Firebacks

1185mm wide

  1. 247

    chawton_house 01.jpg
    1185 x 870 mm

    Description: A modified recasting of a variant of the ‘Armada’ fireback, with changed initials, a single anchor panel, and the addition of plain base and borders, the latter each with a twisted rope saltire, upper middle.

    Notes: It is likely that an original four-panel fireback has been used to recast a copy with additional side and base panels. A second fireback at the house, identical but for being 1% smaller all round, has a full-width extension on top bearing four symmetrical rope saltires, the outer two larger than the inner two; the saltires may have apotropaic significance. The reduction in size of the common elements due to shrinkage suggests the first example was used to make the second. It is alleged that John Knight, who built Chawton House, was rewarded with a fireback for contributing £50 to the Crown at the time of the Armada emergency; given that a great many of the gentry and aristocracy made similar contributions, this story is improbable. It seems likely that this putative original was used to make these two subsequent copies.

    Inscription: 1588 / IK

    Manufactured: in 1588 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Chawton House, Chawton, Hampshire, England.

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

  2. 663

    rolvenden,_maplesden.jpg
    1185 x 760 mm

    Description: Rectangular, with canted top corners; twisted rope edging (top and sides only); nine shields of Ayloffe impaling Sulyard in two rows, 5-4; two parallel vertical cuts for the insertion of firedogs.

    Notes: 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. 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. There is a large number of variants using the same shields.

    Arms: Ayloffe impaling Sulyard (William Ayloffe of Bretons, Hornchurch)

    Manufactured: in the early 17th century in the Weald area of England.

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

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

  3. 1041

    west_hoathly, manor house 01.jpg
    1185 x 705 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and upper three-quarters of sides); central Tudor shield, garter, crown and supporters (greyhound and lion), formed from separate stamps; date on a single stamp in top left corner.

    Notes: This is an early example of a fireback being used as a pattern, with the addition of a subsequent date. The same stamps forming the arms can also be seen on other firebacks. The extension of the lower part of the ‘3’ on the date stamp suggests that the numbers may have been fixed to the backing block, rather than the date being carved as a whole. Another variant of this fireback has the rope edging extending further down the sides.

    Inscription: 1583 / HONE SOVT qVEY MAL Y PENSE

    Arms: Tudor royal (prob. Henry VIII)

    Manufactured: in 1583 in the Weald area of England.

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