184 results

  1. 937

    ansty,_riddens farm (harper).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, split by spindle; spindle used as a stamp repeated three times, one between date and initial stamps, the other two below to left and right.

    Notes: Makes use of the same backing board as other firebacks in this series, and is possibly a variant of another fireback of the same date and with the same three spindles but with other initials (no. 299); it may originate in the Cuckfield area of Sussex, where most examples have been noted; illustration from Harper (1906). Previously at Riddens (now West Riddens) Farm, Ansty, near Cuckfield, Sussex.

    Inscription: S WC / 16 22

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

    Current location: not known.

    Citation: Harper, C. G., 1906, The Brighton Road (London, Chapman & Hall), p. 391.

  2. 1288

    1060 x 750 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; two rectangular side panels with twisted rope edging top and side.

    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. c1565) 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. The detail on the armorial back is good, showing little wear, so the casting was probably made not long after the original armorial fireback. The rivets are modern.

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

    Arms: Tudor royal - Probably Henry VIII

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

    Current location: not known.

  3. 897

    737 x 559 mm

    Description: Steeply canted rectangle; no edging; upper centre, square formed of twisted rope lengths inside which are what appear to be two lions passant in pale with a circle and two short sloping lines in inverted V form above; on either side of the square is an O and an R; below the square three lengths of twisted rope extend to the bottom edge, the central one vertically and the the outer two sloping away from the centre; along the bottom is the date, each numeral separated by one of the rope lengths.

    Notes: Alleged to be a representation of the arms of the O'Rourke family, who held sway in Cavan and Leitrim, the initials said to be of Owen O'Rourke. Noted in a cottage at Arigna, County Roscommon.

    Inscription: O O R / 1 6 8 8

    Arms: O'Rourke

    Manufactured: in 1688 possibly at Drumshanbo Furnace in the Leitrim area of Ireland.

    Current location: not known.

    Citation: Lindsay, J. S., 1927, Iron & Brass Implements of the English House (London, The Medici Society).

    Citation: Meehan, J., 1906, 'The Arms of the O'Rourkes: a metal casting from County Leitrim seventeenth-century foundries', Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 36, 2, pp. 123-142.

  4. 200

    baynards_park 01 jpg.jpg
    ?1870 x ?1020 mm

    Description: Composite; rectangular with semi-circular arches in middle (large) and ends (small) of top edge; rope on all edges except bottom; central panel effectively comprises an arched fireback form with Tudor royal arms (temp. Elizabeth I) with date above, and, below, letters G M, made from rope with fleur de lys terminals between two coronets surmounted by lions; below this are fronds with roses. On either side of this panel are placed the Anne Forster inscription panels; above each of these is a rose and crown with lion and dragon supporters, beneath which are three fleurs de lys. Along the base of the inscription panels and the central panel are single rows of ‘grape bunch’ shapes, beneath which are repeated trailing vine decoration from impressed wooden strips across the entire width of the fireback; 35 in all.

    Notes: Formerly at Baynard's Park, Ewhurst, Surrey; GM probably refers to Sir George More, who built Baynards Park after buying the estate in 1587, and who moved to Loseley in 1604. The central coat of arms has been noted on two other firebacks, dated 1588 and 1595. The rose and crown stamps have been noted on a fireback in Haslemere Museum, and on examples illustrated by Lower (all of which bear the date 1582 and the initials IA; e.g. no. 107). The association of these stamps and the particular form of rope lettering, with the Anne Forster inscription and the ‘grape bunch’ shapes, both of which have been linked with other stamps from Pounsley furnace, suggests that they, too, were part of the stock of those works.


    Arms: Tudor royal

    Manufactured: in 1593 possibly at Pounsley Furnace, Framfield in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: not known.

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

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

    Citation: Manning, O. & Bray, W., 1809, History of Surrey Vol. II (London, John White), p. 369n.

  5. 1142

    binegar,_mendip auction rooms 01.jpg
    605 x 540 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with quadrant extensions on top corners; twisted rope edging (top and sides); vertical rope line parallel to each side, forming two separate side panels; horizontal rope line joined to vertical lines enclosing the following: inside arch, initials IBA in triad; below initials, double fleur-de-lys stamp between split date; below horizontal line, a double fleur stamp in each top corner of central lower panel; in each side panel, a single bead above a vertical sequence of squared cross stamps repeated eight times.

    Notes: The distinctive squared cross and fleur stamps are seen on other firebacks; the initials in triad may relate to a husband and wife. A taller variant of the same fireback is at Northgate House, Warwick. Mendip Auctions, Binegar, Somerset, 7 Sep 2019, lot 374.

    Inscription: IBA [triad] / 16 93

    Manufactured: in 1693 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: not known.

  6. 878

    birling,_5 birling park.jpg
    804 x 765 mm

    Description: Cavetto-canted arched rectangle; twisted rope edging, separately around rectangle and arch; initials 'R' and 'H' in upper left and right corners of rectangle; 'M' above date in arch.

    Notes: The arch does not appear to have been a separate stamp, although the rope edging gives that impression; the initials, in triad, suggest a husband and wife - R.. and H.. M..

    Inscription: M / 1654 / / R H

    Manufactured: in 1654 possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Birling, Kent, England.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2012, 'Pre-Restoration Iron Firebacks', Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, 20, pp. 2-15.

  7. 1242

    770 x 560 mm

    Description: Canted rectangular shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides); top centre, date, 1638, with uneven figures (oversize 3), between two fleurs-de-lys; four fleurs-de-lys, lying horizontally, down each side; below date, slender 'T' shape above a slender 'M' shape, with initials 'W' and 'B' separated by the 'T' shape.

    Notes: The distinctive fleur-de-lys has not been noted on any other fireback. Purchased by Birmingham Museums in 1982 at the sale of the contents of the house ‘Hildercroft’ on Highfield Road in Hall Green, Birmingham.

    Inscription: 1638 / W T B / M

    Manufactured: in 1638 in England.

    Current location: Blakesley Hall, Blakesley Road, Yardley, West Midlands, England.

    (part of the Birmingham Museums Trust museum group)

  8. 1219

    1060 x 630 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides); top centre, cross-shaped arrangement of four fleurs-de-lys between to crosses formed of lengths of twisted rope with single fleurs outside and beyond each of them a dagger, point upwards; to the right, a single fleur; bottom centre, a triangle formed of three lengths of twisted rope, vertex to the bottom, between two non-identical groups of three fleurs arranged in star pattern.

    Notes: The style of the fleurs-de-lys associates this fireback with a series with several examples. The dagger type (approximate length 32cm) is different to others in the same series. Bishop & Miller Auctioneers, Stowmarket, 27 Jan 2022, lot 88 (£110).

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

    Current location: not known.

  9. 206

    bramber,_st marys 01a.jpg
    695 x 600 mm

    Description: Rectangular with two-stepped top; double astragal edging on sides; top centre, stamp formed of a talbot statant guardant upon a wreath; date split either side of crest; initials below date, ‘+’ below letters.

    Notes: The talbot crest is seen on other firebacks indicating a common source.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 22 / I + H

    Manufactured: in 1622 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: St Mary's House, Bramber, West Sussex, England.

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

  10. 810

    bray,_ockwells manor 02.jpg
    805 x 654 mm

    Description: Rectangular; carved strip with undulating vine between fillets, repeated on each side; carved inscription panel along top edge; centre, two traceried panels, each with a central shield beneath a gothic arch.

    Notes: One of several similar firebacks produced in the same period.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: JHESUS MARIA JHONES

    Manufactured: in the early 16th century possibly in the Eifel area of Germany.

    Current location: in private hands, Cox Green, Berkshire, England.

    Citation: Driesch, K. von den , 1990, Handbuch der Ofen-, Kamin- und Takenplatten im Rheinland (Cologne, Rheinland-Verlag).