Firebacks

Shape: quasi-arched rectangular

61 results

  1. 1080

    boston,_museum of fine arts.jpg
    686 x 641 mm

    Description: Cast-iron fireback consisting of a panel with an arched top and scrolled ears. Decorated with reliefs, foliate borders at the sides, and in the centre with a coat of arms consisting of a shield, three castles separated by a chevron with an open compass, and with crest of a bird with a leafed branch in its beak, all elaborated with foliage. Motto along arched crest; motto in scroll below arms; maker’s name along bottom.

    Notes: The arms are essentially those of the Premier Grand Lodge of England, granted in 1717, differenced by the motto; the Massachusetts Lodge was founded in 1733; the blazon is an adaptation of the arms of the Worshipful Company of Masons. Joseph Webb was a Boston ironmonger and chandler; his 1765 trade card was designed by fellow Freemason Paul Revere, who may also have cast the fireback.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: THE • FREE • MASONS • ARMS / FOLLOW • REASON / SOLD • BY • JOSEPH • WEBB • BOSTON

    Arms: Massachusetts Grand Lodge of Freemasons

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 18th century probably at (Boston) North End furnace in the Massachusetts area of United States of America.

    Current location: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.

    Museum number: 1982.618 (part of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts museum group)

  2. 219

    brighton,_preston manor 01.jpg
    792 x >1000 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead on fillet edging, pictorial representation of a man and woman walking, behind the woman a child holds her train and a young person carries a parasol; from behind a column on the right, a horse's head is visible, a tree stands to the left, at the foot of the scene is the word 'EUROPA'; arched rectangular border with fillet edging, from a central bunch of grapes at the top of the arch, a ribbon on each side suspends bunches of fruit and flowers; at the bottom a central cartouche containing the inscription 'L7G', with flowers on each side;; on top are two mirrored dolphins.

    Notes: The pictorial scene is based on an engraving c.1642 of Friedrich Wilhelm, Elector of Brandenburg, and his wife, Luise Henriette of Oranje-Nassau, by Mathias Czwiczek; one of series of firebacks depicting allegories of the four continents; the initials, L7G, denote the style of border - other firebacks having the same inscription have the same border - and other borders are denoted by similar inscriptions (e.g. L6G and L8G).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: EVROPA / L7G

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 17th century in the Siegerland area of Germany.

    Current location: Preston Manor, Brighton, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: HA105000 (part of the Brighton Museum museum group)

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2016, 'The 'Europa' fireback at Preston Manor, Brighton', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 154, pp. 297-9.

  3. 210

    brighton_museum 02.jpg
    405 x 534 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular shape; ovolo-moulded edging; fluid curving, double ovolo arch with a pair of putti holding looped ribbons; a lion rampant holding a cartouche, between two pilasters, each surmounted by a dragon’s head.

    Notes: A simple decorative device has replaced the customary allegorical or classical scene.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the late 17th century in England.

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

    Museum number: HA105020 (part of the Brighton Museum museum group)

  4. 214

    brighton_museum 06.jpg
    381 x 581 mm

    Description: Rectangular with arched, mirrored scrolls on top and central scallop shell; fillet edging; in a grove with two putti above, blowing trumpets, to the left, a naked female figure seated against a table, pointing at three children to the right, on a rock; at the bottom, narrow panel with indistinct decoration.

    Notes: The scene is probably from classical mythology, but has not been identified.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in England.

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

    Museum number: HATMP002269 (part of the Brighton Museum museum group)

  5. 216

    brighton_museum 08.jpg
    620 x 878 mm

    Description: Rectangular with plait-effect border and a column of beads down each side; pictorial scene of a male figure in gown and full-bottom wig, holding a fool’s cap in his right hand, standing behind a seated male figure, bald and bearded, with the papal triple crown falling off his head; he is seated at a desk on which are two books; behind him and to the right, three books are on a small shelf. Above the figures, a longer shelf, the width of the plate, supports other books and papers, together with the figure of a dog, from whose mouth a scroll issues bearing an unreadable inscription. On top, two putti hold hands in front of a flaming grenade.

    Notes: The design is copied from a cartoon of c.1672 showing Titus Oates, the instigator of the Popish Plot, presenting a fool’s cap to the Pope.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

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

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

    Museum number: HA105014 (part of the Brighton Museum museum group)

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

  6. 25

    burwash,_batemans 03.jpg
    410 x >490 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular shape with arch decorated with floral swirls and an urn on each shoulder; three female figures: Aphrodite on the left, Hera in the centre on a plinth with two peacocks behind her, and Athena on the right; a double tassel hangs above Hera’s head.

    Notes: The figures are the participants in the Judgement of Paris, the outcome of which precipitated the Trojan War.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in England.

    Current location: Bateman's, Burwash, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: NT/BAT/M/55 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  7. 26

    burwash,_batemans 04.jpg
    360 x 560 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular shape with swirled and draped foliage across the top; fillet edging with bottom panel containing indistinct floral scrolls; figure of Plenty/Abundance holding a bunch of fruit, accompanied on her left by a cherub, and receiving a further bunch of fruit from a faun to her right; two cherubs hold foliage aloft.

    Notes: The figure of Plenty is one of the representations in the Iconologia, published in the early 17th century by Cesare Ripa, and subsequently in other editions. They frequently form the subject of firebacks.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in England.

    Current location: Bateman's, Burwash, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: NT/BAT/M/99 (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).

  8. 27

    burwash,_batemans 05.jpg
    590 x 665 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with symmetrical scrolled ‘portico’ above, a flower vase between and circular discs at each end, symmetrical horizontal palm fronds below; pilaster with spiral design and Ionic capital on each side; central pictorial scene of a bagpiper with Elizabethan ruff and soft cap with feather in front of a vaulted ruin, on the right a flaming cauldron on a plinth.

    Notes: This seems to be pastiche using various elements derived from other firebacks, notably the moulding and scrolled top are from the Lenard fireback , and the palm fronds are from elsewhere. The figure may be adapted from a painting of a bagpiper by Abraham Bloemaert (1564-1651)

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in England.

    Current location: Bateman's, Burwash, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: NT/BAT/M/167 (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. 233

    cardiff,_st fagans 10.jpg
    372 x 570 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel, bead edging, a stork, to the left, its beak in the top of a tall vase, a fox seated to the right, a tree behind; arched rectangular border, fillet edging, swags of fruit bunches (missing at the sides) suspended from ribbon, inscription below central panel; on top, symmetrical floral swirls and flowers.

    Notes: The scene is drawn from 'The Fox and the Stork', one of Aesop's fables. A recasting.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 NDW 97

    Manufactured: in 1697 in the Siegerland area of Germany.

    Current location: National History Museum, St Fagans, Glamorgan, Wales.

    Museum number: 59.461 (part of the Welsh National History Museum museum group)

  10. 236

    cardiff,_st fagans 13.jpg
    610 x 762 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with rounded corners; ovolo within fillet moulding all round; oval Tudor royal shield with garter surrounding, topped with a royal crown; dragon and greyhound supporters; initials split by crown; inscription on a fillet between legs of supporters, behind garter finial; motto on an Ionic plinth at bottom.

    Notes: The supporters are those of Henry VII or Henry VIII, but the initials suggest the fireback dates from the reign of Edward VI (1547-53). John Harvo (d.1562) was a gunfounder who has been identified as occupying Pounsley furnace, Framfield, Sussex, possibly from as early as 1547; the fireback may have been cast originally during the reign of Henry VIII (1509-47), with the initials added to an early casting using the original pattern. Probably an early copy.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: E R / HONY SOIT QUE MAL Y PAYNCE / Made in Sussex by John Harvo / DV ET MOVN DROI

    Arms: Tudor royal Edward VI

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

    Current location: National History Museum, St Fagans, Glamorgan, Wales.

    Museum number: 51.96/1 (part of the Welsh National History Museum museum group)