Firebacks

1130mm wide

  1. 1209

    bowness,_blackwell_house_02.jpg
    1130 x 1285 mm

    Description: Individually designed quasi-arched rectangular shape; astragal edging; central portico with framed doorway and sloping roof, in which stands a male figure dressed in contemporary style; above the roof, the date, and above that, the initials R R separated by a flower head, this inscription enclosed within a five-sided ribbon compartment held at the top corners by a pair of mirrored dancing cherubs each of which holds in their outer hand a wand surmounted by a fleur-de-lys; below them are mirrored vine designs terminating in a grape bunch, and below each of them a mirrored swirled snake, its head reversed; towards the outer side of these snakes are a pair of mirrored birds within a curved cartouche of slightly raised relief that is associated with a swirl on each side of the fireback that terminates the astragal edging on each side and which ascends via a step surmounted by a miniature urn on each shoulder of the back to the top which is surmounted by an acorn shape; above the ribbons held by the cherubs, is a stylised crown between the initials GR; the above features are limited by a horizontal astragal, though the portico descends below it, and which is supported at each end by a simple Doric column enclosing the bottom panel which is otherwise plain.

    Notes: Finely cast but of naïve design, another fireback of the same design but with different inscriptions is at Low Graythwaite, in Hawkshead parish which was home to the Rawlinson family who, in 1711, built the first blast furnace in what was then the northern part of Lancashire, making it likely that the initials GR relate to a member of the Rawlinson family, possibly Gouldney Rawlinson.

    Inscription: G R / R R / 1723

    Manufactured: in 1723 probably at Backbarrow furnace in the Furness area of England.

    Current location: Blackwell House, Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria, England.

    Citation: Cowper, H. S., 1899, Hawkshead: its History, Archaeology, Industries, Folklore, Dialect, etc., etc. (London, Bemrose).

  2. 1210

    cowper,_hawkshead_1899.jpg
    ~1130 x ~1285 mm

    Description: Individually designed quasi-arched rectangular shape; astragal edging; central portico with framed doorway and sloping roof, in which stands a male figure dressed in contemporary style; above the roof, the date, and above that, the initials TKM arranged in triad and around a flower head, this inscription enclosed within a five-sided ribbon compartment held at the top corners by a pair of mirrored dancing cherubs each of which holds in their outer hand a wand surmounted by a fleur-de-lys; below them are mirrored vine designs terminating in a grape bunch, and below each of them a mirrored swirled snake, its head reversed; towards the outer side of these snakes are a pair of mirrored birds within a curved cartouche of slightly raised relief that is associated with a swirl on each side of the fireback that terminates the astragal edging on each side and which ascends via a step surmounted by a miniature urn on each shoulder of the back to the top which is surmounted by an acorn shape; above the ribbons held by the cherubs, is a stylised crown between the initials AR; the above features are limited by a horizontal astragal, though the portico descends below it, and which is supported at each end by a simple Doric column enclosing the bottom panel which is otherwise plain.

    Notes: Finely cast but of naïve design, another fireback of the same design but with different inscriptions is at Blackwell House, in Bowness-on-Windermere. Low Graythwaite was home to the Rawlinson family who, in 1711, built the first blast furnace in what was then the northern part of Lancashire, making it likely that the initials AR relate to a member of the Rawlinson family, possibly Abraham Rawlinson. Illustration from Cowper, 1899, p.179.

    Inscription: A R / TKM [triad] / 1714

    Manufactured: in 1714 probably at Backbarrow furnace in the Furness area of England.

    Current location: Low Graythwaite, Hawkshead, Cumbria, England.

    Citation: Cowper, H. S., 1899, Hawkshead: its History, Archaeology, Industries, Folklore, Dialect, etc., etc. (London, Bemrose).

  3. 60

    etchingham,_king johns lodge  01.jpg
    >1130 x 670 mm

    Description: Fragment; rectangular; flanged top edge; probable symmetrical arrangement of crowned Tudor royal shield stamps (4 above 3); vertical line on either side of each shield; left hand print in bottom left corner, probably mirrored on right.

    Notes: The right side of the fireback is missing. Very crude modelling of stamp suggests an early date; the same crowned shield and use of hand print can be seen on a fireback at Rolvenden, indicating a common source..

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

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

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

  4. 303

    gloucester_folk museum 01.jpg
    1130 x 680 mm

    Description: Rectangle with curved shoulders and low arch joined with concave curves; fillet and ogee moulded edging; central Tudor royal shield surrounded by garter, with crown above and lion and dragon supporters; royal initials either side of crown.

    Notes: Damaged on bottom left corner; the garter motto includes ‘EQVI’ instead of ‘HONI’, making it meaningless; possibly ‘EQVI’ was a mis-transcription of ‘HONI’; the crown is distinctly continental in form; a much-copied fireback. Previously at Hoarthorns Farm, West Dean, Gloucestershire, where another fireback of the same design was recovered from a pond and is now at the Forestry Commission camp site at Christchurch, near Coleford.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: E R / EQVI : SOIT : QVI : MAL : Y : PENSE

    Arms: Tudor royal - Edward VI or Elizabeth I

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

    Current location: Gloucester Folk Museum, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England.

    Museum number: GLRCM:F03526 (part of the Gloucester Museums museum group)

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