Firebacks

Shape: cavetto-canted rectangular with triangular arch

  1. 49

    dallington,_acelands.jpg
    635 x 590 mm

    Description: Rectangular with cavetto curves rising to corners and a ‘portico’ top; fillet edging with bas-relief, alternate regularly spaced semi-circles and triangles inside; two-handled flower vase with acanthus bas-relief, trailing vines issuing from top, with pomegranate and hop(?), descending through handles to base; lion’s head at top; date split either side of vase base.

    Notes: The bas-relief edging also appears on other firebacks, suggesting the same pattern maker. The date was probably added separately.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1662

    Manufactured: in 1662 in the Weald area of England.

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

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

  2. 638

    ripley_058.jpg
    650 x 595 mm

    Description: Rectangular with cavetto curves rising to corners and a ‘pediment’ top; fillet edging with low-relief, alternate regularly-spaced semi-circles and triangles inside; two-handled flower vase with gadrooned upper surface and symmetrical flower design in relief below; trailing vines and flowers issuing from top and descending through handles to base; human face at top; second half of date to right of vase base.

    Notes: Another version, probably by a different pattern-maker, is dated 1662; a recasting; an earlier casting measures 665mm x 610mm

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: [...] 52

    Manufactured: in 1652 possibly at Brede furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Mark Ripley Forge & Fireplaces, Northbridge Street, Robertsbridge, East Sussex, England.

  3. 700

    ticehurst,_pashley manor.jpg
    1190 x 880 mm

    Description: Cavetto-canted rectangle with central pediment; cyma-reversa moulded edging; central pedimented panel, fillet edged, with shield, helm, crest and mantling of the May family; on either side, an incised floral pattern of a stem and six branches, rising from a rectangular, low-relief panel of two images of horsemen; above, the inscription in low relief.

    Notes: The arms of May: Gules, a fess between eight billets Or; crest: Out of a ducal coronet Or, a lion’s head gules bezanty; the same armorial stamp appears to have been used on an unnamed iron graveslab in Ticehurst church. The initials are probably those of Susanna May (c1653-1718), heir to Pashley, in Ticehurst, who had married her distant cousin, Sir Robert May, in 1686. The May family had been involved in the iron industry in the 16th and early 17th centuries, but were no longer active a century later. Incised decoration on firebacks is uncommon, the decoration probably having been incised into the pattern board.

    Inscription: 17S M02

    Arms: May of Pashley, Ticehurst

    Manufactured: in 1702 in the Weald area of England.

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

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