrangement of fleurs de lys (two types - 2 and 1), diamond shapes (2) and cross-cut squares (4) includes the monogram in which the letters I and F are separated by a small, hollow diamond stamp, the M being above; interspersed symmetrical arrangement of raised spots (8).

    Notes: The initials, as with other triple-lettered forms, in which the middle letter is set apart from the other two, may relate to a married couple where their surname initial is M. Another example seen has shown that the pattern was formed of five angular, uneven-sized planks battened together.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1613 / M / I F

    Manufactured: in 1613 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Godalming Museum, Godalming, Surrey, England.

    Museum number: B980.400 (part of the Godalming Museum museum group)

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

  10. 71

    godalming_museum 02.jpg
    450 x >296 mm

    Description: Fragment; upper half of an arched rectangular shaped fireback; fillet edging; divided into two halves; left half - naked female figure of Truth holding scales in right hand, surrounded by motto ribbon bearing the text: HET IS V EEN SCHADE DAT TROVE IS LICHTER DAN EEN PLV; right half - naked female figure of Vigilance, a bird seated on her right hand, and with two dogs on leads held in her left hand, surrounded by a motto ribbon bearing the text: ICH IAGE OM DIE VINDEN OFT ICH TROVE KONDE VINDEN; initials between scales; date divided by cross of an orb forming the centre of the four intended panels.

    Notes: The complete fireback has four figures (clockwise from top left) representing Truth, Vigilance (both naked), Indifference and Perfidy (both clothed).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: SG 1598 HET IS V EEN SCHADE DAT TROVE IS LICHTER DAN EEN PLV / ICH IAGE OM DIE VINDEN OFT ICH TROVE KONDE VINDEN

    Manufactured: in 1598 possibly in the Lorraine area of Germany.

    Current location: Godalming Museum, Godalming, Surrey, England.

    Museum number: B980.407 (part of the Godalming Museum museum group)

    Citation: Seewaldt, P. v., 1988, Herdgussplatten: Katalog der Herdgussplatten des Rheinischen Landesmuseums Trier (Trier, Rheinisches Landesmuseum).