Firebacks

1170mm wide

  1. 1180

    eton_college_2.jpg
    1170 x 860 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular shape; parallel simulated twisted rope edging enclosing a border of lilies; pictorial representation of the facade and gatehouse towers of Eton College, between which is a clockface below crenellation; above left, two house martins flying; at ground level, ?four people (one of which is said to be Nigel Jaques, one of the masters) all standing on a plinth bearing, in the centre, the date MCMXCV between four small cartouches, of which to the left and nearest the date is a pack of playing cards; others bear the inscriptions, MCM and CofA (Charteris of Armisfield).

    Notes: Designed by and made for Martin, Lord Charteris of Armisfield, Provost of Eton (1978-91).

    Inscription: MCMXCV

    Manufactured: in 1995 in England.

    Current location: Eton College, Eton, Berkshire, England.

    Museum number: FDA-A.298-2013 (part of the Eton College museum group)

  2. 371

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 006.jpg
    1170 x 770 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); top row, two square-within-a-square arrangements of twisted rope between three stamps formed of Gothic tracery cresting; 2nd row, two more tracery cresting stamps (the one on the right over stamping a fleur-de-lys) between two crowned, star-embossed butter mould stamps with a crowned rose-en-soleil in the middle; 3rd row, three star-embossed butter mould stamps with two pairs of fleurs-de-lys between them; bottom row, seven fleurs-de-lys; plus intersepersed short rope lengths, and a vertical, double zig-zag arrangement of rope lengths on each side.

    Notes: The rose-en-soleil was the badge of King Edward IV and, thus, a Yorkist symbol. Many of the stamps employed on this fireback are seen, with other stamps, on a wide variety of firebacks, suggesting a common source; similar gothic tracery stamps can be seen as pierced cresting on a rare late-Medieval, wooden Easter sepulchre at the redundant church of St Michael at Cowthorpe, North Yorkshire.

    Manufactured: in the mid to 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: LH000.940 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

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

  3. 471

    lodsworth,_blackdown house 01.jpg
    1170 x 865 mm

    Description: Rectangular with small central triangle on top; twisted rope edging (top and sides) and across base of triangle; top centre, date, centrally positioned above the separated pairs of initials, WY; below and right of centre, rope saltire; bottom centre, a hole apparently puncturing the plate from behind.

    Notes: The initials are those of William Yalden (1580-1659), an ironmaster who was active in north-west Sussex and south-west Surrey where this and other similar firebacks have been noted. The saltire is likely to have had an apotropaic purpose. Although undoubtedly connected with the builder of the house wherein it rests, the fireback pre-dates the building, which was erected in 1640.

    Inscription: 1616 / WY WY

    Manufactured: in 1616 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Lodsworth, West Sussex, England.

  4. 1222

    northiam,_great_dixter_1170x770.jpg
    1170 x 770 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; no edging; symmetrical arrangement of four stamps: across the top, three crowned roses with a fleur-de-lys between each pair; across the middle, three fleurs-de-lys with a chained portcullis between each pair; below and in the spaces between the fleurs and portcullises, four letters W.

    Notes: The letter W may have an apotropaic significance; the stamps have not been recorded on other firebacks.

    Inscription: W W W W

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

    Current location: Great Dixter, Northiam, East Sussex, England.

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

  5. 622

    ripley_037.jpg
    1170 x 670 mm

    Description: Rectangular with pediment arch; ovolo-moulded edging; central shield, mantling and crest: per pale, on a chevron between three heads erased, as many mullets; crest: a hind’s head erased.

    Notes: No secure identification of the arms. The blazon may be: Per pale on a chevron between three ?gryphons’ heads erased, three mullets (the tinctures are not known). The crest appears to be a hind's head erased. Sold at Christie's Masters and Makers auction, 30 November 2010, lot 531.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the late 16th to early 17th century possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:, England.