Firebacks

1219mm wide

  1. 1007

    cowper_1.jpg
    1219 x 660 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging on top and sides; fillet-edged rectangle top centre, enclosing date between initials; 14 shields of Ayloffe impaling Sulyard arranged 5-4-5; 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. A large number of variants use the same shields; this example, unusually, has the initials RS instead of the more common CT. Illustration from Cowper (1911).

    Inscription: R 1627 S

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

    Manufactured: in 1627 possibly at Hawkhurst Furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:.

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

  2. 169

    hastings_056.jpg
    1219 x 470 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); inscription made of short lengths of twisted rope, irregularly spaced across upper middle, central device formed of a Tudor 'A' with overstamped 'V'.

    Notes: It is not clear if the central device is a monogram, or if it might have apotropaic significance.

    Inscription: T A M T

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

    Current location: Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, John's Place, Bohemia Road, Hastings, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: HASMG: 1911.60.7 (part of the Hastings 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.

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

    Citation: Page, S. & Wallace, M. (eds.), 2018, Spellbound (Oxford, Ashmolean Museum), p. 72.

  3. 174

    hastings_061.jpg
    1219 x 495 mm

    Description: Rectangular; plain plate with central crossed-square rope pattern with crosses at the corner and top; on each side a rectangular stamp with swirled tendril, serpent and demi-cup decoration.

    Notes: The crossed square was an alchemistic symbol for iron vitriol (i.e. ferrous sulphate or copperas), but the crosses at the extremities may indicate other symbolism or none; similar patterns are found on other firebacks of a group that may have been associated with Pounsley furnace, Sussex. The repeated panel at the top appears to have been formed using a mould for a section of a plasterwork frieze, resulting in an intaglio impression (approx 395 x 142mm or 15½ x 5½ in.) as opposed to the normal bas-relief; this is very unusual on a fireback. The style of the mould dates from the Elizabethan or Jacobean period. The stubs on the bottom edge are likely to have been the remains of runners where the molten iron entered the mould. Recovered from a property in Burwash, Sussex, in 1910.

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

    Current location: Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, John's Place, Bohemia Road, Hastings, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: HASMG: 1910.26.1 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

    Citation: Baines, J. M., 1958, Wealden Firebacks (Hastings Museum).

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

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