Firebacks

Shape: sub-rectangular

16 results

  1. 232

    cardiff,_st fagans 09.jpg
    600 x 710 mm

    Description: Plain plate; central shield, helm, crest and mantling of the Lewis family: quarterly 1st, sable a lion rampant argent (Lewis of Y Fan), 2nd, sable a chevron between three fleurs de lys or (Einon ap Collwyn), 3rd gules three chevronels argent(Iestyn ap Gwrgan), 4th, sable a chevron between three spear heads argent embrued gules (Bleddyn ap Maenyrch); initials split by armorial stamp (’E’ over-stamped); date, formed from single numerals, below arms.

    Notes: The arms are those of Sir Edward Lewis, of Van, who purchased St Fagans Castle in 1616. The same armorial stamp was used to model the arms on a lead cistern outside the front door of the castle. It is possible that this fireback was cut down from a larger fireback.

    Inscription: E L 1620

    Arms: Sir Edward Lewis of Van

    Manufactured: in 1620 in the South Wales area of Wales.

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

    Museum number: 48.354/84 (part of the Welsh National History Museum museum group)

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

    Citation: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, 1981, An Inventory of Ancient Monuments of Glamorgan Vol IV Part 1: Domestic Architecture from the Reformation to the Industrial Revolution: the Greater Houses (Cardiff, HMSO).

  2. 78

    guildford_museum 03.jpg
    715 x 440 mm

    Description: Sub-rectangular; twisted rope edging; lengths of twisted rope arranged to form two 'V' shapes and an 'I' overlapping to forma possible monogram.

    Notes: The 'monogram' comprises different length pieces of rope and may have an apotropaic significance, the double 'V' referring to the Virgin Mary.

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

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

    Museum number: G.488 (part of the Guildford Museum museum group)

    Citation: Easton, T. & Hodgkinson, J. S., 2013, 'Apotropaic Symbols on Cast-Iron Firebacks', Jnl. of the Antique Metalware Soc., 21, pp. 14-33.

  3. 99

    handcross,_nymans 05.jpg
    782 x 497 mm

    Description: Quasi-rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); three gothic panels arranged horizontally, the centre one wider than the other two, each panel a symmetrical arrangement of tracery patterns with an inverted ogee arch on top incorporating two flowers; below are six, irregularly spaced fleurs-de-lys.

    Notes: The panels were probably derived from a dismantled wooden chest or hutch table, c.1500. Their gothic style belies the probable age of the fireback, such chests already being old when their parts might have been re-used. The same panels are on a fireback at East Grinstead Museum.

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

    Current location: Nymans, Staplefield Road, Handcross, Slaugham, West Sussex, England.

    Museum number: NT/NYM/M/77 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  4. 311

    handcross,_nymans 06b.jpg
    1260 x 868 mm

    Description: Quasi-rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); fleur-de-lys stamp repeated 25 times in four rows (6-6-6-7), interspersed with a length of twisted rope repeatedly stamped between each row and sometimes between fleurs; three rope crosses near top corners.

    Notes: The fleurs are identical to others from the ‘Pounsley’ series.

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

    Current location: Nymans, Staplefield Road, Handcross, Slaugham, West Sussex, England.

    (part of the National Trust museum group)

  5. 108

    haslemere_museum 07.jpg
    1500 x 770 mm

    Description: Quasi-rectangular with narrow arches at top ends and a broad low central arch, between which are flat-topped peaks linked to the arches by shallow concave curves; flanged edge (top and sides); mirroring the edge a channel has been engraved into the metal, extending into the small arches, producing the effect of a wide fillet along the top and sides with an inverted U-shaped return into the end arches; within the channel, at each end, a primitive representation of a vertical, hollow plant stem and four mirrored pairs of curved branches, with a vertical channel parallel to the edge joining the branch ends on the inside; between these is cast a small, rectangular panel with ovolo edging, bearing a full achievement of the arms of the Worshipful Company of Clothworkers; the date is centrally placed above this panel.

    Notes: An usual fireback for several reasons: the use of engraving for significant elements of the design, the flanged edge, and the incorporation of a small fireback. The Clothworkers’ arms: Sable a chevron ermine between in chief two Havettes Argent and in base a Teazel Cob Or; crest: on a Mount vert a Ram statant Or; supporters: two Griffins Or pellettée; the arms as displayed were granted in 1587. An example of the armorial fireback on its own is in Petworth House.

    Inscription: WV 1659 WV

    Arms: Worshipful Company of Clothworkers

    Manufactured: in 1659 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Haslemere Educational Museum, Haslemere, Surrey, England.

    (part of the Haslemere Educational Museum museum group)

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

  6. 176

    hastings_museum 063b.jpg
    >1010 x 780 mm

    Description: Probably rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); two (originally probably three) panels divided by vertical twisted rope, each containing a rounded shield with fillet edge with 'ihs' (the 'h' crossed), between two cartouche-style shields with fillet edge, bearing a cross rising from two concentric rings.

    Notes: The overtly religious symbolism may indicate a pre-Reformation or Marian date. The christogram, 'ihs', derived from the first three letters of 'IESUS' in Greek, was first noted in England in the 14th century. The cross rising from the rings may be intended to indicate christian dominion over the globe. Possibly as much as the right third of the fireback is missing. The fireback is believed to have been in Robertsbridge Abbey.

    Inscription: ihs

    Manufactured: in the early 16th century possibly in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 914.38 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

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

  7. 339

    huddington_court 07.jpg
    503 x 504 mm

    Description: Rectangular with rebated top corners; ovolo moulded edging (top and sides); topcentre, date above initials.

    Notes: The rebated corners are an unusual feature.

    Inscription: 1653 / T · L ·C

    Manufactured: in 1653 in England.

    Current location: in private hands, Huddington, Worcestershire, England.

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

  8. 361

    lamberhurst,_scotney castle 02c.jpg
    1490 x 840 mm

    Description: Quasi-rectangular; twisted rope edging on top and sides; fillet-edged rectangle top centre, enclosing date between initials; 17 shields of Ayloffe impaling Sulyard in three rows (5-6-6); Ayloffe: sable, a lion rampant Or, collared gules, between three crosses formy of the second; Sulyard: argent, a chevron gules between three pheons inverted sable.

    Notes: William Ayloffe (c1535-1584) of Hornchurch, Essex, Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench, married (c1560) Jane, dau. of Sir Eustace Sulyard, of Runwell, Essex. The initials 'CT' are likely to be those of Charles Tyler, a founder whose working life and that of his family have strong parallels with the occurrence of these firebacks.

    Inscription: C 1620 T

    Arms: Ayloffe impaling Sulyard (William Ayloffe of Hornchurch)

    Manufactured: in 1620 possibly at Hawkhurst furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Scotney Castle, Lamberhurst, Kent, England.

    Museum number: NT/SCO/oc/M/189 (part of the National Trust museum group)

    Citation: Cowper, H. S., 1911, 'A Series of Kentish Heraldic Firebacks and the Identification of the Arms', Archaeologia Cantiana, 29, pp. 40-6.

    Citation: Hodgkinson. J. S., 2018, 'A series of Kentish firebacks and the possible identification of their founder', Archaeologia Cantiana, 139, pp. 312-15.

  9. 369

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 004.jpg
    1040 x 660 mm

    Description: Rectangular; rope edging on top and sides; central inscription panel; repeated trailing vine decoration from impressed wooden strips — one horizontal line at top, three vertical strips at each side, one horizontal strip below panel, plain panel at base.

    Notes: A series of firebacks all bearing the inscription carved onto a panel and included with other stamps in the casting of the iron graveslab covering the tomb of Anne Forster (Foster) in St George’s church, Crowhurst, Surrey. Formerly in the John H. Every Collection, for which it was purchased in 1921 at Isfield Place, Sussex.

    Inscription: HER : LIETH : ANE : FORST/ R : DAVGHTER : AND : / HEYR : TO : THOMAS : / GAYNSFORD : ESQVIER / DECEASED : XVIII : OF: / IANVARI : 1591 : LEAVYNG / BEHIND : HER II : SONES : / AND : V : DAVGHTERS

    Manufactured: in the late 16th century possibly at Pounsley furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Anne of Cleves House, Southover High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 1944.24.043 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2018, 'The Anne Forster Firebacks', Surrey Archaeological Collections, 101, 99-114.

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

  10. 374

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 009.jpg
    >870 x >470 mm

    Description: Quasi-rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); a length of twisted rope stamped six times to form a saltire and two crosses across the width of the plate; surplus iron extends from all sides.

    Notes: The surplus iron resulted from over filling of the mould. The crosses are likely to have Christian significance.

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

    Current location: Anne of Cleves House, Southover High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 1944.24.037 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Hughes, G. B., May 1940, 'Old English Firebacks', Apollo, 31, 185, pp. 117-120.